Antisemitism is still alive and well in France, Israel is told
President Macron confronted antisemitism in France yesterday as he voiced the country’s guilt for sending thousands of Jews to Nazi I death camps. Mr Macron attacked “anti-Zionism” as “the reinvented form of antisemitism” at a ceremony to remember the rounding up in July 1942 of 13,152 Jewish adults and children who were taken to the Velodrome d’Hiver, a cycle track in Paris. Binyamin Netanyahu attended the ceremony, left, the first Israeli prime minister to do so since President Chirac recognised in 1995 that French officials and police carried out the round-up and not their Nazi occupiers. “Antisemitism is still present and doing welI,” said Mr Macron. “Barbarity is here on the street corner,” he said, apparently referring to attacks on Jews by young men of immigrant origin. He cited the example of Sarah Halimi, a Jewish woman who was thrown to her death from a window of her home in Paris by a man shouting “Allahu akbar“. Mr Macron admitted that the French authorities were responsible for the deportation of Jews, leading to 70,000 deaths. Speaking near the site of the velodrome, he said it was France that organised the July 1942 operation. “Not a single German took part,” he added. He regretted that French leaders from Charles de Gaulle after the war to François Mitterrand in the 1980s had refused to acknowledge French responsibility, blaming the Germans and the puppet state led by Marshal Pétain that was allowed to rule parts of France from 1940 having ceded control to the Nazis. That argument was repeated in the presidential campaign by Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Front. She said that today’s France could not be accountable for the Vichy regime. Mr Macron denounced present-day “politicians who are prepared to reverse the truth”. Mr Netanyahu praised the “special heroism” of the French resistance and hailed the “noble French citizens who at great risk to their own lives” saved thousands of Jews by hiding them.