France's Macron urges resumption of Mideast peace talks

Protesters in Paris Rally against Israeli PM's Visit

Speaking near the former site of the Velodrome d'Hiver, the indoor cycle track from which the Jews were deported in 1942, Macron said: "It is indeed France that organised" the roundup.

He stressed also that he would never concede to "anti-Zionism" because it represents the new form of anti-Semitism.

"Not a single German was involved", Macron said, adding that he rejects "those who wish to say that Vichy's France wasn't representative of the French nation because "the Nazis knew they could count on the obedience" of that government and thousands of Frenchmen serving it".

It was a half century later when then-president Jacques Chirac became the first French leader to acknowledge the state's role in the Holocaust's horrors.

"Antisemitism is still present and doing well", said Mr Macron. Yes, it's convenient, but it is false. "We seek Lebanon's stability with due regard to all minorities", he said. He called for thorough investigation into the recent killing of a Parisian woman believed linked to anti-Jewish sentiment.

A wave of French Jews is leaving France for Israel over the last few years: 5,000 in 2016 and 8,000 in 2015, according to the Jewish Agency of Israel to Agence France-Presse. By his actions and remarks this weekend, Macron has put France in the camp of those whose desire to see a "peace" deal, though probably naive, does not seem based on animus or lack of good will towards the Jewish state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he opposes the cease-fire brokered by the United States and Russian Federation in southwest Syria, near the border with northern Israel's Golan Heights. "You clearly condemn and fight antisemitism, and you clearly condemn and fight this larger militancy that seeks to destroy our world".

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Macron rolled out the red carpet for Trump on Friday when he was guest of honour for France's Bastille Day festivities. In 2014, the Franco-Cameroonian comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala likened Jews to "slave drivers" and promoted a version of the Nazi salute.

Netanyahu delivered his own speech partly in French, but mostly in English.

"The Israelis are not just securing their borders in southern Syria, they are also working with Nusra and affiliated terror groups".

French expert on the Palestinian cause Jean-Paul Chagnollaud said that "France's stance is still somewhat vague on the matter".

After the Holocaust ceremony, Macron also appealed for renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Stressing that worldwide law should be "respected by all", Macron said: "I am thinking here of (Israel's) continued building" in occupied Palestinian territory.

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