In Paris, a Moldovan couple has been arrested for allegedly vandalizing a school building with Stars of David. According to reports, the couple claimed they were following orders from an individual in Russia.
The 33-year-old man and 29-year-old woman were apprehended after a witness reported seeing them tagging a wall in a bohemian area of the city. When questioned by the police, they stated that they had committed the offense at the behest of a third party from Russia. The identity of this alleged mastermind remains unknown.
The Moldovan nationals, who were living in France illegally, have been detained on a preliminary charge of aggravated damage based on their origin or religion. If convicted, they are likely to face deportation to their home country.
This incident follows the discovery of around 60 blue Stars of David drawn on buildings in Paris’ 14th and 15th arrondissements. The authors of these tags have yet to be identified.
The graffiti has sparked a criminal investigation, with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo condemning the acts as “despicable.” French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne echoed Hidalgo’s sentiments, firmly denouncing the vandalism.
However, the prosecutor’s office has not labeled the graffiti as explicitly antisemitic, as the stars were spray-painted in blue instead of the yellow color associated with the Jewish star during World War II.
In addition to the graffiti, French authorities are also investigating a disturbing video circulating on social media. The video shows a group of individuals in the Paris metro chanting antisemitic slurs and expressing support for Nazism.
France has seen a significant rise in antisemitic incidents since the Hamas attack on Israel in October. According to France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, there have been 857 reported incidents resulting in 425 arrests.
At present, it cannot be ruled out that the graffiti of blue David stars in the Paris area was executed upon the explicit demand of an individual residing outside the country,” stated Beccau.
“In light of the geopolitical situation and its repercussions in France, it is imperative further to investigate the antisemitic motives behind these acts of vandalism.”