Israel’s Netanyahu pays final respects to French Jews killed in Islamist attacks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin on Tuesday (January 13) paid respects to four victims of last week’s Islamist attacks in Paris.

The four lost their lives in a hostage-taking attack at a kosher supermarket on Friday (January 9) two days after the murders of 12 people in an attack on the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine and a separate incident where a police woman was killed. Three gunmen were also killed.

Their bodies were brought to Jerusalem for burial.

“I have been saying it for many years and I will say it again here. These (the murderers) are not enemies of the Jewish people alone, they are enemies of all of humanity and the time has come for all enlightened people to unite and uproot these enemies from our midst,” Benjamin Netanyahu said at a state funeral ceremony at Jerusalem cemetery of Givat Shaul.

Netanyahu stopped short at at any outright call for France‘s 550,000 Jews to leave but reminded French Jews that Israel is keen to welcome them as immigrants.

“Jews have the right to live in many countries, and its their right to live there in full security, but I believe that they know deep down in their hearts that they have one country, the state of Israel, which is their historic homeland, that will always welcome them with open arms, as beloved sons. Today more than ever, Israel is the true home of all of us. And the greater our number, and united in our country, so we shall be stronger in our one and only country,” he said.

Valerie Braham, the widow of Philippe Braham who was killed in the attack, delivered an emotional eulogy at the cemetery.

“I am crying but I know that you are all crying with me and I thank all of you, for all of this. I wouldn’t have believed all of this,” she said and then turned to her late husband in French asking him to keep her family and her late son safe.

Netanyahu and his wife seemed to be tearing as they hugged her when she stepped off the podium.

The four were buried in Jerusalem after the Israeli government agreed to requests from the families, prime minister office said.