French city freezes twinning with Safed to pressure Israel


(JTA) – The City Council of Lille froze the French municipality’s twinning agreement with Safed to press the Israeli government to end its conflict with the Palestinians.

The council voted Monday on what was described as a “temporary freeze” on twinning with the northern Israeli city, the Le Figaro daily reported.

The vote is one of several “initiatives taken notably by the European Parliament to call for a freezing of the privileged agreements with Israel in order to pressure the government and accelerate the resolution of the conflict,” said council member Marie-Pierre Bresson of the Green Party.

Lille Mayor Martine Aubry, of the ruling Socialist Party, told the AFP news agency that the twinning agreement with Safed has not been canceled, but she did not say when the freeze would be lifted. Lille also is twinned with the Palestinian city of Nablus.

Roger Cukierman, president of the CRIF umbrella of French Jewish communities and associations, in a letter to Aubry wrote that the move was shocking to the Jewish community of France, CRIF said Wednesday on its website.

“This decision corresponds with hateful attitudes to the Israeli people,” he wrote.

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