Hollande to Jews: Schools and synagogues will be protected


(JTA) — French President Francois Hollande promised French Jewish leaders that Jewish schools and synagogues will be protected.

“He told us that all the schools, all the synagogues will be protected, if necessary, on top of the police, by the army,” Roger Cukierman, president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France, or CRIF, said Sunday morning after a meeting with Hollande at the Elysee Palace.

“We’re wounded, we’re angry. We think substantial, urgent and serious measures need to be taken,” Cukierman told reporters before the meeting.

Hollande also said he would visit the Grand Synagogue of Paris after a solidarity march on Sunday to mark the terror attacks in France last week. He will be joined at the synagogue by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In a national address Friday evening, Hollande called an attack on Friday at a kosher supermarket near Paris a “dreadful anti-Semitic attack.” The U.S. State Department also labeled the attack anti-Semitic.

“We condemn in the strongest terms ‎yesterday’s cowardly anti-Semitic assault against the innocent people in the kosher supermarket,” Chanan Weissman, a spokesman for the State Department, told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday.

Amedy Coulibaly, a 32-year-old Islamist who was part of the cell of brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, who perpetrated the Charlie Hebdo attack on Jan. 7, told a Paris television station during the hostage crisis that he attacked the supermarket because he wanted to target Jews.

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