Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to France this weekend to take part in the unity march in Paris, attend a service at the city’s Great Synagogue, and speak on the terror attack at a kosher market that left for Jews dead:
“Radical Islam is an enemy to us all,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday night at a memorial service held in Paris for the four victims of an attack on a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris on Friday – Yoav Hattab, Yohan Cohen, Philippe Braham and Francois-Michel Saada.
“Today we bow our heads in memory of the victims, as the representatives of a proud nation we stand tall facing evil,” Netanyahu said, choosing to speak in Hebrew, as his address was simultaneously translated into French.
“But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad,” he said, quoting from Exodus 1:12, “because justice and truth are with us.”
“Here’s the truth: Radical Islam is an enemy to us all. This enemy has many names – Islamic State, Hamas, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, al-Shabaab, Hezbollah – but they’re all branches of the same poisonous tree,” he added.
“Even though the factions of radical Islam are fighting amongst themselves, they all want to impose a dark tyranny on the world, to take humanity 1,000 years back. They murder anyone who disagrees with them, especially their Muslim brothers, but their greatest hatred is for Western culture that reveres freedom,” Netanyahu continued.
Netanyahu warned that “those who slaughtered the Jews in the synagogue in Jerusalem and those who slaughtered Jews and journalists in Paris belong to the same murderous terror organization.”
Despite that, he said, “we’re on our way to victory. I promise you – Israel will continue fighting terrorism. Israel will continue defending itself. And we know that when we are defending ourselves, we’re defending the entire cultural world.”
He thanked Lassana Bathily, a Muslim worker at the Hyper Cacher supermarket who saved the lives of six people by hiding them in the store’s walk-in freezer.
The prime minister also hailed France’s “firm position” against “new anti-Semitism” and terrorism.
To the Jews of France he said, “I’m telling you what I say to our Jewish brothers in all countries: You have every right to live in safety and in peace as citizens with equal rights anywhere you choose, including here in France. But Jews today have been blessed with another right, a right that didn’t exist for previous generations: The right to join their Jewish brothers in our historic homeland – the land of Israel.”