French President Emanuel Macron stated bluntly on Sunday during an event marking 75 years since the Vel d’Hiv roundup that sent French Jews to the death camps, that France would not join the rising tide of hate directed at the State of Israel.
“We will never surrender to the messages of hate,” he said. “We will not surrender to anti-Zionism because it is a re-invention of anti-Semitism.”
Speaking directly to visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Macron – as have past French leaders – acknowledged the ghosts of the past.
“Not a single German participated,” he said. “Time does its work. Archives open, the truth emerges, stark, irrevocable. It imposes itself upon us all.”
Netanyahu delivered his own speech partly in French, but mostly in English. He praised “the noble French citizens” who protected Jews during World War II.
“This is a special heroism. We have known in Israel a lot of heroism, as have you here in France. This is different heroism,” he said.
“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.”
But Netanyahu added that with the rebirth of the State of Israel was the absolute assurance — that for the Jews at least — that a refuge at last exists.
“The Jewish State is the one certain guarantee that the Jewish People will never undergo a Holocaust again. Never, ever.”