Israeli speaker hails French standon anti-Semitism

18th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

HERRLISHEIM, France, May 17 (AFP) - The speaker of the Israeli parliament on Monday hailed France's efforts to fight anti-Semitism during a ceremony at a Jewish cemetery in eastern France where 127 graves were desecrated last month.

HERRLISHEIM, France, May 17 (AFP) - The speaker of the Israeli parliament on Monday hailed France's efforts to fight anti-Semitism during a ceremony at a Jewish cemetery in eastern France where 127 graves were desecrated last month.

"We appreciate very much what the French government is doing to fight anti-Semitism and neo-Fascism," Reuven Rivlin told some 50 people gathered at the cemetery in the Alsatian village of Herrlisheim.

"We have confidence in France, the mother of all democracies that has known the damage caused by Fascism, to fight against this phenomenon," added the Knesset speaker, accompanied by Israeli parliamentary deputy Eli Menahem.

"The vandals showed us that the nightmare can once again become reality," Rivlin noted, referring to those who daubed swastikas and sayings glorifying Adolf Hitler on graves in the Herrlisheim cemetery in late April.

Rivlin said a prayer in Hebrew, expressing hope that those responsible would be brought to justice.

The vandalism at the Jewish cemetery in Herrlisheim provoked indignation across France, and highlighted the country's continuing struggle to stamp out anti-Semitic acts.

On Sunday, thousands of people marched in eastern Paris to condemn a recent spate of anti-Semitic incidents, including the defacing of a memorial for Jewish soldiers killed in World War I.

Sixty-seven anti-Semitic incidents were reported in France during the first three months of 2004, compared to 42 in the previous quarter, according to figures released earlier this month by the interior ministry.


© AFP

Subject: French news

 

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