Explaining Netanyahu’s Presence at #ParisUnityMarch

Setting the record straight; many who read the headlines would be shocked to learn that of the many world leaders that showed solidarity with the people of Paris over the tragic occurrences over the past week, none were more misplaced than Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, prominent in sticking out like a sore thumb given last year’s bombing of the Gaza strip which resulted in the death of thousands, mostly women and children.

war crimes, Israel, Terrorist state, zionist, murderer,

Now, straight from the horses mouth, according to Haaretz News (link), Israel’s oldest newspaper, French President Francois Hollande had requested Netanyahu not to attend, saying that it would pull the spotlight away from the true purpose of the March, i.e. showing solidarity with France, and focus on Netanyahu’s war mongering and Islam bashing. The same request was made to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Both initially conceded, however Netanyahu reneged on his word (surprise surprise) and showed up anyway, prompting French authorities to extend an invitation to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Excerpts of the full text can be read below:

French President Francois Hollande conveyed a message to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the weekend asking him not to come to Paris to take part in the march against terror on Sunday, according to an Israeli source privy to the contacts between the Elysees Palace and the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.

 Hollande’s national security adviser, Jacques Audibert, contacted his Israeli counterpart, Yossi Cohen, and said that Hollande would prefer that Netanyahu not attend. 

Audibert explained that Hollande wanted the event to focus on demonstrating solidarity with France, and to avoid anything liable to divert attention to other controversial issues, like Jewish-Muslim relations or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The source noted that one of the French concerns – not conveyed to representatives of the Israeli government – was that Netanyahu would take advantage of the event for campaign purposes and make speeches, especially about the Jews of France. 

According to the source, Netanyahu at first acquiesced to the French request.

The French apparently sent the same message to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

However, on Saturday night, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett announced their intention to go to Paris and take part in the march and meet with the Jewish community. When Netanyahu heard they were going, he informed the French he would be attending the march after all.

According to the source, when Cohen informed Audibert that Netanyahu would be attending the event after all, Audibert angrily told Cohen that the prime minister’s conduct would have an adverse effect on ties between the two countries as long as Hollande was president of France and Netanyahu was prime minister of Israel.

Audibert made it clear that in light of Netanyahu’s intention to arrive, an invitation would also be extended to Abbas.

Hollande’s anger at Netanyahu was evident during the ceremony held Sunday evening following the march at the Grand Synagogue in Paris, an event attended by hundreds of members of the local Jewish community.

Hollande sat through most of the ceremony, but when Netanyahu’s turn at the podium arrived, the French president got up from his seat and made an early exit.

The French weekly La Canard Enchaine revealed then that Hollande complained in closed talks after that event that he found it unfortunate that Netanyahu had come to Paris to conduct a “two-staged election campaign,” starting with a memorial for those murdered at the Jewish school in Tolouse, followed by a his speech at a ceremony there.

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