JERUSALEM (Jul. 14)
Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek followed his longstanding tradition Tuesday of boycotting a reception at the French Consulate in honor of Bastille Day, the French independence day.
Kollek explained that he rejected the invitation because the French consul general was holding separate receptions for Jews and Arabs, a situation he found “unacceptable.”
No other senior official of the municipality attended the reception.
Kollek said that attending the ceremony would amount to “a blow to the great efforts made daily in Jerusalem to support co-existence on the municipal level, despite political disagreement.
“This is a form of apartheid we cannot accept,” he said. In the past, the Americans also held separate receptions on the Fourth of July, but it was Secretary of State Alexander Haig who ordered the practice changed, after a long night’s discussion with Kollek.