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Macron to Jews: France will fight anti-Semitism, but not recognize Jerusalem

French President Emmanuel Macron acknowledges uptick in acts against French Jews and their institutions, insisting he does not want them to leave the country due to fear.

French President Emmanuel Macron addresses a press conference at the United Nations on Sept. 19, 2017. Credit: U.N. Photo/Kim Haughton.
French President Emmanuel Macron addresses a press conference at the United Nations on Sept. 19, 2017. Credit: U.N. Photo/Kim Haughton.

French President Emmanuel Macron told an audience on Wednesday that he would fight anti-Semitism online and in the streets of France in order to protect the country’s Jews.

“There are hatreds that are rising again; there are the worst kinds of crimes,” Macron said at the annual dinner of the extensive Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France, or CRIF, Jewish umbrella organization.

“We have understood, with horror, that anti-Semitism is still alive. And on this issue our response must be unforgiving,” said Macron. “France would not be itself if Jewish citizens had to leave because they were afraid.”

Official figures show that anti-Semitic crimes increased 26 percent last year in France, with a 22 percent increase in vandalism to Jewish synagogues and cemeteries.

Though CRIF leader Francis Kalifat encouraged Macron to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as has U.S. President Donald Trump and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, Macron called the move an “error.”

France, he said, “would lose this status of honest broker, which is the only useful one for the region,” if it were to recognize the Jewish claim on the city.

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