Heartwarming Show of Solidarity During French Victims’ Funerals in Israel
by Yotam Rozenwald / Tazpit News Agency
On Tuesday, thousands of Israelis showed their solidarity and sympathy at the funerals of the four victims killed at a kosher supermarket in Paris last week.
The victims were buried at noon in the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem. All the victims were Jewish: Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, Phillipe Barham, and Francois-Michel Saada.
Although the victims were French citizens, their families asked the Israeli authorities for permission to bury their bodies in Israel. Israel’s government agreed, and made the necessary arrangements.
The funerals were attended by many Israeli public figures, as well as key figures from the French Jewish community, numbered at 500,000 strong. Speeches were made by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, head of opposition Isaac Herzog, and the French Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development and Energy, Segolene Royal.
Prime Minister Netanyahu talked about his visit to Paris. “Yesterday, I returned from Paris, where I participated in the anti-terror march alongside leaders from all over the world. I think that the majority of them understand, or at least are starting to understand, that radical Islam is a real threat to world peace.” Netanyahu also added that Islamic terror is not just a Jewish or Israeli problem, but a problem for all humanity. “It is time all people of all cultures unite, and eject these elements among us.”
President Rivlin addressed French minister Royal, saying: “European leaders must obligate themselves to act in an effective manner; they must obligate themselves and act with a firm hand, so that Jewish people in Europe can feel safe again, whether in Toulouse, Paris, Brussels, or Burgos.”
French Minister Royal stated, “I want to give my condolences on behalf of the French Republic, which shares your grief…the victims were murdered for being Jewish, which is outrageous. Anti-Semitism has no place in France and that is the message carried by the millions of French people who marched on Sunday.”
Royal announced in her eulogy that the four victims will receive a posthumous French honor, “Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur ” (Legion of Honor), which is the highest decorative honor bestowed in France.