On March 27th I hosted, in the European Parliament, a conference “TO SAVE THE ISRAELI DEMOCRACY” co-organized with JCall and the Jewish Secular Community Center of Brussels (CCLJ David Susskind).

With the participation of :

Elie Barnavi, historian, former Israeli ambassador in France

David Chemla, General European Secretary of JCall (modérator)

Alain Finkielkraut, philosopher, member of the French Academy

Patrick Klugman, attorney, activist, JCall’s founding member

Rivon Krygier, rabbi of Adath Shalom from the conservative movement

Noa Achinoam Nini, singer

Anne Sinclair, journalist, essayist

and via video :

Robert Badinter, former French Justice Minister, former President of the French Constitutional Council

Maurice Levy, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Publicis

Tzipi Livni, former Israeli Minister of Justice and Foreign Affairs

Dominique Schnapper, sociologist, former member of the French Constitutional Council

Recording of the conference

Verbatim of my speech

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, thank you for being here so many of you, and thank you also for coming to refute, by your very presence, the nonsense about the silence of the Jews of France.

In France as elsewhere, in France as in Israel, Jews are politically diverse, but as in the United States, in France and in Israel, the vast majority of Jews are, with the help of history, ardent supporters of the liberties, the Enlightenment and democracy.

In France as in Israel, there are only a few, a very small minority, who put their reading of the texts above the Republic and dream of imitating Iran, its theocracy and the primacy of the clergy over the Parliament, the Justice, the armed forces and above all, over the citizens.

Yet this minority was threatening to impose itself on Israel because the leader of a major party needed it to escape prosecution.

Israel was threatened with a journey into darkness, but we know the reaction that such a prospect alone provoked. As proof of its vitality, proof of its democracy, for two months now Israel has been on the streets, left and right, start-ups and the army, young and old, Ashkenazi, Russian and Sephardic.

The overwhelming majority of Israelis defend a secular and democratic state, a regime whose democracy is defined not only by the organisation of elections but also by the existence of strong checks and balances and a strict separation of powers.

It is out of solidarity with this Israel that we are gathered here this evening, but we are also gathered here because every European democrat has a duty to defend the rule of law everywhere, and to do so first and foremost at the Union’s borders and of course within the Union.

What we are fighting in Budapest we must also fight in Jerusalem and that is why I, as an MEP, feel honoured and in my role as an elected representative of the Union in sponsoring this JCall meeting and welcoming you this evening with happiness, hope and pride.

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