Emmanuel Macron has condemned anti-Zionism as a new form of anti-Semitism in landmark remarks at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of a mass round-up of French Jews during the Shoah.
The new French president strongly condemned Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism during a speech in which he followed in the footsteps of his predecessors by clearly acknowledging his country’s role in organising the Vel d’Hiv roundup, a mass arrest of 13,152 French Jews in July 1942.
“We will never surrender to the messages of hate; we will not surrender to anti-Zionism because it is a reinvention of anti-Semitism,” he pledged at the event attended by Benjamin Netanyahu.
Fewer than 100 of those who were detained and then sent to the Nazi death camps survived. “Time does its work,” the president said. “Archives open (and) the truth comes out. It’s stark, irrevocable. It imposes itself on us all.”
Netanyahu, in a speech delivered partly in French, hailed “the noble French citizens” who risked their lives to save Jews. “This is a special heroism. There is heroism in battle, in pitting one’s life to save others. But the heroism of the people who saved Jews involved putting their families at risk, putting their children, their wives, their husbands, at the risk of execution. We will never forget, never, these great, great human beings.”
Following talks with the Israeli leader at the Elysee Palace, covering Iran and the peace process, Macron said he was ready to lead a push against the threat posed by Hezbollah.
He said: “I share Israel’s concerns about Hezbollah’s activity in south Lebanon and about the arms the group has. I want to try and promote a diplomatic move to reduce the severity of this threat.”