MOSHE KANTOR (right) is presented with the National Order of the Legion of Honor by France’s President François Hollande..
(photo credit: EREZ LICHTFELD)
Dr. Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, was awarded the Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (Officer of the Legion of Honor), France’s highest decoration, for fighting anti-Semitism and promoting interfaith relations.
Established by Napoleon Bonaparte, for two centuries the award has been presented on behalf of the head of state to reward the most deserving citizens in all fields of activity. The award was bestowed on Kantor at the Elysee Palace this week by President François Hollande, who called Kantor “a man of peace, a man of culture, a friend and a friend of France.”
“You are an inspiring person in the Jewish world, a great figure of the Jewish People in Europe, heading a major institution, the European Jewish Congress, which today represents 42 communities,” Hollande said. “You and the EJC are promoting Jewish culture, interfaith dialogue and tolerance, fighting Antisemitism and racism and preserving the memory of the Holocaust. Because all of these reasons, all of these values – your fight against anti-Semitism and for peace, and for your love of France – we honor you here today.”
Kantor said he was humbled by the honor and saw the award as a testament to the French government’s commitment to French and European Jewry.
“It has been a very challenging year for Jews in France, but I know that the French government is making great efforts to protect our communities and return them to a semblance of normalcy,” he said.
“I hope that the French government will support and even lead the appointment of a European Union special envoy as well as the creation of a task force on anti-Semitism at the European level as has been done so well in France.”