The order of world leaders marching in a rally commemorating the victims of last week’s terror attack in France was defined strictly in advance, according to Paris Match.
The piece in the prestigious magazine contradicts reports which were widely repeated in the Israeli media that suggested that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “elbowed” his way to the front row.
Places were decided by a consideration of role (head of state, prime minister, king etc.) Thus French President Francois Hollande is flanked on his left by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who stands just next to PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, and on his right by the president of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who himself stands next to Netanyahu.
French PM Manuel Valls and former president Nicolas Sarkozy were placed in the second row, due their lower rank compared to persons of higher rank and leaders who are currently in office.
Sarkozy, according to Paris Match, was pushed by the crowd to the front row when the cameras were filming, but the officially sanctioned order was restored when the world leaders stood for a moment of silence.