The Jewish National Fund held an event honoring Israel in the heart of Paris Sunday, but the real reason for the event was a desire by Israeli authorities to support French Jews in a time of trouble.
Over 15,000 people, most of them Jews, are expected to attend the two-day event – an exhibit titled “Israel Today and Tomorrow.”
The event received unprecedented security: central streets were cordoned off, and police snipers were placed on rooftops.
Ultranationalists gathered with the intent of marching on the event, but were blocked by police – both uniformed and undercover – a long distance away. The extremists managed to send a smaller group closer to the event but this group was spotted and chased away by pro-Israel activists. This clash brought the police into action, and the extremists were chased down and arrested.
Minister Uzi Landau, who took part in the event, said that Israel and French Jews must "delegitimize those who delegitimize us." He called for Jewish pride and quoted early hassidic mystic Rabbi Nachman of Uman, who said that "The entire world is a very narrow bridge, and the main thing is not to fear at all."