Graves desecrated with swastikas are seen in the Jewish cemetery of Herrlisheim, north of Strasbourg, France.

French President Emmanuel Macron has viewed first hand around 100 graves desecrated at a Jewish cemetery near Strasbourg.

Nazi symbols including swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans were daubed on graves discovered on Monday evening.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack by “wild anti-Semites”.

Netanyahu called on French and European leaders to take a strong stand against anti-Semitism.

“It is a plague that endangers everyone, not just us,” he said.

Macron visited the site in the village of Quatzenheim close to French-German border as a mark of support to French Jews and to view the sickening damage.

“It’s important for me to be here with you today,” he said.

Macron told reporters at a press conference in Paris that the hate crime struck France as a whole.

“Every time a French person, because he or she is Jewish, is insulted, threatened, or worse, injured or killed, the whole Republic is attacked.”

Interior minister Christophe Castaner tweeted his “outrage and disgust”.

Nationwide rallies, organised by political parties and attended by thousands of protesters, were scheduled to take place across France in some 60 cities protesting against a rise in anti-Semitic attacks across the country where around 550,000 Jews live.

Former French presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy were expected to join protesters and government officials at a Paris rally.

Aside from marches, National Assembly president Richard Ferrand and head of Senate Gerard Larcher were attending a moment of silence at the Shoah memorial in Paris.

Macron, meanwhile, was delivering a speech at an annual CRIF dinner on Wednesday.

France boasts the largest Jewish community in Europe where anti-Semitic incidents have been rife.

Statistics published last week by the French government showed a 74% rise in anti-Semitic attacks in France, up from 311 to 541 in 2018 over a 12-month period.

Only last weekend, police had to protect French philosopher, Alain Finkielkraut, after he was taunted by “yellow vest” protesters in Paris last Saturday.

President Macron tweeted that the anti-Semitic insults Finkielkraut had been subjected to were the “absolute opposite of who we are and what makes us a great nation”.

“We will not tolerate them,” Macron added.

World Jewish Congress condemned Saturday’s vicious anti-Semitic attack and commended French President Emmanuel Macron for his strong actions following the hate attack. 
“The vile anti-Semitic invective hurled at Alain by so-called Yellow Vest protesters is unconscionable and must be condemned in no uncertain terms,” said WJC President Ronald S. Lauder.

“They not only served to remind us of the sharp uptick in anti-Semitic incidents which have all too often led to violence and even death, but are eerily reminiscent of France’s own anti-Semitic past during the Dreyfus Affair.

“At the same time, we commend French President Macron for his prompt and unambiguous denunciation of this unseemly incident.”
Other incidents have included swastika daubed on street portraits of Holocaust survivor Simone Veil and a Jewish bakery in Paris, one of two trees cut down at a memorial for a Jewish man tortured to death in 2006 and gun shots fired at a Paris synagogue, arrests have since taken place.

By Leah Waxler