PARIS – Hundreds of Jews demonstrated outside the Israeli Embassy here Sunday against the Paris peace summit being held about four kilometers away at the French Foreign Ministry.
“We are here today to express our objection to the Paris Middle East Conference, which we consider as an anti-Israeli tribunal, similar to the negative decisions adopted by UNESCO and the UNSC,” Francis Kalifat, president of the French Jewish umbrella organization CRIF, told The Jerusalem Post.
French Jews, Kalifat said, are disappointed by the French leadership, which refuses to accept the fact that true peace should and could be achieved only through direct negotiations.
“France must realize that one cannot make statements and take such decisions five days before a new administration takes office in the US,” he said.
Jean B., 25, who attended the rally, said: “We are here today to tell our president that Israel has already reached out to the Palestinians in peace. The Palestinians are trying to internationalize the conflict instead of accepting Israel’s hand and opening unconditional talks.”
Israeli Ambassador to France Aliza Bin Noun said at the rally that “France has condemned the terrible attack in Jerusalem, and screened the flag of Israel on the façade of city hall, demonstrating that we share the same values of peace, democracy, solidarity and mutual respect. Yet, France continued with its initiative and the conference convened today [Sunday] – a peace-pretending conference.”
Bin Noun recalled that peace agreements between Israel and Jordan and Egypt were both reached through direct negotiations, and not within international forums.
Elisabeth, a student at the Sorbonne, told the Post
: “We are hoping our leaders will hear our outcry and listen to it. I know that France wants to advance peace, but they are going about it the wrong way.”