Macron calls for renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at Holocaust service

Aaron Brown
July 17, 2017

French President Emmanuel Macron appealed Sunday to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to create two independent states.

Binyamin Netanyahu attended the ceremony, the first Israeli prime minister to do so since President Chirac recognised in 1995 that French officials and police carried out the round-up and not their Nazi occupiers.

"While we are strengthening ties with countries on five continents - Asia, Africa, Australia, North America and South America - it is very important for us to also deepen relations with countries in Europe", Netanyahu said.

More than 13,000 Jews were arrested by French police on 16 and 17 July 1942.

Commemorating 75 years since a mass roundup of French Jews outside of Paris, Macron insisted that "it was indeed France that organized this". "Among them, 4,115 children between ages of two and six, whom we are especially honoring today". Clad in green "Free Palestine T-Shirts", they held up signs with pictures of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Time does its work", the president said. He said that anti-Zionism was a "reinvented form of anti-Semitism", a remark that brought praise from Netanyahu.

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"It's at once from the extreme right, but also present on the extreme left and among radical Islamists", he said.

Mr. Macron dismissed those who claim that the collaborationist Vichy regime did not represent the French state. "It seems the values of the French revolution - equality, fraternity, liberty - was crushed brutally under the boot of anti-Semitism".

Macron addressed Netanyahu with his nickname "Bibi" at the start of his speech at the commemoration ceremony. "The militant Shiites led by Iran, the militant Sunnis led by ISIS - both seek to vanquish us".

While Mr Macron has been flexing his diplomatic skills with outreach to President Donald Trump and others, he did not indicate any eagerness for France to spearhead such negotiations, after a lacklustre French Mideast diplomatic effort under his predecessor early this year.

The French government trimmed the 2017 defense budget to ensure France meets its commitment to bring its budget deficit below the European Union cap of 3 percent of national income in 2017. "We must stand against them together; we must remain strong against them together; and we must defeat them together".

Netanyahu will travel Monday from Paris to Budapest, for meetings with the leaders of Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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