40 Leading French Jews Urge Israel to Eschew Terrorist Methods

About 40 French Jewish intellectuals and community leaders have signed a petition condemning terrorism “from wherever it may come,” and urged Israel to ban violent methods which “risk destroying the peace effort.”

The appeal, addressed to Israeli public opinion, was signed among others by writers Elie Wiesel Albert Memmi and Bemord Henri-Levy; by the president of the French Zionist Federation, Albert Najman and the president of the International League Against Anti-Semitism and Racism (LICA), Jean Pierre-Bloch.

The petition is clearly, if not openly directed at Jewish terrorist acts. According to some of the signatories it was prompted by the June 2 bomb attacks against West Bank mayors. Although the perpetrators have not been apprehended or identified, it is widely suspected in Israel and abroad that the outrage was the work of Jewish extremists.

The petition stated that “Certain declarations made in Israel suggest that a minimal fraction of the population accepts or even justifies a Jewish terrorism. “it warned that “Terrorism once started, knows no limits and none can escape its blind madness.”

Other signatories include Chief Rabbi Max Warshowsky of Strasbourg and Chief Rabbi Simon Fuks of Colmar; author Andre Schwartz-Bart; Nobel Laureate Ettienne Wolf; and philosopher Vlodimir jankelevitch.

The petition indicated that a certain segment of the French Jewish community is increasingly willing to publicly express sentiments concerning Israel and the Israeli government’s actions even at the risk that they will be interpreted in a manner adverse to Israel.

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