Paris, 12 October 2023
In response to the terror attack of Saturday 7 October by Gaza-based Hamas, targeting the citizens of Israel, the Wiesenthal Centre participated in rallies of “Solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people” throughout Europe... namely in Paris, at the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe and facing the UN in Geneva.
Paris, 9 October: Wiesenthal Centre volunteers and sympathizers marching alongside tens of thousands.
The French police and Jewish community security services were deployed on high alert for the possible infiltration of armed terrorists. Ministers and Government officials, local authorities, as well as former President Sarkozy with his wife, were present. Jews and their Gentile friends of Israel were joined, among others, by the outspoken Imam of Drancy, Hassen Chalgoumi, and a group of Iranian dissidents against the Ayatollah's regime.
Israeli flags were omnipresent, people called for the liberation of the hostages, resistance against terrorism, solidarity with Israel... Concerned citizens, mindful of the 2015 terrorist mayhem in Paris – from Charlie Hebdo to the Kosher supermarket to the Bataclan theatre – expressed their empathy with the Israeli victims.
Arriving on Place Trocadero – overlooking the Eiffel Tower illuminated in blue, decorated with a bright David’s Star – people spontaneously sang the Hatikvah, followed by the French national anthem.
During that morning’s Parliamentary debate, political parties condemned Hamas’ actions, defining it a terrorist organization, as recognized by the EU and its Member-States... All but one, the LFI (populist extreme-left), that showcased an ambiguous “equidistant” stance, refusing to define the terrorists and instead calling for “a cease-fire to help all victims”: The past week, LFI had been caught out raising the “Jewish dual loyalty” stereotype, in regard to French citizens volunteering in the Israeli armed forces.
Wiesenthal Centre sympathizers also participated in a rally in Strasbourg at the 46 Member-States Council of Europe (CoE), which expressed its solidarity to the Israeli people. In the 11 October CoE Parliamentary Assembly, after a heartbreaking account of the events in Israel, delivered on screen by the Ambassador of the Jewish State, a Palestinian representative reportedly put victims and their murderers on the same level, calling to “remove the blockade on Gaza”. The latter’s video-statement seemed surreal, in denial regarding the horror perpetrated by the Gazan “authority” and its consequences.
The rally facing the UN in Geneva was postponed to Wednesday 11th evening, allegedly “for security reasons”.
The Wiesenthal Centre hopes that the momentum and support for Israel will continue, as news of planned pro-Palestinian rallies, tainted with glorification of Hamas’ terrorism, celebrating the murder of Jews and inciting to an enlargement of the conflict, is circulating on social media.
AM YISRAEL HAI - May the People of Israel Survive
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