April 22, 2010
Signs marking Paris’ Ben Gurion square missing
Signs marking the newly inaugurated Ben Gurion esplanade in Paris have disappeared.
The city filed an official complaint with police after the signs were noticed missing on Wednesday.
Pro-Palestinian protesters and representatives of France’s Communist Party led an active campaign to prevent Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe from honoring the Israeli founder.
Despite street protests, Delanoe went through with the renaming of the central Paris square on April 15, in the presence of Israeli President Shimon Peres. On the margins of the event, protests called Denaloe an “accomplice” to “Israeli assassins,” according to the French news agency AFP.
On Wednesday, Delanoe’s office began the process of filing an official complaint about the missing street signs, a city hall spokesman told JTA.
An online video showing the place where the new street signs should have been was posted on the Web site of a group that protested against the city’s initiative, but no one has claimed responsibility for the apparent theft, according to French reports.
The French Jewish umbrella group CRIF in a statement issued Thursday said it was “shocked” by the news of the missing plaques.
The absent Ben Gurion plaques “come in a context of anti-Israeli hysteria,” said the statement, in reference to the campaign to stop the renaming of the Paris square.