'Paris won't be passive in face of Iranian threat'

During event honoring Holocaust survivor, French ambassador to Israel says, "anti-Semitism is not an opinion, but an abjection."

September 4, 2012 16:35
1 minute read.
French Ambassador to Israel Christophe Bigot

French Ambassador to Israel Christophe Bigot 311 (R). (photo credit: Pool / Reuters)

French Ambassador Christophe Bigot said during a ceremony in Jerusalem on Monday that his country would not stand idly by in the face of Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“We must act resolutely towards the Iranian regime which seeks not only to have a nuclear weapon, but also denies the very existence of the right for Israel to exist,” he said. “In front of these words and actions, France will not be a passive witness.”

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Bigot, who was a guest speaker at the event honoring a Holocaust survivor, also touched on the issue of anti-Semitism in France, saying it was still a potentially potent force that cannot be taken lightly.

“To play down these acts, or worse, to be indifferent to them, is an indignity because nothing, not even a word, is trivial,” he said “We have to repeat, again and again, that anti-Semitism is not an opinion, but an abjection.”

B’nai B’rith organized the ceremony honoring 90-year-old Holocaust survivor Margot Cohen for her part in saving the lives of Jewish children in France during World War II. The group conferred Cohen with its Jewish Rescuers Citation, an accolade that seeks to highlight Jewish heroism in the face of Nazi persecution.

During the war Cohen was a young volunteer with Yeshurun, a Jewish religious group. In that capacity she helped educate children at a school in Lyon and provide for their welfare. When the school was closed she found Christian families to take in the pupils, preventing their deportation and almost-certain death at concentration camps. She later accompanied groups of Jews on trains to southern France at great personal peril.

The award will also be posthumously conferred on her husband, Jacques Cohen.

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