Thousands attend funeral in Jerusalem for victims of Paris supermarket attack

“Dear families, Yoav, Yohan, Philippe, Francois-Michel, this is not how we wanted to welcome you to Israel. This is not how we wanted you to arrive in the Land of Israel, this is not how we wanted to see you come home, to the State of Israel, and to Jerusalem, its capital. We wanted you alive, we wanted for you, life,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said in an address at the funeral Tuesday at the Givat Shaul Cemetery in Jerusalem, reports JTA.

The victims “were murdered on the eve of the Sabbath, in a kosher supermarket in Paris, in cold blood, because they were Jewish,” Rivlin said. He called on the leaders of Europe to work to “commit to firm measures” to protect their communities’ Jews.

At the funeral Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a call, as he has several times since the attack, for Jews to make their homes in Israel. “Jews have a right to live in many countries and have full security, but I believe that they know in their heart, there is one country which is their historic home, a state which will always accept them with open arms. This is the hope of the entire Jewish people,” he said.

Yoav Hattab, 21; Philippe Braham,45;  Yohan Cohen, 22; and Francois-Michel Saada, 64, were killed Jan. 9 when Amedy Coulibaly took more than 20 people hostage at the Hyper Cacher supermarket. Coulibaly was killed when police stormed the shop.

Some attending the funeral held signs in French reading “Je suis Juif,” “Je suis Israelien” above photos of the victims. The family members recited together the Mourner’s Kaddish after being assisted in tearing their clothes in the traditional Jewish sign of mourning.

At the funeral Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a call, as he has several times since the attack, for Jews to make their homes in Israel. “Jews have a right to live in many countries and have full security, but I believe that they know in their heart, there is one country which is their historic home, a state which will always accept them with open arms. This is the hope of the entire Jewish people,” he said.

“Anti-Semitism has no place in France,” French government minister Segolene Royal told the funeral. “ Following her address, Royal bestowed the Order of the Legion of Honor, the country’s highest civilian honor, on each victim.

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