Netanyahu in Paris

January 13, 2015 by Roz Tarszisz
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Israeli media reports that France asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stay away from a weekend solidarity march in Paris but he ignored the request and chose to attend.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the kosher supermarket  Pic:GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the kosher supermarket Pic:GPO


In an attempt to avoid clouding the commemoration of the 17 people killed in the French capital, the same message was conveyed to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas the reports said.

When Netanyahu rejected the appeals of the French government, Abbas was swiftly invited according to Channel Two television and Israeli newspapers .

President Francois Hollande had wanted to “focus on solidarity with France, and to avoid anything liable to divert attention to other controversial issues, like Jewish-Muslim relations or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” reported liberal newspaper , Haaretz.

There was also concern Netanyahu would use the event to “make speeches” as he prepares for a March 17 general election, in which he is seeking a fourth term.

According to Haaretz, the request to stay away was made by Hollande’s national security adviser to his Israeli counterpart and was initially accepted.

But on Saturday evening, the rightwing prime minister’s hardline rivals in the governing coalition, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, announced they would travel to Paris.

“When Netanyahu heard they were going, he informed the French he would be attending the march after all.”

Haaretz said that the prime minister’s actions had infuriated the French president, who demonstrated his displeasure at a ceremony at Paris’s main synagogue to commemorate four Jews who were among those killed.

“Hollande sat through most of the ceremony, but when Netanyahu’s turn at the podium arrived, the French president got up from his seat and made an early exit.”

The apparent snub to the Israeli prime minister was also reported in Yediot Aharonot newspaper.

“Before Netanyahu began his speech, President Hollande left with his entourage. The large delegation of Muslim community leaders who attended the ceremony also chose to leave.”

Netanyahu’s conduct was widely criticised by Israeli commentators.

“It was embarrassing, not to say disgraceful, to see Israel’s prime minister yesterday trying to push his way onto a bus that he was not supposed to board, making his way determinedly from the second row (where he was placed) to the row of leaders walking in front (which he took over), behaving in a mourning parade as in an election rally,” Ben Caspit wrote in the rightwing Maariv newspaper.

“The reprisal was not late in coming. President Francois Hollande fell on Abu Mazen’s (Abbas’) shoulders in a close embrace but greeted Netanyahu with a frozen hand.”

France angered Israel late last month by voting in support of a draft UN Security Council resolution on Palestinian statehood that would have set an end-date for Israeli occupation.

The draft failed to secure the nine votes necessary to be adopted in the 15-member council but Israel called in the French ambassador to protest.

Roz Tarszisz prepared this report.


6 Responses to “Netanyahu in Paris”
  1. Eleonora Mostert says:

    Way to go Mr. PM. It took guts to stand in the line of fire.

  2. Otto Waldmann says:

    Speculations by unfriendly Israeli media as per Netanyahu’s “thoughts” are as invalid as some of the reports in relation to how events unfolded in Paris on Bibi’s presence. I watched on TV the entire broadcast and it is NOT true that Hollande greeted Netanyahu with a “cold handshake”. Footage will show that Hollande stepped down from atop the “perron”, the entrance of the Ellysee Palace to greet Bibi, something he did only for important guests, others being greeted atop. The DID embrace, Hollande kissed on cheeks Bibi etc.
    True, inside the Shul they sat next to eat other and for the entire TV broadcast inside the Shull they did not exchange one single word to each other, didn’t even look at each other.
    The reports stated that Netanyahu was left by the French official party to address the kehilat, something French TV did NOT broadcast at all, except for SILENT images for a short while.
    It was understood that what Bibi had to say to his people was a matter of “intimate” nature.
    It was reported, however, that he would have encouraged French Jews to make alyia.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      Incidentally, the bus stuff-up was just that. Bibi was taken to the first bus, but the bus was already full so he needed to wait for the next bus. Meanwhile he was visibly uncomfortable and so were his body guards. During the march Bibi was invited to come onto the front row from the second row were he was marching in the first instance, he was placed only second at Holland’s right side, next to the Pres. of Mali, a mulsim .
      One would understand easily why Netanyahu would be seriously concerned with a full exposure in a vast open space in a place where terrorists roam quite actively.

  3. Fionayael Sweet Formiatti says:

    Of all the foreign leaders at the march, Israel’s PM should have have the No. 1 ticket. Whether you agree politically with the individual in question or not. France and Hollande do not want to face the truth: people at Charlie Hebdo were murdered by Islamist terrorists because of provocative cartoons, but the people murdered at a kosher supermarket were murdered just because they were Jews. The terrorists are offended by free speech but offended at the very existence of Jews. The only woman murdered at Charlie Hebdo was killed because she was Jewish – the terrorists said they did not kill women, then shot her.
    Sadly, I doubt that 1 million plus French would have marched if 17 Jews had been murdered. For this reason, France is not the list of countries that I shall not visit.

    • Samuel Terry says:

      @Fionayael Sweet Formiatti
      “France is not the list of countries I shall not visit”? A double negative? So good luck! From France thou shall not stay away. Bad luck thou shall not have! Regard, chump..

  4. Jeff gould says:

    Je Suis Drancy.

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