Netanyahu in Paris to commemorate Vel d'Hiv deportation of Jews

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Netanyahu will travel Monday from Paris to Budapest, for meetings with the leaders of Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Netanyahu said that "recently we have witnessed a rise of extremist forces that seek to destroy not only the Jews, but of course the Jewish state as well, but well beyond that".

Macron and Netanyahu also discussed fighting extremism in Syria and elsewhere, and improving economic cooperation.

Mr. Netanyahu's last official visit to France was to attend the unity march following the attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, police officers, and a kosher supermarket in January 2015.

"I call for the resumption of the peace talks between Israel and Palestine, based on a two-state solution", said Macron.

In his remarks on Sunday, Mr. Macron went further than his predecessors in linking attacks on Jewish individuals with attacks against the Jewish state, calling anti-Zionism an updated version of anti-Semitism. Held in inhumane conditions for four days, they were piled on the steps of the Velodrome d'Hive stadium (demolished in 1959), dedicated to cycling races, before being taken to camps in the Loiret.

They were among roughly 76,000 Jews that were deported from France to Nazi camps in the course of the war. Less than a hundred of those arrested in the raid would survive the Holocaust.

France's participation and responsibility in the Holocaust has always been a sensitive issue in France and was only officially recognised in 1995 by then president Jacques Chirac. But it was only in 2009 that France's highest court recognised the state's responsibility. "It is indeed France that organized" the roundup, Macron said. "Yet we must say, and we heard it today as well, we must say that not all was dark".

"Not a single German was involved", Macron said, adding that he rejects "those who wish to say that Vichy's France wasn't representative of the French nation because "the Nazis knew they could count on the obedience" of that government and thousands of Frenchmen serving it".

Netanyahu, in a speech delivered partly in French, hailed "the noble French citizens" who risked their lives to save Jews.

The visit has drawn consternation from critics of the Israeli PM.

The French government trimmed the 2017 defense budget to ensure France meets its commitment to bring its budget deficit below the European Union cap of 3 percent of national income in 2017.

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