Skip To Content
Breaking News

Benjamin Netanyahu Defends Decision To Attend Paris March

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was set to visit the site of the Paris supermarket attack less than a day after reports surfaced that the French president asked him to not attend the unity march.

Netanyahu on Monday met with French Jewish community leaders, calling the memorial service the previous night at Paris’ Great Synagogue “a moment of genuine Jewish solidarity,” and the march through the streets of Paris “a moment of general solidarity with humanity.”

He added in defense of his attendance at the march: “There is great significance in what the world saw, the Prime Minister of Israel marching with all the world leaders in a united effort against terrorism, or at least in a call for unity. This is something the State of Israel has been saying for many years. This is what we are saying here today with one simple addition: If the world does not unite now against terrorism, the blows that terrorism has struck here will increase in a magnitude that can scarcely be conceived; therefore, I hope that Europe will unite. I hope that it will also take action.”

Netanyahu also was scheduled on Monday to visit the kosher supermarket where Friday’s deadly attack occurred, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman. No speeches were scheduled for the visit to pay tribute to the four Jewish men who were killed in the attack by a radical Islamist.

Israeli media reported early Monday that French President Francois Hollande in a conversation with Netanyahu on Friday night following the end of the hostage standoff at the Hyper Cacher said he did not want Netanyahu to attend the march for fear it would divert attention from the unity message by adding a focus of the Israel-Palestinian conflict or Muslim-Jewish relations.

According to the reports, when Netanyahu decided to attend Hollande extended an invitation to the Israeli president, as well as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas also attended the march.

Netanyahu originally said he would not attend the Paris march due to security considerations, but reportedly changed his mind after political rivals Jewish Home Party leader Naftali Bennett, and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman announced their intentions to attend.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.