European rabbis honor French PM Valls for combating anti-Semitism
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was honored by a gathering of European rabbis for his “exemplary determination in the fight against anti-Semitism,” less than a month after he announced the beginning of a massive national effort to combat his country’s rising levels of anti-Jewish incidents.
Following a meeting of the CER standing committee, a private ceremony was attended by CER President Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the Standing Committee and Members of the Board of Patrons. The presentation itself was made by Chairman of the Board of Patron Mr Boris Mintz together with Vice Chair Mrs. Joelle Aflalo.
During the ceremony, Chief Rabbi Goldschmidt said: “We made the decision to award Prime Minister Valls the Lord Jakobovits prize after the decisive action Prime Minister Valls took to protect the people the Jews of France from the mobs who were about to make a pogrom against our people and our synagogues.”
“There are some voices asking if there is a future for the Jewish people in Europe? I say the answer this question can only be answered by European governments themselves. And if that answer is to be a positive answer then they must follow the example of Prime Minister Valls.”
The award, now in its third year, recognizes exceptional leadership and friendship to the Jewish communities of Europe. Last year the prize was awarded to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the previous award to former Polish Prime Minister and President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek.
The award is presented in honour of the Chief Rabbi HaRav Lord Jakobovits(1921-1999), who was the first Rabbi to be ennobled in the House of Lords and the second president of the CER.