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Fight Against Antisemitism Must Be Based on ‘Universalist’ Values, Macron Tells French Religious Leaders

Militants from the Jewish Defense League (LDJ) and the Koah (“Strength”) organization gather in Paris for the Nov. 11 march against antisemitism. Photo: Reuters/Eric Broncard

French President Emmanuel Macron met with leading representatives of the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths on Monday, issuing an appeal to combat rising antisemitism on the basis of France’s “universalist values.”

Speaking following the parley, the president of the Catholic Conference of Bishops of France (CEF), Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, said that Macron had encouraged sustained outreach to younger people.

Christian Krieger — the president of the Protestant Federation of France who was also in attendance — explained that Macron urged that French youth needed to embrace France’s universalist, republican culture if they were to “avoid victim competition and ultimately build the values of the Republic.”

France’s chief rabbi, Haim Korsia, echoed Krieger’s interpretation, saying that “no one can lock themselves into their sole and simple suffering. At that moment, we segment a society.”

Muslim leaders who did not attend Sunday’s national rallies against antisemitism — which drew 182,000 participants in Paris and more than 20,000 in provincial cities — were also present at Monday’s meeting with Macron, arguing that racism and prejudice against Muslims needed to be in the frame alongside antisemitism.

“I have no lessons to learn from the fight against antisemitism. The Mosque of Paris has always been extremely active in the fight against antisemitism,” Chems-Eddine Hafiz, the rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, said.

Hafiz added that while he had no wish “to compete with the victims” because there has been “a real rise in antisemitism,” he stressed as well that “there has been an outburst of statements made against Muslims.”

In an article for the news outlet Le Parisien published on Sunday, Macron spoke of “the unbearable resurgence of unbridled antisemitism” that followed the Hamas pogrom in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

“In one month, more than a thousand antisemitic acts were committed on our soil: Three times more acts of hatred against our Jewish compatriots in a few weeks than during the entirety of last year,” Macron wrote.

“Our Jewish compatriots therefore experience legitimate anguish. Fear of taking their children to school. Fear of going home alone. Fear to the point of erasing their names to protect themselves. As if the grief was not enough, they are gripped by anguish and loneliness. As if the past feelings transmitted by their parents, their grandparents were suddenly resurfacing,” asserted Macron, who faced criticism for not attending Sunday’s march.

Macron emphasized that Israel had a right to defend itself. “There is no ‘yes but’: putting Hamas out of harm’s way is a necessity,” he stated. However, he added, “this defense must be accompanied by the resumption of political dialogue and ensure the protection of civilians and hostages in Gaza who cannot pay the price of their lives for the bloodthirsty madness of the terrorists.”

Senior French politicians who attended the march in Paris included Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, the speaker of the French parliament, Yaël Braun-Pivet, and her equivalent in the country’s senate, Gérard Larcher. The march was overshadowed by a political dispute over the participation of the far right Rassemblement National (RN — “National Rally”), which was accused by critics of exploiting Jewish fears of antisemitism to push its anti-Muslim agenda.

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Protester Sets Self on Fire Outside Israeli Consulate in Atlanta

Illustrative. Anti-Israel protesters demonstrate outside AIPAC President Michael Tuchin’s vacation home in Los Angeles, Nov. 23, 2023. Photo: Screenshot

i24 NewsA protester was in critical condition on Friday after setting themself on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. authorities said. A security guard who tried to intervene was also wounded.

A Palestinian flag found at the scene was part of the protest, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a news conference. He added that investigators did not believe there was any connection to terrorism and none of the consular staff was ever in danger.

JUST IN: A pro-Palestine protester is in critical condition after they set themselves on fire in “political protest” outside of the Israeli Consulate office in Atlanta.

The protester was reportedly draped in a Palestine flag.

The protester has severe burns and unfortunately, a…

— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) December 1, 2023

“We do not see any threat here,” he said. “We believe it was an act of extreme political protest that occurred.” Everyone inside the consulate building was said to be safe.

Anat Sultan-Dadon, Consul General of Israel to the southeastern U.S., said: “We are saddened to learn of the self-immolation at the entrance to the office building. It is tragic to see the hate and incitement toward Israel expressed in such a horrific way.”

“The sanctity of life is our highest value. Our prayers are with the security officer who was injured while trying to prevent this tragic act. We are grateful to the city of Atlanta’s law enforcement and first responders for all they do to ensure safety.”

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Released Israeli Hostages Call for Captives to Be Freed

Relatives and supporters of hostages kidnapped on the deadly October 7 attack by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, rally for their release, after a temporary truce between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas ended when the terrorist group broke it, in Tel Aviv, Israel, December 2, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Israeli hostages released in the past week by Hamas in Gaza called on Saturday for the immediate release of fellow captives left behind, a day after a temporary truce that had allowed scores to come home broke down.

Tens of thousands gathered at a rally in Tel Aviv outside Israel‘s defense headquarters, where they cheered Yelena Trupanov, 50, standing on a stage just two days after being freed.

“I came to thank you because without you I wouldn’t be here. Now we must bring back my (son) Sasha, and everyone. Now.”

Similar pleas from other released hostages were shown on video.

A seven-day truce, during which Hamas had released more than 100 hostages, collapsed on Friday after Hamas breached the ceasefire.

Israel said on Saturday it had recalled a Mossad intelligence agency team from Qatar, host of indirect negotiations with Hamas, accusing the Palestinian faction of reneging on a deal that would have freed all children and women held hostage.

More than 240 people – Israelis and foreign nationals – were abducted to Gaza on Oct 7. by Hamas terrorists who burst through the border with Israel and killed 1,200 people.

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IDF Foils Stabbing Attack Near Nablus in West Bank, Eliminates Terrorist

Illustrative. Palestinian attacker near Nablus hurls stones towards Israeli troops during clashes at a riot in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, May 5, 2017. Photo: Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.

i24 NewsThe Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported thwarting a stabbing attack on Saturday afternoon against reserve Battalion 7037 at the X junction near Nablus in the West Bank.

According to the IDF spokesperson, the event unfolded when the forces at the roadblock became suspicious of an individual approaching the barricade.

During the questioning process, the suspect suddenly drew a knife and advanced towards the IDF personnel.

ניסיון פיגוע דקירה אירע לפני זמן קצר לעבר כוח צה”ל במילואים מגדוד 7037 שפעל בחסם בצומת האיקס סמוך לעיר שכם שבמרחב חטיבת שומרון.

הכוח חשד במחבל שהגיע לחסם והחל לתחקר אותו, המחבל שלף סכין והחל להתקדם לעבר הכוח.
הלוחמים חתרו למגע והגיבו בירי לעבר המחבל שחוסל. אין נפגעים לכוחותינו.

— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) December 2, 2023

The soldiers, faced with the threat, engaged in contact procedures and ultimately responded by opening fire on the assailant. The spokesperson confirmed that the attacker was neutralized due to the IDF’s action.

It was also noted that there were no casualties among the IDF forces involved in the incident. According to the spokesperson, the situation at the X junction has stabilized, and IDF continues to maintain vigilance in the area to prevent further attacks.

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