Published on 25 January 2015

During the crisis: CRIF participates to the demonstration in Paris


Sunday January 11 2015 - 3:30 pm
World leaders linked arms to lead more than a million French citizens through Paris in an unprecedented march to pay tribute to victims of Islamist militant attacks. Commentators said the last time crowds of this size filled the streets of the capital was at the Liberation of Paris from Nazi Germany in 1944.
"Paris is today the capital of the world. Our entire country will rise up and show its best side," President François Hollande said.
At least 3.7 million people took part in silent marches throughout the country, the biggest public demonstration ever registered in France. A total of 1.2 million to 1.6 million marched in Paris and a further 2.5 million in other cities, the Interior Ministry said.
Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu - who earlier in the day encouraged French Jews to emigrate to Israel - and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were also present and walked just a few steps from one another.
"In the same way that the civilized world stood today with France against terror, so it must stand with Israel against terror," Netanyahu said at a ceremony in a Paris synagogue.
6:30 – National prayers for all victims at the Great synagogue of Paris, rue de La Victoire
As nightfall descended, President Hollande, Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Benjamin  Netanyahu went to the Grand Synagogue of Paris to pay homage to “all of the victims” and received a standing ovation. Roger Cukierman, CRIF’s President was also attending the ceremony.
“Today I walked the streets of Paris with the leaders of the world, to say enough terrorism; the time has come to fight terrorism,” Netanyahu said to the crowd of hundreds of French Jews.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, and Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky were also in Paris..Before he spoke, numerous senior political figures, from French President Francois Hollande to Prime Minister Manuel Valls and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, came to the ceremony.
They were there when members of the community lit 17 candles for the victims, both Jews and gentiles, of last week’s terrorist attacks.
The prime minister repeated that the world, not only Israel, is facing the threat of Islamist extremism and must battle it together. “The truth and righteousness are with us. Our common enemy is extreme Islam, not Islam, not regular extremists, but extreme Islam,” he stated.
Netanyahu said extreme Islam doesn’t hate the West because of Israel, but hates Israel because it is an organic part of the West.
Netanyahu, careful not to overtly called for immediate immigration, said, “ I want to say to you what I say to all our Jewish brothers, that you have a full right to live secure and peaceful lives with equal rights wherever you desire, including here in France.”
Then he added, “these days we are blessed with another privilege, a privilege that didn’t exist for generations of Jews – the privilege to join their brothers and sisters in their historic homeland of Israel.”
At one point, some youths began shouting “Vive la Israel,” to which others replied “Vive la France.”