Photo: French President Emmanuel Macron at Crif Dinner in 2019
Published on February 28, 2022 in The Jerusalem Post
French President Emmanuel Macron came out last week against the description of Israel as an apartheid state recently by human rights groups like Amnesty International.
Macron was supposed to deliver a speech at the annual dinner of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF) but had cancel to an important meeting. Instead, Prime Minister Jean Castex was asked to deliver his speech instead and he read the president's speech.
“Like you, I am concerned about the United Nations resolution on Jerusalem which continues to deliberately and against all evidence remove Jewish terminology from the Temple Mount. You know my attachment to Jerusalem, where I went several times as President or before becoming one. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, I have never stopped saying that. This in no way precludes recognizing and respecting the attachment of other religions to this city, and it is in this spirit that I myself walked through the Old City in 2020 and visited each of the Holy Places."
"Erasing Jerusalem's Jewishness is unacceptable, just as it is unacceptable that in the name of a just fight for freedom, associations misuse historically shameful terms to describe the State of Israel," Castex said in Macron's name.
He added that "where all citizens, whatever their religion, have understood that their only hope is peace together. It is not by affirming such untruths that associations that claim to pursue an objective of peace can claim to fulfill their vocation. How dare we talk about apartheid in a state where Arab citizens are represented in government, in parliament, in leadership positions and in positions of responsibility?"
Castex added in the name of the president: “As I promised you, the definition of antisemitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance has been adopted by the Republic.
“The fight against antisemitism is European. I said this last January 27 on the occasion of the International Day dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust. France has chosen to make the fight against racism and antisemitism one of its major priorities for its Presidency of the Union. The fight is and remains of course nationally. France, which hosts the largest Jewish community in Europe, must show the way."
The CRIF, Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions, Is an umbrella organization of other groups representing the interests of French Jews.