Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

France urges for continuing Israel-Palestine peace talks

France urges for continuing Israel-Palestine peace talks

At a ceremony attended by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr Macron also pledged to fight continued anti-Semitism.

Regarding the Palestinian issue, Macron said France wanted to see a resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in the context of a two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine living side-by-side, having Jerusalem as a shared capital.

"Antisemitism did not die with Vichy", Mr Macron said.

"It was indeed France that organised this", he said, adding that "not a single German" was directly involved. He said this is "convenient, but it is false" as an interpretation of history.

"Recently we have witnessed a rise of extremist forces that seek to destroy not only the Jews, but of course the Jewish state as well, but well beyond that", he said.

During a lengthy and introspective speech marking the 75th anniversary of the Vel d'Hiv roundup, a mass arrest of over 13,000 French Jews in July 1942 that was part of the Nazi effort to eradicate France's Jews, Macron forcefully denounces Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism.

About 76,000 Jews were arrested in France during World War Two and transported in appalling conditions in railway boxcars to concentration camps such as Auschwitz, where most died.

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"Your struggle is our struggle", Netanyahu said, referring to Friday's attack in Jersualem, when Arab Israeli gunmen shot and killed two Israeli police officers.

Ending decades of equivocation, President Jacques Chirac formally admitted France's collective responsibility for wartime crimes, declaring in 1995: "the criminal folly of the occupiers was seconded by the French, by the French state". He also called for an investigation into the death of Sarah Halimi, a 66-year-old woman who in April was thrown from the window of her Paris apartment, which some suspect an anti-Semitic motive. Earlier this month, Macron held talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Elyée Palace.Macron chose that occasion as an opportunity to reiterate both France's support for a two-state solution to end the Middle East conflict and its opposition against Israel's building of settlements in occupied Palestinian territory.

A wave of French Jews is leaving France for Israel over the last few years: 5,000 in 2016 and 8,000 in 2015, according to the Jewish Agency of Israel to Agence France-Presse.

It now transpires that during the conversations held by the USA and Russian Federation with Israel over the ceasefire, Israel had expressed many reservations about the security implications of the deal, and the Israelis now feel that their concerns about Iran, Hezbollah and other Shiite militias were swept aside and not addressed. The radical Islam that Iran and ISIS (Daesh) represent seeks to destroy us and destroy Europe.

Pro-Palestinian and other activists protested Netanyahu's appearance in Paris, criticizing the settlements and the blockade of Gaza.

Macron said that "everything should be done so that negotiations restart" with the aim of reaching a two-state solution, as the worldwide community has long sought.

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