French Jews See New PM as a Hero

(JTA) Cnaan Liphshiz - When teenagers started throwing stones at Jews walking to synagogue in Evry, France, in 2002, Manuel Valls, then the mayor of the Paris suburb, did more than issue a condemnatory news release. Valls, who became prime minister last week, joined the weekly synagogue walk, signaling that the Jews had a powerful ally. To many French Jews, Valls is something of a hero for his unusually robust defense of Israel and the French Jewish community. At a speech last month by Valls at a rally marking the two-year anniversary of the slaying of four Jews in Toulouse, Valls said that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. Valls has explicitly linked his pro-Jewish views to his Jewish wife, the violinist Anne Gravoin, saying in 2011 that his marriage connected him "in an eternal way" to Israel and the Jewish people.

2014-04-11 00:00:00

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