The French city of Bezons has provoked fury among Jews in France and Israel by granting honorary citizenship to the Palestinian terrorist who assassinated Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi, Hy”d, in 2001.
The leftist mayor of the Parisian suburb, Dominique Lesparre, said that he was honoring Majdi al-Rimawi for resisting the “colonization of the Palestinian people.” His statement omitted any mention of the murder, however, for which al-Rimawi is currently serving an 80-year sentence in an Israeli prison.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor on Monday called it “humanly outrageous to honor a convicted murderer; no political view can justify it.”
The European Jewish Congress (EJC) denounced the decision. “This is an outrageous and horrific decision, not just to honor a murderer, but the murderer of an Israeli government cabinet minister,” EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor said.
“Today is exactly a year since the terrible and tragic murder of Jewish schoolchildren in Toulouse and the honoring of al-Rimawi in France demonstrates that murder and terrorism is being glorified when it should be condemned in all forms,” he added.
“We call on the French authorities to immediately remove this stain on the French landscape out of respect for a friendly government, the people of France and tolerance.”
Bezons, with a population of about 28,000, awarded the honorary citizenship last month, according to the March edition of its official newsletter, Bezons Infos. The motion to do so passed unanimously at a special council vote of the municipality.