Paris inaugurates square honoring Jerusalem, drawing protests
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Paris inaugurates square honoring Jerusalem, drawing protests

Mayor of Israel’s capital applauds move, as far-left Parisian city council members demand it be annulled

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion, left, Joel Mergui, president of the Consistoire communal Jewish organization, and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo hold the sign marking Paris's new Jerusalem Square. (Courtesy Jerusalem Municipality)
Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion, left, Joel Mergui, president of the Consistoire communal Jewish organization, and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo hold the sign marking Paris's new Jerusalem Square. (Courtesy Jerusalem Municipality)

JTA — Paris inaugurated a square named for Jerusalem, sparking protests by pro-Palestinian protesters.

Several dozen people staged a protest rally Sunday in Paris’s 17th district, as Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and Jewish community leaders applauded the unveiling of the sign honoring the Israeli capital.

Paris used to have a Jerusalem Square until 1893, when it was renamed. Joel Mergui, president of the Concictoire Communal Jewish organization, requested that the municipal naming committee to rededicate a square for Jerusalem. The committee voted in favor of the move in April.

Following the approval, the city council members of the France Unbowed far-left movement demanded it be annulled, arguing that naming a square for Jerusalem at present does not advance a vision of the city serving as the capital of a Palestinian state, as well as Israel.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo rejected this argument.

“Amid this resurgence of racist and anti-Semitic violence, it’s good to recall the ties between Paris and the Jewish community and to celebrate the friendship that unites Paris with the State of Israel,” she said in a statement.

Jerusalem also has a Paris Square in its Rehavia neighborhood, originally inaugurated as the France Square in 1959.

View of Jerusalem’s Paris Square, the intersection of Agron, King George, Ramban, and Azza streets (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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