Posts Tagged ‘Israel-Palestinian conflict’

Macron, Netanyahu mark 75 years since Paris roundup of Jews

July 16, 2017

AFP

© AFP / by Gina DOGGETT | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined French President Emmanuel Macron at a ceremony marking the roundup of 13,000 Jews in Paris in 1942 who were then sent to Nazi death camps 
PARIS (AFP) – French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday marked 75 years since the roundup of some 13,000 Jews to be sent to Nazi death camps, calling France’s responsibility a “stark truth” at a ceremony attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Speaking near the former site of the Velodrome d’Hiver, the indoor cycle track from which the Jews were deported in 1942, Macron said: “It is indeed France that organised” the roundup. “Not a single German” took part.

Netanyahu’s presence at the ceremony sparked controversy, with the Union of French Jews for Peace (UJFP) calling the invitation “shocking” and “unacceptable”.

The UJFP accused the Israeli government of “usurping the memory of the victims of Nazism to make people believe that Israel represents all the world’s Jews”.

The ceremony marked the day when officials of the Vichy regime in Nazi-occupied France began rounding up 13,152 Jews and taking them to the Velodrome d’Hiver, an indoor cycle track in Paris.

Fewer than 100 of those who were detained at the so-called Vel d’Hiv and then sent to the Nazi death camps survived.

Macron was the fourth French president to accept blame for France’s role in the deportations — which totalled more than 75,000 — since Jacques Chirac first did so in 1995.

“Time does its work,” Macron said. “Archives open (and) the truth comes out. It’s stark, irrevocable. It imposes itself on us all,” Macron said.

– ‘Sacred honour’ –

Netanyahu hailed the “special heroism” of the French resistance to the Nazis, praising the “noble French citizens who at great risk to their own lives” saved thousands more Jews from perishing in the death camps where at least six million would die overall between 1941 and 1945.

“For the sacred honour of those who perished… let us remember the past, let us secure tomorrow,” he said.

“The strength of Israel is that it is the one certain guarantee that the Jewish people will never undergo a Holocaust again.”

Among other critics of Netanyahu’s presence was former French ambassador to Israel, Elie Barnavi, who told AFP it made him “a little uneasy”. He added: “This story has nothing to do with Israel.”

Among Sunday’s other speakers were prominent French Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld and Pierre-Francois Veil, son of Holocaust survivor and rights icon Simone Veil, who died late last month aged 89.

Netanyahu’s visit is the first since he joined a massive march attended by numerous world leaders held in solidarity with the victims of the January 2015 terror attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and a Jewish supermarket.

He was to hold talks later Sunday with Macron, the first since the French president’s election in May.

Macron met Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas on Wednesday, when he reiterated both France’s support for a two-state solution to end the Middle East conflict, and its opposition to Israel’s building of settlements in occupied Palestinian territory.

Netanyahu arrives just after a surge of violence in Israel, where a gun attack by three Arab Israelis in Jerusalem’s Old City Friday left two Israeli police officers and the attackers dead.

He is expected to sound Macron out on his position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But it is not yet clear whether Macron will follow the pro-active line taken by his Socialist predecessor Francois Hollande, whose efforts to mobilise the international community on the question angered Israel.

Talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been at a standstill since the failure of US mediation in the spring of 2014.

Since then the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has simmered on, with the occasional surge of violence such as Friday’s killings.

The two leaders are also expected to discuss Israel’s arch-foe Iran, in particular Tehran’s role in the Syrian conflict, where it is backing President Bashar al-Assad.

by Gina DOGGETT
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Netanyahu in Paris to commemorate Vel d’Hiv deportation of Jews to Nazi death camps

July 16, 2017

BBC News

This file photo taken in 1942 shows Jewish deportees in the Drancy transit camp, their last stop before the German concentration camps
This file photo taken in 1942 shows Jewish deportees in the Drancy transit camp before being sent to Auschwitz. AFP photo

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Paris to commemorate the victims of a mass arrest of Jews in Nazi-occupied France in 1942.

