French group bars Zeitounis from annual dinner

CRIF says parents of Israeli victim run over by French citizens might disrupt annual event.

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
February 8, 2012 16:45
1 minute read.
Hit-and-run victim Lee Zeitouni

Hit-and-run victim Lee Zeitouni 311. (photo credit: Courtesy: Facebook)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

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

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 President Nicolas Sarkozy was expected to attend.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


“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 Lee Zeitouni's father, Itzik.

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.”

Lee Zeitouni, 25, was run over in Tel Aviv by a car rented by Claude Issac Khayat and Eric Rubin, two French Jews vacationing in Israel, in the early morning hours of September 16, 2011. The driver fled the scene without informing authorities, leaving Zeitouni to die. Khayat, Rubin and their families hastily boarded a flight hours later back to France, which has no extradition agreement with Israel. Since then, the bereaved family has fought to bring Khayat and Rubin to be tried in Israel, but the two object saying they would not get a fair trial.

The Zeitounis have approached French politicians and personalities including Carla Bruni, the wife of Sarkozy, asking them to intervene.

Prasquier finished his letter with a stark warning to the Zeitounis.



“It is my obligation to prevent you from entering. If you decide to show up without being invited then I assure you that you shall bear the responsibility towards France, the French justice system, the French Jewish community and Israel and the memory of your precious Lee,” he wrote.

A group campaigning to extradite Khayat and Rubin to Israel lashed out against Prasquier, saying his position was immoral.

“This is a surprising, painful and mean letter sent by the chairman of the organization,” it said. “The letter sheds light on his personality, morals, principles and conduct.”

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery

By JPOST.COM STAFF