April 26, 2018

Netanyahu Meets Macron to Test French Stance on Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

17 July 2017, 04:13 | Ken Black

Netanyahu Meets Macron to Test French Stance on Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Emmanuel Macron

"We will never surrender to the messages of hate", Macron said, standing on the site where French police, on the night of July 16, 1942, detained thousands of French and foreign-born Jews before facilitating their transports to Nazi concentration camps across Eastern Europe.

The French leader met Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas on Wednesday, when he said he backed a two-state solution and opposed Israeli settlements.

France's invitation was a "very, very powerful gesture", Netanyahu said in French. In a lengthy speech, French President Emmanuel Macron pointed to the responsibility of the French state for the displacement campaign against Jews during the Second World War.

French president Emmanuel Macron says his glamorous Paris charm offensive on Donald Trump might have changed the USA president's mind about climate change.

The Vel d'Hiv roundup was carried out under orders from the Nazis by the authorities of the Vichy collaborationist government, which controlled part of France following the country's occupation by Nazi Germany.

During the French presidential elections earlier this year, National Front leader Marine Le Pen said it was not France that was responsible for the roundup, but rather "those who were in power at the time".

It was a half century after when then-president Jacques Chirac became the first French leader to acknowledge the state's role in the Holocaust's horrors. "It seems the values of the French revolution - equality, fraternity, liberty - was crushed brutally under the boot of anti-Semitism", Mr Netanyahu told an audience in Paris, which included Jewish groups and Holocaust survivors. "You can't build pride on a lie". Anxious that Netanyahu is backing away from commitment to a two-state solution, Macron assailed Jewish settlement construction as a threat to global hopes for peace. He called for thorough investigation into the recent killing of a Parisian woman believed linked to anti-Jewish sentiment. The Jewish community must know that we, the veterans, did not abandon them.

Addressing Macron specifically, Netanyahu referred to fighting Islamic extremism, stating, "Your struggle is our struggle".

Following the ceremony, Netanyahu arrived at the Élysée Palace for a sit-down with Macron.

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