Antisemitism is still alive and well in France, Macron tells Israel

President E. Macron

Macron said France is ready to apply diplomatic levers toward renewed negotiations but gave no specifics. "We will yield nothing to anti-Zionism, because it is the reinvented form of anti-Semitism". In the words of Elie Barnavi, France's former ambassador to Israel, the wartime roundup had "nothing to do with Israel". "They try to destroy us, but also they try to destroy you".

"Militant Islam wants to destroy our common civilization", Netanyahu told the French president.

He remarked that Hollande and his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy sought to build good ties with the Israeli premier, "but they quickly failed".

After their meeting, the two leaders will make statements to the press.On Monday, Netanyahu is slated to fly to Hungary, marking the first visit to the country by an Israeli premier since the end of Communism.

The leader of the Jewish state alongside his French counterpart, attended the somber memorial ceremony to remember of one of the darkest episodes in French history.

The Israeli and French leaders joined other dignitaries at a commemoration ceremony in the French capital, honoring the memory of Jews who were deported in 1942 from Paris to the death camps in German-occupied Poland.

They were taken to the Velodrome D'Hiver, a cycling stadium near the Eiffel Tower, or an internment camp. There, 3,000 children were brutally separated from their parents, and deported first to Auschwitz. Less than a hundred of those arrested in the raid would survive the Holocaust. After their meeting, Macron stressed France's support for the two-state solution and criticized the expansion of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

France's participation and responsibility in the Holocaust has always been a sensitive issue in France and was only officially recognised in 1995 by then president Jacques Chirac. "It seems the values of the French revolution - equality, fraternity, liberty - was crushed brutally under the boot of anti-Semitism".

Netanyahu, in a speech delivered partly in French, hailed "the noble French citizens" who risked their lives to save Jews.

"Your struggle is our struggle", Netanyahu said, referring to Friday's attack in Jersualem, when Arab Israeli gunmen shot and killed two Israeli police officers.



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