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image Je fais un don

Paris, 9 May 2024

The annual meeting (80th anniversary) of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) focussed on commemorating Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Day), the rise of antisemitism in France, the 7 October attack against Israel by Hamas terrorists and the some 130 hostages still held in captivity.

The Honoured Guest was the new – and maybe the youngest ever, at 35 – Prime Minister of France, Gabriel Attal.

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PM Gabriel Attal with Dr Shimon Samuels (photo csweurope).

Here are some of the most relevant parts of the Prime Minister’s speech, that can be found online, so far in French.

PM Attal opened his speech recalling a document that he keeps on his desk, the official police receipt for the Yellow Star that his paternal grandmother was forced to wear after the June 1941 Nazi laws on the Jews became effective. “That star was a death sentence!”

“This will always be on my desk, as a reminder... of the infamy committed by our country, that had been complicit and guilty of antisemitism. A reminder that hatred is limitless, that it is an infernal machine that carries away and crushes with it every trace of humanity.”

“Born in 1989, my parents and I had no experience of the War... It was eight decades ago, but let’s be clear... we are facing a new wave of antisemitism. A wave of rare magnitude, stronger, more violent... that began on October 7.”

“That day, in villages, in kibbutzim, at festivals, families asked only to live together, children to grow up, young people to enjoy the carefree life, elderly people to age in peace... but barbarism decided otherwise... the monstrosity of Hamas, the horror of terrorism and Islamism took them away. That day, more than 1,200 people lost their lives. They were of all ages, all opinions, all futures. Among them, 42 were French. That day, 240 people were taken hostage... Today, more than 130 hostages are still being held in Gaza. Among them three Frenchmen.”

“We are the only country in the world to have paid a national tribute to the victims. It was justice and it is the honour of France!”

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There was a brief exchange with Dr Shimon Samuels, Emeritus Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.

The PM promised that his Government had four words against antisemitism: “immediate reaction, absolute firmness!”

“My first wish is to protect French Jewry... we are mobilizing law enforcement patrols in front of 850 synagogues, places of worship and schools.”

“Acting against antisemitism means tackling Islamism and separatism head-on... Islamism is a serious danger for our Republic and it is one of the most dangerous, most destructive faces of antisemitism....”

“We will be firm... close radical mosques, dissolve associations, expel imams who preached hatred.”

“It is often said that the Republic protects the Jews, and it is true... But I want to recall and reaffirm that the French Jews have fully embraced the Republic... Jews protect the Republic... French Jews work for our country, make it shine and bring our Republic to life in all its facets.”

“Defending French Jews means defending the entire Republic!”

* * *

Bring them home now!

For further information, contact csweurope@gmail.com