Hundreds of Israelis came to show solidarity with France this Saturday, after Friday’s tragic terror attacks. Carrying French flags and signs, voicing their solidarity, the crowd gathered at Rabin Square.
Many of the attendants were French Jews who made aliyah to Israel. French Ambassador to Israel Patrick Maisonnave presided over the rally, which took place Saturday evening in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square. Maisonnave said France has been targeted in particular for its part in the fight against terrorism and ISIS, and thanked Israel for its support.
“It is a vivid testimony to that fact that France is not alone in this struggle,” he said. “I thank the people and the authorities of this country, Israel, for their flawless support. Democracies do not seek vengance and revenge. They seek justice. The fight against radical Islam is our common struggle.”
In 2014, for the first time ever, more Jews moved to Israel from France than from any other country.
Nearly 7,000 French immigrants arrived in Israel in 2014, double the 3,400 who came in 2013. So far in 2015, some 6,250 French Jews have left for Israel, according to JTA.
The facade Tel Aviv’s city hall was lit up in the colors of the French flag in solidarity.
Former Israeli President Shimon Peres also spoke, as did Interior Minister Silvan Shalom and Knesset Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog. Peres opened his remarks with a speech in French, and emphasized what he called France and Israel’s shared values.
“Tonight we are all French,” he said. “We stand shoulder to shoulder in the war against the barbaric terror that threatens the peace of the whole world. Your war is our war. Your values are our values. They are the values of the entire enlightened world.”
The large crowd sang the French national anthem, “La Marseillaise.”
2,500 Israelis sing the French and Israeli national anthems in solidarity against terrorism in Tel Aviv. Paris, we stand with you against terror. #PrayForParisvia: Happy in Tel-Aviv andPosted by StandWithUs on Saturday, November 14, 2015
Lior Zaltzman is the Forward’s Digital Fellow and a wearer of many hats. When she’s not tweeting from the Forward’s account, she’s creating illustrations, graphics and lists for the various Forward blogs. She can also make comics out of your bad dates in #OYDATE. She graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a BFA in cartooning. Lior Zaltzman can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on twitter @liorca.