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French security official: If I were Jewish, I’d leave and join the IDF

Marseille police official makes statement to Kurdish activists protesting world inaction to save brethren in Syria, Iraq from IS

A man wearing a kipah looks on, as people take part in a demonstration called by the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France on July 31, 2014, in front of a Lyon synagogue. (AFP/Romain LaFabregue/File)
A man wearing a kipah looks on, as people take part in a demonstration called by the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France on July 31, 2014, in front of a Lyon synagogue. (AFP/Romain LaFabregue/File)

A senior official with the police department of Marseille in southern France said that if he were Jewish, he would leave for Israel and join its army.

Gilles Gray, who is the secretary of the city’s prefect of police, made the statement on Thursday at the prefecture during a conversation with Kurdish activists protesting what they describe as insufficient action to save Kurds in Syria and Iraq from assaults by the fighters of the ISIS jihadist group.

“Your brethren are there, but you are here, causing trouble in Marseille,” Gray told the activists in the conversation, whose recording was obtained by the Marsaillase daily and published on its online edition Tuesday.

“It’s like with the Jewish community. Me, if I were a Jew in Marseille who cared about my people and country, I would be in the Israeli army, not in Marseille.”

An Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighter fires at Islamic State (IS) militant positions, from the top of Mount Zardak, a strategic point about 15 miles east of Mosul, on September 9, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/JM Lopez)
An Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighter fires at Islamic State (IS) militant positions, from the top of Mount Zardak, a strategic point about 15 miles east of Mosul, on September 9, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/JM Lopez)

Marseille is home to France’s second-largest Jewish community with approximately 60,000 people.

Gray added that demonstrations by Kurdish activist distract police from preventing terrorist activities on French soil.

“When we’re busy with you, we don’t protect the schools,” he is heard saying. One of the delegates said he hoped Gray was telling the truth, to which he replied: “I never lie. I’m a protestant. It ‘s a flaw of mine: I tell it like it is.”

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