Anti-Israel graffiti appears on the walls of the Aliyah fair in Lyon, France, and leads to anti-Israel protests.
By Jerusalem Post Staff, December 19, 2023
An anti-Israeli demonstration erupted at an Aliyah Fair in Lyon, France, organized by the Jewish Agency and the of Aliyah and Integration Ministry.
"Hundreds of visitors were unexpectedly confined within the fair due to the escalation between pro-Palestinian demonstrators and police forces," reported a spokesperson on behalf of the Jewish Agency.
The event, part of a series aimed at promoting Aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel), has been drawing attention across France. "The fair in Lyon, particularly, saw a significant turnout of French Jews, underscoring the community's growing interest in Aliyah," the Jewish Agency stated.
Antisemitic vandalism at the event
The morning of the event was marred by an act of vandalism. "Anti-Israeli graffiti was spray-painted on the walls of our fair venue. However, thanks to the prompt action of the city services, the situation was quickly rectified," the Jewish Agency's statement said.
The situation intensified towards the end of the fair. "Dozens of pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered outside the venue, leading to confrontations with local law enforcement," a Jewish Agency spokesperson said. She added, "Our top priority was the safety of the participants, who were advised to stay inside until the police managed to disperse the crowd and secure the area."
Despite the day's challenges, the Lyon fair was part of a successful nationwide initiative. "Following our large-scale events in Paris and Marseille, the Lyon fair marks the third successful Aliyah event this week in France," the Jewish Agency reported. These events reflect the increasing interest in Aliyah among French Jews since October 7th, with thousands participating in the fairs.