After the Parisian suburb of Valenton in October named a street after Fatah arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti, now another suburb of the French capital Aubervilliers has followed suit, raising a furor by granting Barghouti "honorary citizenship" last weekend.
Responding to the Aubervilliers decision, members of the Jewish community contacted the municipality and demanded that it reconsider, noting "this is an unthinkable decision, don't give a hand to glorifying a despicable murderer."
Barghouti is currently serving five life sentences in Israeli prison for his role in planning suicide terror attacks, and is widely believed to have masterminded the second intifada which claimed thousands of Israeli lives from 2000 to 2005. He has continued inciting terrorism from his jail cell.
"We call on you to act immediately to cancel the decision to grant Marwan Barghouti honorary citizenship," said the Jewish leaders. "If not for justice and reason, if not for the memory of the terror victims, do it for the values of France."
"Marwan Barghouti is not a hero worthy of honor, but rather a lowly terrorist murder worthy of denunciation by all people and governments who consider themselves liberal and enlightened," concluded the message.
As noted, Valenton recently named a street after Barghouti, and at the naming ceremony mayor Françoise Baud called Barghouti "the face of the unwavering resistance of the Palestinian people against the occupation, the crimes, the destruction, the apartheid and the colonization perpetrated by the Israeli government."
Baud - who runs the suburb like a commune and is a member of the French Communist Party - also said he intends to launch a "twin city" program with the Arab town of Balata in Samaria.
MK Yoni Chetboun, who at the time served as Chairman of the Knesset Caucus for Israel in France as a member of Jewish Home before splitting with the party and joining Eli Yishai's Ha'am Itanu, wrote to Baud to complain.
"To bestow your honors upon a murderer like Barghouti is nothing short of moral bankruptcy. This is an unfortunate decision that contradicts the (values of) morality and justice which are the foundation of the French Republic," said Chetboun, who himself hails from France.
"Is this the face of France, which claims to be the capital of Freedom and Justice in the Western world?" asked Chetboun.