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Netanyahu in Paris to commemorate Vel d'Hiv deportation of Jews
17 July 2017, 04:13 | Charlene Valdez
Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron at a press conference at the Chancellery in Berlin
Netanyahu said the Nazis and their French collaborators "shattered the lives of thousands of French Jews at Vel' d'Hiv".
Netanyahu and Macron were due to hold face to face talks at the Élysée Palace, where French media said they would discuss Syria, Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Netanyahu, in a speech he delivered partly in French, thanked Macron for inviting him to the ceremony, calling the gesture a "strong message" attesting to the friendship between Israel and France. "Barbarity is here on the street corner", he said, apparently referring to attacks on Jews by young men of immigrant origin.
Over 13,000 Jews were rounded up by French police on July 16 and 17, 1942 in Paris and transported to Auschwitz.
Macron said France is ready to apply diplomatic levers toward renewed negotiations but gave no specifics.
But as Macron vowed Sunday to fight anti-Semitism in all its forms, the Israeli leader changed his tone and spoke of solidarity with France.
"Not a single German" was directly involved, he said, but French police collaborating with the Nazis.
In 1995Jacques Chirac became the first President of France to accept partial responsibility for the deportation and extermination of 76,000 French Jews.
France's participation and responsibility in the Holocaust has always been a sensitive issue in France and was only officially recognised in 1995 by then president Jacques Chirac.
Fewer than 100 of those who were detained and then sent to the Nazi death camps survived.
In one of the campaign's most controversial moments, Marine Le Pen, Macron's far-right opponent and the daughter of the convicted Holocaust denier Jean-Marie Le Pen, insisted that the French state had not been responsible. "It seems that the values of the French Revolution - liberty, equality, fraternity - these values were crushed brutally under the boots of antisemitism". We have known in Israel a lot of heroism, as have you here in France. They do not hate the West because of Israel, but they hate Israel because of the West. Netanyahu will sit down with French President Emmanuel Macron later today before heading to Hungary in order to meet with other European leaders.
"Tomorrow we will participate in a very moving ceremony to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the deportation of Parisian Jews to the extermination camps", Netanyahu said in remarks before boarding the plane.