French group bars Zeitounis from attending annual dinner

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
February 8, 2012 16:38

 
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France's top Jewish organization has barred the bereaved parents of an Israeli killed in a hit-and-run involving French citizens from attending its annual dinner on Wednesday.

Richard Prasquier, president of Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France, the umbrella group for French Jewry better known by its acronym CRIF, told the parents of the late Lee Zeitouni that he would not let them into the event that French President Nicolas Sarkozy was expected to attend.

"I write to you directly with all the empathy that I have to the Zeitouni family: You shall not attend the [CRIF] dinner," Prasquier wrote in a letter addressed to Itzik Zeitouni.

Prasquier said he suspected the Zeitounis might use the opportunity to protest against the country's laws that prevent the extradition of her suspected killers in front of Sarkozy. He said changing criminal legislation was not part of the CRIF's mandate "no matter how painful the issue at  hand."

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