More than 300 French dignitaries and stars, including ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy and actor Gerard Depardieu have signed a manifesto calling on their government to make the fight against anti-Semitism a national cause.

Referring to a “new anti-Semitism” marked by “Islamist radicalisation”, the letter was published in Sunday’s edition of Le Parisien.

Signatories included three former Presidents, celebrities and intellects. The letter said: “Anti-Semitism is not a Jewish affair, it is everyone’s.

“When a prime minister at the National Assembly declares, with the applause of every country, that France without Jews is no longer France, it does not feel like a beautiful, consolatory phrase, but a solemn warning.”

Reflecting on a string of anti-Semitic attacks in the country over the past six months, it cites the 11 French Jews who have been killed because of their religion, most latterly Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor who was stabbed to death and set on fire in her Paris apartment.

Blaming the upsurge, largely on radicalised Muslims, as well as on a silence from the media, the letter continues: “Why the silence? It is because radical Islam is considered exclusively by some of the elite French parties as an expression of social revolt… because the old antisemitism of the extreme Right is added to the antisemitism of the radical Left, which has found anti-Zionism as their alibi for transforming the executioners of Jews as victims in society.”

Calling on what they want to see happen now, it says verses of the Koran that advocate violence against Jews should “be struck from the theological authorities… so that no believer may rely on this sacred text to commit a crime.”

The letter ends: “We ask that the fight against the democratic weakness that is antisemitism will become a national cause before it is too late. Before France is no longer France.”

 The country’s half-a-million-plus Jewish community is the largest in Europe.