We want French Jews to feel safe, Sarkozy tells UK
NICOLAS SARKOZY gave an emotional speech in defence of France’s Jewish community at a dinner in London on Sunday night.
The former French president and current leader of the Republican party told the guests at the event organised by the Conference of European Rabbis (CER): “It is unacceptable that 70 years after the end of the Holocaust, French Jews are afraid.”
Mr Sarkozy, who had been invited to London by the CER to accept an award for his contribution to European Jewry, added: “We did not fight the Nazis to force the Jews to run to Israel 70 years later. We want them to be comfortable to wear a kippah. We must stand up to protect our Sarkozy in London Jewish communities. It is impossible not to. Without its Jews, France is not France. When you touch Jews, you touch France.”
Mr Sarkozy also hit out at the BDS movement, saying: “The boycott is a scandal and illegal. One cannot ignore that some people hide their antisemitism behind attacks on Israel.”
He tempered his comments with a dose of “friendly” criticism: “The boycott is fundamentally wrong although this does not mean I condone all of Israel’s policies.”
The CER awarded Mr Sarkozy the Rabbi Moshe Rosen prize in memory of the former chief rabbi of Romania who battled for many years to defend his community under Communism.
Guests at the dinner i n c l u d e d F r e n c h A mb a s s a - dor to Lon- don Sylvie Bermann and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.
Russian billionaire businessman Mikhail Fridman hosted the evening, along with CER president Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt.
Reflecting on the award for Mr Sarkozy, Rabbi Goldschmidt said: “President Sarkozy is a deserving recipient of this award. France is the main battleground between hope and fear for the future of Europe, especially for the Jewish community.
“President Sarkozy is at the forefront of that battle and his support is crucial for the future of our communities.”
Amsalem, who was lightly hurt in the attack in Marseille