The French Jewish community has sent 95 representatives on a solidarity tour of Israel.
?We promised to do the same in Haifa as we have for cities like Tel Aviv and Netanya,? said Joel Mergui, the president of the French Jewish communities? umbrella organization, the Consistoire de Paris, at a meeting held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv. Mergui was one of the representatives who organized in 48 hours for the visit.
In an unprecedented gesture, all of the Jewish communities and organizations in France managed to send representatives to the tour; from the head of the Consistoire to the representative of the students? union. They turned out in Haifa, visited the wounded, and met the mayor, Yona Yahav. They also held special prayers at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
Mergui added that the French Jewish community, which has some 500,000 members, has a special function, and said it must fill the Israeli cities. ?The special importance of the delegation is our ability to bring the community to Israel in times of crisis. They have the ability and the experience to do this. We came to thank the Israelis for keeping the land for all of the Jewish people.?
The head of the Marseille Jewish community, Zvi Amar, emphasized that their aim was to convince anyone thinking of cancelling a trip to Israel not to cancel it, ?and anyone who was not thinking of coming, should come,? he said.
He said that there were cancellations in some communities. the general manager of the Tel Aviv Hotel Association, Eli Ziv, told TheMarker that to his amazement there were also new bookings from France, from August 6. Last summer some 25,000 French Jews visited Israel.
Joseph Zrihen, vice president of CRIF, the representative council of Jewish institutions in France, said that in addition to economic activity between the French Jewish communities and Israel, including buying apartments here, they consider themselves to be committed to Israel. ?The keyword is love. We are motivated by uncompromising love for this country, and this is also the reason for our frequent visits here.?
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