Macron’s comments on Gaza war are ‘factually, morally’ incorrect, Netanyahu charges
France’s president writes a letter to its citizens after Israel’s rebuke to urge them to combat slew antisemitic crimes committed since October 7
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, slammed French president Emmanuel Macron on Saturday night for remarks he had made a day before in which he criticized Israel’s killing of babies and elderly people in Gaza. He also reiterated his call to a ceasefire.
In a press briefing, Netanyahu stated that the French President had made a “serious mistake, both factually as well as morally” in his accusations that Israel intentionally bombs civilians.
Hamas is preventing civilian evacuation, not Israel. Israel told them to leave,” Netanyahu stated, accusing Hamas for firing on the humanitarian route set up to allow northern Gazans evacuate. He also accused Hamas of using civilians as human salves.
Hamas, not Israel, is responsible for the presence of UNRWA, UN hospitals and UNRWA facilities. Hamas, not Israel, is to blame for civilian harm.
Netanyahu added, “I also say to President France and all our friends: it will reach you as well.” “Immunity cannot be granted to terrorists that commit this double war crime.” We do everything we can to protect civilians and non-combatants. However, we won’t give Hamas a license to kill our citizens if they don’t receive our response.
We can live without moral preaching.
Macron is one of the Western leaders to visit Israel as a sign of solidarity after Hamas’s attack on October 7, in which it killed more than 1,200 people and held at least 240 captives. Macron, during his visit to Israel, called for an expansion of the international coalition to fight the Islamic State terror group.
He has, however, spoken out against Israel’s ongoing operation in Gaza to eliminate Hamas, which is being conducted by the country from the air and the ground. At an international peace conference in Paris, over the weekend, he said that although France shares Israel’s “willingness” to rid itself of terrorism, he disagreed with the idea that Israel’s best protection is to bomb Gaza heavily.
He said that “there was no justification” for Israel to have allegedly bombed “these babies… these women… these old people.”
A French diplomatic source tried to retract the remarks after the pushback by Netanyahu and other Israeli officials Saturday night. The source said that “President Macron has never implied and does not believe that Israeli forces deliberately target civilians.” He has consistently referred to Hamas’s use or civilians as a form of ‘unacceptable’ blackmail.
The source said that while President Macron was aware of Israel’s efforts to facilitate humanitarian access and prevent collateral damage, he believed more could be done given the dire humanitarian conditions facing Gaza’s civilian population. “He believes that a humanitarian ceasefire and a pause in the fighting are the best ways to provide the Gazan civilians with the aid and relief they need.”
The French president wrote a letter to the Le Parisien website on Sunday morning in which he called for his country to fight “the unbearable rise of antisemitism”.
In one month more than 1,000 antisemitic crimes were committed on our land. He wrote that in just a few short weeks, there were three times as many acts of hatred directed at our Jewish neighbors than the entire year before.
“Our Jewish Compatriots are therefore experiencing legitimate anguish.” Fear of sending their children to school. Fear of being alone at home. “Fear to the point that they hide their names to protect themselves,” Macron said. “A France in which our Jewish citizens feel fear is not France.” “A France in which French citizens are afraid of their origin or religion is not France.”
The French interior minister announced on November 5 that since October 7 there had been more than 1 040 antisemitic crimes reported in France. 486 people, including 102 foreigners, had been arrested.
In his letter to the president, Macron praised police actions that were aimed at combating the antisemitism epidemic and returning it “to where it belongs: behind bars and in court.” “No tolerance for the intolerant.”
He referred to the atrocities perpetrated by Hamas in October 7 and reiterated that he supports Israel’s right of self-defense without reservation. He also urged political dialog and the building of a “humanitarian alliance” that would facilitate a “humanitarian ceasefire leading to a humanitarian truce.”
He concluded by calling for unity among French. “We want peace, justice and security for Israel’s people, the Palestinian people, and the countries of the region,” said he.