French politicians pay respects to Toulouse victims’ families
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French politicians pay respects to Toulouse victims’ families

MPs brought to Israel as part of program aimed at strengthening Franco-Israeli ties

French MP Claude Goasguen, left, meeting with Shlomo Sandler on Monday. (photo credit: Daniel Cohen/Israel Sun)
French MP Claude Goasguen, left, meeting with Shlomo Sandler on Monday. (photo credit: Daniel Cohen/Israel Sun)

Members of the French parliament visited Israel this week, paying calls to families of the victims of last week’s school shooting in Toulouse, France.

Six members of the French parliament, all from the conservative end of the political spectrum, are in Israel as part of a conference designed to foster Franco-Israeli ties.

The conference, sponsored by the American Jewish Committee and MedBridge Strategy Center, was planned before last week’s shooting outside a Jewish school in Toulouse, which left a rabbi, his two children, and another small girl dead.

French politicians had used the tragedy to call for unity in the face of the attacks, especially as the country is in the midst of a divisive election season.

On Sunday, the group paid a visit to the family of Rabbi Jonathan Sandler in Jerusalem, who was killed along with his sons Arieh, 6, and Gavriel,3.

“All that we [can] do is show our support to the families. We will never forget and we will do our best to restore a real image of Israel,” said MP Claude Goasguen, an adviser to the Paris municipality, after meeting with Sandler’s father Shlomo.

The visit was made under the auspices of Project Interchange, which has brought French delegations to Israel, and vice versa, since 2006 as a way of bringing Israel and France closer together on strategic issues.

“As unrest in the Arab world continues to unfold, days after the horrific shooting at a Jewish Day School in Toulouse, and as France prepares for national elections, the time could not be more appropriate for an in-depth seminar aimed at familiarizing French leaders first-hand with the opportunities and challenges facing Israel and the Middle East,” said Sam Witkin, who heads the project.

The delegation also met with Palestinian officials in Ramallah on Monday.

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