More than 13,000 Jews were rounded up and detained at a cycling stadium, the Velodrome d’Hiver, before being deported to Nazi death camps.

Mr Netanyahu will also hold direct talks for the first time with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The visit has been criticised by some groups as politicising a tragedy.

The Union of French Jews for Peace (UJFP) described the decision to invite Mr Netanyahu as “shocking” and “unacceptable”.

Mr Netanyahu is attending a commemoration ceremony in Paris on Sunday morning, marking 75 years since the Vel D’Hiv round-up.

Out of the more than 13,000 Jews arrested by French police on 16 and 17 July 1942, about 4,000 were children.

The families were taken to the Velodrome D’Hiver, a cycling stadium near the Eiffel Tower, or an internment camp set up just outside the capital at Drancy.

They were then deported by train, mostly to Auschwitz concentration camp. Fewer than 100 people survived.

The episode remains controversial in France. Marine Le Pen, Mr Macron’s far-right opponent in this year’s election, drew strong criticism on 9 April when she suggested France was not responsible for the tragedy.

Mr Netanyahu’s attendance at the commemoration ceremony has not been welcomed by everyone in France.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hold direct talks with President Macron at the Élysée Palace. AFP

Elie Barnav, a former French ambassador to Israel, told AFP news agency: : “The presence of Netanyahu makes me a little uneasy.

“This story has nothing to do with Israel.”

After the ceremony, Mr Netanyahu will hold talks with Mr Macron, where commentators say he will be probing his French counterpart’s intentions towards the Middle East peace process.

When Mr Macron met Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Paris earlier this month, he reiterated France’s support for a two-state solution and opposition to Israel’s building of settlements in occupied territory.

The meeting with Mr Netanyahu comes amid concerns of another increase in violence in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Two Israeli policemen were killed and a third wounded by three Israeli Arabs in a gun attack close to the compound in Jerusalem known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif on Friday. The attackers were later killed by security forces.

The holy site was closed after shooting but Israel said it would be reopening on Sunday.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40622845

Below: Monuments to the Deportation to the Velodrome d’Hiver

Image result for monument, paris, deportation of the jews, photos

See also:

http://samgrubersjewishartmonuments.blogspot.com/2013/07/paris-monuments-to-deportation-to.html

Hundreds flee wildfires near Jerusalem

November 25, 2016

AFP

© AFP/File | Israeli authorities evacuated 60,000 people from Haifa because of a spate of wildfires

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Hundreds of people were evacuated from an Israeli village near Jerusalem overnight, police said Friday, as firefighters battled wildfires that have forced tens of thousands to flee around the country.

The evacuations in Beit Meir, a cooperative village of religious Jews, came after 60,000 people in Israel’s third-largest city Haifa were moved to safety on Thursday because of a spate of fires.

“All the Beit Meir area has been evacuated — several hundred people, maybe 400,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.

Rosenfeld said that a suspect had been arrested in connection with the blaze, but did not elaborate.

Police have arrested a number of people in connection with the fires across the country.

Some are suspected of criminal negligence leading to accidental fires in tinder-dry woodland and undergrowth, while there are also suspicions that some may have been deliberate and related to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Police on Friday morning reported the outbreak of a new fire near the southern town of Kiryat Gat.

In the north, thousands of residents of the mixed Jewish-Arab coastal city of Haifa spent the night in temporary accommodation.

The Haifa fires were “under control” on Friday morning, Rosenfeld said, but he cautioned that “things can change and develop as we speak.”

Firefighters and rescue services say strong and changeable winds make developments hard to predict.

“At the moment, (Haifa) residents who were evacuated from their homes are not allowed to go back,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement.

Entire neighbourhoods of the port city have been evacuated, along with Haifa University and local prisons.

Meteorologists say a long dry summer and so-far rainless autumn have brought about ideal conditions for fires to spread — whether sparked by accident or on purpose.

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