‘Deep Disgust’ as Elite Paris College Is Defaced With Antisemitic, Anti-Zionist Slogans
The entrance to one of France’s most elite colleges was defaced with antisemitic and anti-Zionist graffiti on Monday, resulting in forthright condemnations from Jewish student leaders and university administrators.
Three inscriptions were daubed in large black painted letters at the entrance to the Sciences Po — the Paris-based Institute of Political Studies that has educated French political leaders since the 19th century, among them current President Emmanuel Macron.
Two slogans invoked the word “kuffar” — an Arabic term for “infidel” used by Islamists — while a third declared, “Death to Israel.”
The head of France’s national Jewish student union, the UEJF, told news outlet Le Figaro that she was formally protesting the graffiti as incitement to racial hatred.
“We expect a rapid reaction from the Sciences Po administration in the face of these violent and antisemitic attacks,” UEJF president Noemie Madar said. “The perpetrators must be found so that impunity does not allow such acts to flourish.”
France’s Minister of Higher Education, Frédérique Vidal, pledged that “everything will be done” to identify and capture those responsible for the graffiti. “Hatred has no place in our Republic,” she declared on Twitter.
A statement from the Sciences Po administration roundly condemned the vandalism.
“Management strongly condemns this heinous and cowardly act,” the statement said. “A complaint is in progress. A cleaning operation is continuing. Faced with these attacks, Sciences Po will continue its fight more than ever against all forms of discrimination and attacks on human dignity.”
The head of the Sciences Po student union said that he was particularly concerned for the college’s Jewish students.
“I feel particular pain for Jewish students,” Raphaël Zaouati said, adding that the inscriptions had filled him with “deep disgust.”
“Racism and antisemitism have never had and never will have a place in our institution. These acts must be punished,” Zaouati stated.