This week was marked by two important statements for the Jewish communities.
First in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron, who addressed a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Vel d’Hiv, the roundup by French police officiers of 13,152 Jews, including 4,000 children, for deportation to the Nazi death camps.
‘’Anti-Zionism is a reinvention of anti-Semitism,’’ the president said.
He also vowed to protect the Jewish community against hatred.
and he was the first French leader to mention the case of Sara Halimi,
Macron’s speech triggered several emotional yelps from the audience and applause so vigorous, it caused the tarp strung up over the monument plaza for security reasons to vibrate.
It was also the first time a President of France stated that anti-Zionism, the hatred of the State of Israel, the state of the Jewish People, is the modern and politically correct form of anti-Semitism. Yes, by de-legitimizing Israel you are de-legitimizing the Jewish people.
Macron made his important statement, very well received in the Jewish community of France, in the presence of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.
‘’The French president had invited Netanyahu to attend the ceremony despite calls in France – principally among extreme-left political leaders- to cancel this invitation.
It was the first time that an Israeli leader attended the annual commemoration.
There was another wave of applause from the audience when, unusually, Macron and Netanyahu hugged publicly after Netanyahu’s speech.
President Macron was also the first French leader to publicly respond to repeated pleas by the Jewish community French Jews – including at the Vel d’Hiv event in a speech by CRIF President Francis Kalifat – to threat the death of Sarah Halimi as an anti-Semitic case.
66-year-old Halimi was killed by her Malian-born Muslim neighbor, Kobili Traore, who shouted about Allah before he killed her. Halimi’s daughter said that Traore had called her a “dirty Jew.” However, the indictment filed against Traore last week does not categorize the killing as a hate crime.
Macron delivered a strong message: “Despite the denials of the murderer, the judiciary must as soon as possible provide maximum clarity on the death of Sarah Halimi.”
The second important statement that was delivered this week came from Budapest, Hungary.
After a meting with visiting Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban acknowledged his country’s “sin” in failing to protect its Jews during WWII.
He pointed out that a “sizable” Jewish minority lives in Hungary today and assured that Hungarian Jews’s security ‘’will be fully guaranteed by the Hungarian state.’’
He continued: ‘’I’ve also made it very clear to the Prime Minister that the Hungarian government has a zero tolerance policy against all forms of anti-Semitism.’’
He expressed proud that there is a renaissance of Jewish life in Hungary today. Around 120,000 Jews live in the country. ‘’We believe, we think that the renaissance of Jewish life is a substantial contribution to the common achievements of the Hungarian nation quite clearly,’’ Orban said.
The development of Jewish life in Hungary could be witnessed recently with the opening of a new kosher slaughterhouse.
While some western European countries, like Belgium, passed laws to ban Shechita, the Jewish ritual slaughter of animals, Hungary shows the reality of its commitment to reinforce Jewish life and eradicate anti-Semitism. It should be an example for other countries in Europe where extremist political parties are trying to cover their anti-Semitism under the false argument of defending animal rights…