By Yotam Rozenwald
Thousands of Israelis showed their solidarity and sympathy at the funerals of the four victims killed by a terrorist attack on the kosher supermarket Hyper Cacher in Paris.
The victims were buried on Tuesday, January 13 at noon in the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem. All the victims were Jewish; Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, Phillipe Barham and Francois-Michel Saada.
Although the victims were French citizens, their families asked the Israeli authorities for permission to bury their bodies in Israel. Israel’s government agreed, and made the necessary arrangements.
The funerals were attended by many Israeli public figures, as well as key figures from the French Jewish community, numbered at 500,000 strong. Speeches were made by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, head of opposition Isaac Herzog and French Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development and Energy, Segolene Royal.
Prime Minister Netanyahu talked about his visit to Paris the previous day during his speech at the funerals. “Yesterday, I returned from Paris, where I participated in the anti-terror march alongside leaders from all over the world. I think that the majority of them understand, or at least starting to understand, that radical Islam is a real threat to world peace”.The Israeli prime minister also added that Islamic terror is not just a Jewish or Israeli problem but a problem for all humanity. “It is time all people of all cultures unite, and eject these elements among us.”
President Rivlin addressed French minister, Royal, saying: “European leaders must obligate themselves to act in an effective manner; they must obligate themselves and act with a firm hand, so that Jewish people in Europe can feel safe again, whether in Toulouse, Paris, Brussels or Burgos.”
French Minister, Royal commented that “I want to give my condolences on behalf of the French Republic, which shares your grief…the victims were murdered for being Jewish, which is outrageous.”
“Anti-Semitism has no place in France and that is the message carried by the millions of French people who marched on Sunday.” Royal, announced in her eulogy that the four victims will receive a posthumous French honor, “Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur ” (Legion of Honor), which is the highest decorative honor bestowed in France.