JERUSALEM (JTA) — French President Emmanuel Macron shouted at Jerusalem police officers on Wednesday when they tried to accompany him into a Jerusalem church owned by the French government and considered French territory.
“We know perfectly — everybody knows the rules. I don’t like what you did in front of me. Go out … out,” Macron yelled at an officer on the threshold of Saint-Anne Church in the Old City. The moment was captured in a video that was posted on social media.
“Nobody has to provoke nobody, OK … You did a splendid job in the city. Please respect the rules that have been carried out for centuries. Everyone will respect the rules. Please,” he also said.
However, Jerusalem police officers are posted inside the church on the Via Dolorosa, Ynet reported.
Macron arrived in Israel on Wednesday for the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem to be held the following day.
The faceoff that afternoon echoed a similar incident in 1996, when then-President Jacques Chirac confronted Israeli security officers outside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher as they urged him on and pushed away Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem who were trying to shake his hand.
Chirac demanded an apology from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, threatening to abort his visit otherwise. Netanyahu refused and said that “if he wants to leave, he can leave,” according to Ynet.