A French organization that helped Jewish refugees escape the Nazis during World War II has declined to attend a commemoration of Holocaust victims in Marseilles because it deemed its sponsor to be overly supportive of Israel.
CIMADE, a French Protestant group established in 1939, declined to attend the Holocaust memorial ceremony, claiming that its sponsor, CRIF, the representative body of French Jewish organizations, advocates an excessively pro-Israel stance.
“This is a triumph for the worldwide campaign to demonize Israel,” asserted Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center.
“The situation in Europe has deteriorated so profoundly that far too many Europeans have swallowed whole the big lie that Israel is an evil colonialist occupier,” he said.
“This latest outrage is an insult to the memory of the victims of the Shoah whose fate was sealed by an overwhelmingly uncaring European continent and whose lives would have been saved if there had actually been a State of Israel in 1938 instead of 1948,” Cooper maintained. “Frankly, we don’t need those who are only prepared to have a moment of silence for 6 million dead Jews, but who are unwilling to show respect and solidarity for the 6 million living Jews who today are citizens of the State of Israel.”
According to Yad Vashem, CIMADE organized “vital relief” for the Jewish refugees during the Holocaust. Yad Vashem named CIMADE's founder, Madeleine Barot, a Righteous among the Nations in 1988.