Emmanuel Macron promised Thursday to set “in the coming weeks” the date of a tribute to the victims of the Hamas attack on October 7 in Israel, saying he would have to wait because families “still have hostages.” “Obviously, we will pay tribute to all the children who have left and to all their loved ones. Simply, it is in consultation with the families that I will decide on the date,” explained the head of state during a ceremony in the Élysée where he was presented with the annual prize of the European Conference of Rabbis (CER) which rewards the fight against anti-Semitism and the safeguarding of religious freedoms.
“How can we pay tribute when there is concern?”
“That’s why I waited, because several of these families have lost children, loved ones, and still have hostages,” added Emmanuel Macron, according to comments reported by a participant. The president of the Central Consistory of France Elie Korchia called on Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday to “officially announce” a date for this tribute ceremony. “How can we pay tribute when there is concern?” the president explained on Thursday. “I hope that you will understand with me what is not hesitation, what is not groping,” he added, promising to set a date “in the coming weeks.”
The ceremony of the European Conference of Rabbis at the Élysée was the subject of several videos shared on social networks showing the lighting by the Chief Rabbi of France Haïm Korsia, under the eyes of Emmanuel Macron, of a candle of Hanukkah, on the first day of this traditional Jewish festival of lights.
The left is stepping up
These images provoked several political reactions, notably on the left: the national secretary for secularism of the Socialist Party Jérôme Guedj thus estimated on religious”. “The Élysée is not a place of worship (…) We do not compromise with secularism,” added Carole Delga, president of the Occitanie region, denouncing “a bad signal sent by the State to the Republic “.
The war between Israel and Hamas, triggered by the attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement on October 7, entered its third month on Thursday. According to Israel, 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed during this attack, and 240 people were kidnapped. The Hamas Health Ministry on Thursday reported 17,177 deaths in the Israeli bombardments that followed.