Remembering HyperCacher: Bezalel Smotrich’s Tribute in Paris

The Israeli finance minister arrived in France as part of the annual meeting of finance ministers of OECD countries.

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich arrived in Paris as part of the annual meeting of finance ministers from OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.

This is being held at the organization’s headquarters in Paris on June 7 and 8, and Bezalel Smotrich is to represent Israel there.

On the first day of his visit, on Tuesday, he paid tribute to the victims of the Hypercacher attack, Porte de Vincennes, i24 News reported. He was accompanied by Arie Abitbol, head of the Jewish Agency’s delegation to Europe.

“Immediately after my arrival in Paris, it was important for me to come here, to the HyperCacher, to the place where the serious attack of January 2015 took place which claimed the lives of four murdered people. I came here to strengthen and embrace the Jewish community in Paris. Our uniqueness as a Jewish people and as a sovereign state is the special bond for every Jew in the world,” he said.

“I am here today as a member of the Israeli government that is committed to strengthening relations with Jewish communities and strengthening Jewish identity. Through a mutual guarantee, we work to connect all parts of the people wherever they are. The link is inseparable and does not depend on origin, opinion or anything else,” he added.

He thanked the French government “for the uncompromising war against anti-Semitism and the protection of Jewish life in communities across France.”

Following controversial remarks made in Paris last March (he had declared that the Palestinian people were an invention), the far-right minister and his team reportedly had difficulty organizing working meetings with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire , as well as with senior officials from the Paris City Hall, during this new visit in June.

The left-wing association Peace Now denounced the minister’s visit.

Last month, European Union officials canceled Israel’s official ‘Europe Day’ ceremony after national security minister Itamar Ben Gvir, also a far-right party, was chosen to represent the Israeli government.

This article is originally published on fr.timesofisrael.com

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