EJC President Ariel Muzicant and Director for European Affairs Ariella Woitchik attend CRIF dinner in Paris

EJC President Dr Ariel Muzicant and EJC Director for European Affairs Ariella Woitchik attended CRIF annual dinner at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris.

The event brings together French and international Jewish leaders as well as politicians, ambassadors, artists, writers, religious figures, and media personalities.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal was this year’s guest of honour. During his speech, he said that he will “relentlessly combat antisemitism in all its forms, as it is a stain on our Republic. To defend French Jews is to defend the entire nation”.

“My priority is to protect French Jews and to enable everyone to practice their religion freely. We will never get accustomed to hate, and we will never cease to fight” emphasized the French Prime Minister, who also reflected on his personal history, sharing the experiences of his Jewish grandmother during the German occupation of France in World War II.

For his part, the President of CRIF, Yonathan Arfi, said that the “numbers in France confirm what everyone feels. Just in the last quarter of 2023, the number of antisemitic acts is equivalent to those of the previous three years. Antisemitic violence is a burden of terror for French Jews and a threat to all French citizens”.

“The most powerful weapon against ideologies of hate is education. Education to uphold the republican promise of emancipation. Education to combat all forms of determinism. Education as a rampart for critical thinking. Education against all forms of discrimination,” said Arfi, who also condemned the situation in French university campuses.

Gabriel Attal and Yonathan Arfi then presented the Crif-Pierrot Kauffmann 2024 Prize to Natan Sharansky who embodies the fight for freedom and justice.

Members of hostages’ families were also honoured during the event. 

Finally, an emotional tribute was paid to Gil Taieb, CRIF vice-president, for his relentless work and fervent support of the French Jewish community and the State of Israel.