Netanyahu at the Grand Palais: Much to celebrate!

Connecting French and Jewish history with current French-Jewish relations, Netanyahu stressed the values both people share.

June 5, 2018 23:40
Netanyahu at the Grand Palais: Much to celebrate!

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Paris Grand Palais. (photo credit: GPO PHOTO DEPARTMENT)

"We celebrate tonight 70 years of Israeli Independence and 70 years of French-Israeli friendship," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday at the Paris Grand Palais before adding "and there is much to celebrate!" 

"Why are our nations such close allies?" He asked.

"I imagine the answer can be summarized in three words, words that you know," he added, "freedom, equality and liberty."

Netanyahu mentioned that Paris was the site where French writer Emile Zola defended the French-Jewish officer Alfred Dreyfus, the officer was said to be disloyal to France and antisemitism played a major role in his trial and punishment.

Netanyahu added that the Dreyfus Affair inspired Theodor Herzl to write "The Jewish State", one of the most important texts of modern Zionism.

Until the Dreyfus Affair Herzl supported Jewish integration in European society.

Netanyahu was clear that much more than antisemitism links France to Israel, he mentioned how both people value democracy and human rights and pointed out how Israeli medical skills and technology aid people around the world.

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