Diplomacy

Netanyahu Attends Historic Anti-Terror Rally in Paris, Speaks at Grand Synagogue

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday was among the fifty-six world leaders who joined an estimated 3.7 million people in the largest gathering in French history in a show of unity in the aftermath of last week’s terror attacks in Paris that left seventeen people dead.

Bloomberg News reports:

Thousands of police and soldiers were deployed for the march, which featured 56 world leaders. Among them were Prime Minister David Cameron of the U.K., German Chancellor Angela Merkel, King Abdullah of Jordan, Palestinian President Abbas and Israel’s Netanyahu, along with leaders of Spain, Italy, the European Union, Turkey and Tunisia. The U.S. was represented by the Ambassador to France, Jane Hartley.

The march started at Place de la Republique and finished at the Place de la Nation — less than a mile from the kosher grocery where four hostages perished.

Following the rally Netanyahu, along with prominent French politicians including President Francois Hollande, Prime Minister Manuel Valls and former President Nicholas Sarkozy, traveled to the Grand Synagogue in Paris where Netanyahu addressed a crowd of hundreds of French Jews.

The Jerusalem Post reported:

“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. …

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.

After Netanyahu spoke those gathered in the synagogue spontaneously started singing the French national anthem (embedded below).

An essay in Tablet Magazine explained why Netanyahu was greeted with such enthusiasm at the synagogue.

One of the great lessons of the Holocaust for the Jewish people and for all other peoples who have since been threatened with genocide by fanatics—Cambodians under Pol Pot, Bosnian Muslims, and the Tutsi of Rwanda—is that the world will always talk a good game but will do precious little to save you. If you don’t stick together, you will die alone. The fact that the State of Israel exists means that the Jewish people will never be radically alone. That’s why the people in the Grand Synagogue of Paris are cheering.

Today Netanyahu met with the heads of France’s Jewish community and went to visit the Hyper Cacher supermarket where four Jewish hostages were killed on Friday.

The terror incidents which shook Paris last week began on Wednesday when two terrorists attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine, and killed twelve people.

[Photo: Reuters / YouTube ]