Paris inaugurated a square named for Jerusalem, sparking protests by pro-Palestinian protesters.
Several dozen people staged a protest rally Sunday in Paris’ 17th district as Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon and Jewish community leaders applauded the unveiling of the sign honouring the Israeli capital.
Paris used to have a Jerusalem Square until 1893, when it was renamed. Joel Mergui, president of the Concictoire Communal Jewish organisation, requested the municipal naming committee to rededicate a square for Jerusalem. The committee voted in favour of the move in April.
Following the approval, the city council members of the France Unbowed far-left movement demanded it be annulled, arguing that naming a square for Jerusalem at present does not advance a vision of the city serving as the capital of a Palestinian state as well as Israel.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo rejected this argument.
“Amid this resurgence of racist and antisemitic violence, it’s good to recall the ties between Paris and the Jewish community and to celebrate the friendship that unites Paris with the State of Israel,” she said in a statement.