(JTA) — French President Francois Hollande said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “turned a memorial service in Toulouse into an election rally,” a French satirical newspaper reported.
The weekly Le Canard Enchaine published an unsigned article that said Hollande made the comment last week while flying to Beirut. The item was referring to a visit that Netanyahu made with Hollande to the Jewish school in Toulouse where Mohammed Merah, a radical French Islamist, killed three children and a rabbi in March.
The report was not corroborated in other French media outlets that had correspondents on Hollande’s plane as part of his entourage on his state visit to Lebanon.
Canard had reported in its previous edition that ordinary Frenchmen were unhappy about Netanyahu’s visit.
The paper also reported that Hollande said that Netanyahu was "obsessed with Iran." During his speech, the Israeli prime minister called Hollande a “friend” and thanked him for his “determination” in fighting anti-Semitism.
Canard offers fake interviews regularly alongside investigative journalism features and leaked reports.
According to TF1, a French television network, Hollande’s decision to join Netanyahu in Toulouse was made at the last minute and unplanned.