French Jews See New PM as a Hero – Cnaan Liphshiz (JTA)
(dailyalert.org, Apr. 11, 2104)
When teenagers started throwing stones at Jews walking to synagogue in Evry, France, in 2002, Manuel Valls, then the mayor of the Paris suburb, did more than issue a condemnatory news release. Valls, who became prime minister last week, joined the weekly synagogue walk, signaling that the Jews had a powerful ally.
To many French Jews, Valls is something of a hero for his unusually robust defense of Israel and the French Jewish community.
At a speech last month by Valls at a rally marking the two-year anniversary of the slaying of four Jews in Toulouse, Valls said that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.
Valls has explicitly linked his pro-Jewish views to his Jewish wife, the violinist Anne Gravoin, saying in 2011 that his marriage connected him “in an eternal way” to Israel and the Jewish people.