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