Holding olive branches and white flags, French artists of various religions and ethnicities led thousands of people in a silent march through central Paris on Sunday to call the peace between Israelis and Palestinians and for the unity of France.
Those gathered, among them actresses Isabelle Adjani and Emmanuelle Beart, as well as singers and other cultural personalities, marched from the Arab World Institute to the Museum of Art and History of Judaism, located on the other side. part of the Seine River.
“Now we have a blue sky above our heads and in Israel, in Palestine, they have bombs, they have war. We are not helping the situation by choosing sides or floating hate on one side or the other,” said French actress Nadia Farès.
The silence of Sunday’s march “will bring balance, hopefully, to the cacophony that we have around the world,” he added.
France, which has a significant Jewish and Muslim population, has suffered weeks of protests and tensions over the war between Israel and Hamas.
The French government is pushing for a ceasefire to bring humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza and is also trying to negotiate the release of eight French hostages held by Hamas. Another 40 French citizens were killed in the October 7 attack in southern Israel.
As part of his diplomatic efforts, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday, and with the leaders of Qatar and Egypt on Saturday.
Macron confirmed his support for Israel’s right to defend itself, but criticized the “too many civilian casualties” in Gaza, according to a presidential statement. He called for an immediate humanitarian truce that would lead to a ceasefire.
The French president expressed concern about the violence against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and called for diplomatic efforts to reach a two-state solution to continue.
On Saturday, thousands of pro-Palestinian and left-wing activists rallied in Paris and parts of Britain to call for a ceasefire, the latest such protests in major cities. around the world since the start of the war.
Survivors of Nazi atrocities also joined young Jewish activists outside the Paris Holocaust memorial to raise awareness about the resurgence of anti-Semitic speech, graffiti and abuse linked to the war. Middle East.