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Funerals for the victims of the Toulouse tragedy

Published on March 22, 2012
Speech by Alain Juppé, Ministre d’Etat, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs (excerpts)

Jerusalem, March 21, 2012

(…)

We share your mourning and your sorrow. The despicable murders of Gabriel, Arié, Miriam and Jonathan have devastated the French people. France is in shock. Today the whole national community is thinking of your martyred children and of you, the families torn apart.
The entire political community and the representatives of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths have unanimously condemned this crime.
That’s what I have come to tell you here in Jerusalem, personally and on behalf of the government.

This act of unprecedented violence has struck France to the heart, hitting what is most fragile and dearest to her: families, a father, his young children, your children, our children. That’s why all the children of France – like those in French schools in Israel and all over the world – yesterday observed a minute’s silence in their memory and honour.

Visiting the scene of the tragedy in Toulouse that very morning, President Sarkozy expressed the nation’s solidarity and compassion. Thousands of French people took to the streets in silence to share their revulsion, their sadness, because we’re experiencing a national tragedy that affects each of us in the most profound way.

Today, a stricken France pays tribute to the memory of the victims. But rest assured that France is doing everything possible to protect schools and places of worship so that such a cowardly, vile, indescribable act does not recur. (…)

Do not doubt our determination to combat anti-Semitism wherever it manifests itself. Whenever a Jew is insulted, struck or murdered on the territory of our Republic, the nation itself is targeted and must react. An attack on a Jew in France is not a matter for Jews alone, it’s a matter for the 65 million French people who don’t tolerate it.
Anti-Semitism is contrary to all France’s values. It’s intolerable. (…)./.

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