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Monday, July 19, 2004

IHT: Sharon was 'misunderstood,' aide says

IHT: Sharon was 'misunderstood,' aide says: "Sharon was 'misunderstood,' aide says
Agence France-Presse Monday, July 19, 2004
PARIS The Israeli government said on Monday that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was misunderstood on Sunday in his call to French Jews to leave immediately and move to Israel, a government spokesman told French radio.
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'Sharon was misunderstood,' the spokesman, Avi Pazner, told the Europe 1 radio station. 'He concluded that French Jews, but also those of the entire world, belong in Israel.'
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Sharon made a public call to the 600,000 French Jews to 'immediately' move to Israel in the face of growing anti-Semitism, an appeal dismissed as 'unacceptable' by the French Foreign Ministry and strongly criticized by Jewish organizations.
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'Altogether I have to advocate to our brothers in France: move to Israel as early as possible,' Sharon said. 'That's what I say to Jews all around the world, but there I think it's a must. They have to move immediately.'
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Pazner said Sharon had taken care to put his comments in context of his opinion, 'which is that the place of the Jews is in Israel.'
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He stressed that the prime minister had hailed the French government for its measures to combat increasing anti-Semitism and racially motivated attacks.
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In his speech to an American Jewish association in Jerusalem, Sharon lay much of the blame for the increase in anti-Semitism on the growing Muslim community in France, now numbering about five million people.
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The French government denounced Sharon's remarks.
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'We immediately made contact with the Israeli authorities to ask them to explain these unacceptable comments,' a Foreign Office statement said.
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Richard Prasquier, a member of the executive committee of the Representative "

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