France’s ambassador to Israel on Tuesday rejected any comparison between the deaths of children in Monday’s Toulouse shooting and the deaths of children in Gaza.
Attending a special Knesset committee session called in response to the Toulouse shooting, Bigot condemned the attack as “a crime against democracy and against the joint values of France and Israel.”
In the wake of criticism leveled by Israeli leaders against EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton for linking the Toulouse deaths of children with other loss of young life around the world including in Gaza, Bigot said: “I cannot understand how such a comparison can be made. There is absolutely no relation at all [between the two instances]. What occurred yesterday was an act of cold-blood, intentionally shooting down children in front of their parents.”
The ambassador noted that security levels around synagogues, schools, and Jewish institutes have been raised to the maximum. Bigot also confirmed that the French presidential race has been temporarily suspended due to the shootings.
“This isn’t just a crime against those who were killed, this is a crime against democracy and against the joint values of France and Israel,” Bigot said. “There is tremendous shock in France after this barbaric attack.”
Bigot noted that last year saw the lowest number of anti-Semitic incidents in France in a decade.
The meeting was called by Chairman of the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption, and Diaspora MK Danny Danon (Likud). Danon said that, while there may be fewer incidents of anti-Semitism around the world, they are more serious in nature. He urged governments to adopt a death penalty for anti-Semitic murders.
Jacques Cooper, the representative of the World Zionist Federation, said that in France today Jews are afraid to walk in the street wearing a yarmulka, a situation that is unbearable.
“There is anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism in France today,” he said.
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