Emmanuel Macron loses cool with Israeli security in ‘Chirac moment’ at Jerusalem church

Emmanuel Macron loses cool with Israeli security in ‘Chirac moment’ at Jerusalem church
French President Emmanuel Macron asks Israeli police officers to leave the French 12th-century Church of Saint Anne in the old city of Jerusalem on January 22, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 22 January 2020

Emmanuel Macron loses cool with Israeli security in ‘Chirac moment’ at Jerusalem church

Emmanuel Macron loses cool with Israeli security in ‘Chirac moment’ at Jerusalem church
  • Israeli security forces pushed past the French detail and were first to enter the Church of Saint Anne, which is French state property
  • Wednesday’s tense scenes recalled a 1996 Jerusalem visit by late former president Chirac

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron was involved in an incident with Israeli security outside the St. Anne Cathedral which is a French territory in Jerusalem.
President Macron expressed dissatisfaction when Israeli security entered the site and encountered Macron's French security.
The French president allegedly said to the Israeli security, "Get out; we know the rules. Nobody should provoke anybody."

The scene was brief but reminded the French of the late President Chirac's visit to the old city of Jerusalem when he had a problem with Israeli security in the city's narrow streets.
Chirac stopped angrily and demanded of the Israeli security. "Do you want me to go back?" The president also had a problem before entering the French Catholic Cathedral of St. Anne when he was preceded by Israeli security. He refused to enter until Israeli security had left.
Elysee sources explained that St Anne is a French territory in Jerusalem and that the role of France in the city is to protect such places. The Israeli security forces attempted to enter although French security was in charge. The French president reacted to a disagreement between Israeli security and his French guards as he was entering the site; he was able to end the clashes and reminded the Israelis of the rules. He added that everything went smoothly and that no incident occurred.
According to the Elysee, the visit went well.
Macron stressed during his talk with the Israeli president that France would fight anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism especially if they attempted to deny the existence of israel in France.
Macron said during his talk with the Israeli president that France would do its utmost to help Lebanon out of its crisis.
He said, “I share the vigilance against all forms of terrorism that could be carried out of Lebanon and which could threaten the security of the state of Israel or of Lebanon.
Macron later met the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, in Ramallah.