European Jewish Congress
World Jewish Congress leaders call on Jacques Chirac to help protect Israel against threats
High-level meetings
World Jewish Congress leaders call on Jacques Chirac to help protect Israel against threats

A delegation composed of members of the World Jewish Congress Steering committee was received by French President Jacques Chirac at the Elysée Palace in Paris on Monday. The delegation was led by the WJC President Edgar M. Bronfman and included regional Jewish leaders from around the world. Also in attendance were Israel Singer, chairman of the WJC Policy Council, Stephen Herbits, WJC Secretary General; Matthew Bronfman, chairman of the WJC Budget and Finance Commission; European Jewish Congress President Pierre Besnainou, and CRIF President Roger Cukierman.

The WJC delegation expressed the concerns of Jews notably on the threat posed by terrorism and those countries that act as its sponsor. At the centre of the encounter with President Chirac were the Iranian regime's attempts to develop nuclear weapon capabilities, its strategy to use Hezbollah as a proxy in Lebanon, and its repeated threats against Israel's existence. Mr. Chirac expressed his disappointment about Tehran's rejection of the Group of Six offer.

Referring to the recent war between Israel and Hezbollah, Pierre Besnainou said it was Israel's right to defend its citizens against attacks, whether they come from Hezbollah in the north or from Hamas in the south. Also discussed were ways to improve the situation in the Middle East, notably with regard to the economic situation of the Palestinians, and the role France could play in this respect. Both sides concurred that Israel's right to exist was a prerequisite of peace in the region and not negotiable.

Matthew Bronfman underlined the importantance of UN resolution 1771 being fully implemented, notably concerning the disarmament of Hezbollah, as spelt out in the resolution. He also called on France to help and secure the release of the hijacked Israeli soldiers.

President Chirac assured the WJC delegation of France's commitment to fighting anti-Semitism in all its forms and said that his government would promote the country's legislation against spreading hatred with the other European Union member states. Delegation members commended President Chirac for measures the French authorities take against anti-Semitism in the country.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
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