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Israeli Envoy Upset at French Parade

July 17, 1989
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel’s ambassador to France, Ovadia Soffer, stalked off the official reviewing stand during the Bastille Day anniversary parade here to protest what he considered a political statement equating Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

More than a million people watched the march Friday along the Champs Elysee, marking the bicentennial of the storming of the Bastille.

There was all manner of floats and merriment. One segment had giant women dancing with small boys from around the world. Israel was represented by a youngster wearing sidelocks and a skullcap.

Another pair featured a small Arab boy wearing a checkered kaffiyeh, the traditional Palestinian headdress, and waving a PLO flag.

Soffer told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he was offended because Israel and the PLO were put on the same level.

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