Annual Franco-Israeli enterprise dinner held in Paris as battle rages in Israel and Gaza
This annual gathering of bilateral shining enterprise figures, sure potential rising stars from each France and Israel, and tables of longtime French company backers (with wives and husbands) is generally not in itself newsworthy.
However Henri Cukierman, president of host the Chambre de Commerce France Israel (CCFI), answered from the get-go the unasked query of the night: why is that this dinner totally different from all different dinners?
“The 1,400 Israelis killed within the October 7 assault equal 78 Bataclans and 18 September 11s,” he mentioned to open the night, referring to the lethal collection of assaults in Paris by French Islamic radicals in 2017 and the destruction of the World Commerce Middle in New York in 2001. “It’s going to be a protracted battle,” he informed attendees, including “Iran should not change into a nuclear energy.”
Cukierman then led a minute of silence within the eating room of the opulent Pré Catelan Home within the Bois de Bologne. He proceeded to introduce visitor speaker Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of TotalEnergies, the sixth largest power group on the earth.
Cukierman informed me later that the Israeli enterprise figures invited, some who come yearly, have been no-shows. “All of them canceled after October 7 ,” he mentioned, noting that the variety of French company tables remained the identical, sixteen, however that “20% extra French people registered to attend following the Hamas assault,” for a complete of some 300 visitors.
For him, the message was clear. “It’s not precisely enterprise as common, however let’s say that individuals are adapting to make it appear to be enterprise as common. In different phrases, the present goes on. The shop should keep open.”
On the podium, Whole CEO Pouyanné mentioned, “We are able to solely be with Israel.” Whole is lively within the area, with off-shore oil rigs working off the coasts of Israel and Lebanon. He commented that, even with all of the renewable power sources on the earth, the demand and want for traditional oil and carbon-based power was larger than ever. Pouyanné was not enthusiastic about talking with “Globes”.
Extra on the bilateral enterprise scene in a minute.
Through the cocktail hour earlier than dinner, I used to be launched to 2 non-business Franco-Israelis by one other uncommon journalist current, I24 Information Paris correspondent Hélène Corbie. She had simply interviewed Ariane Tamir. Why? As a result of Ariane has for years visited her cousins, the Haran and Kipnis households, on Kibbutz Be’eri, 5 kilometers east of Gaza. Hamas took away her total prolonged household there, killing three of them and holding seven others hostage.
She has had no information of them since that all-round vicious day.
“You ask me, have I cried for them? No, since they have been taken, I’ve not cried. I can’t,” she tells me. “You understand, I perceive the anger of the Palestinians, however I can’t perceive how they specific it.”
I take a look at Ariane Tamir, quick gray hair, early 70s, a kindly, unsmiling face, soft-spoken even once I really feel the anger coming from her.
The Hamas terrorist attackers have been reportedly all excessive on Captagon, the highly effective amphetamine made notorious by Da-esh in Iraq and Syria, manufactured now by higher-ups in Damascus, that neutralizes all emotion.
Packets of drugs have been discovered of their pockets, together with marching orders. “They knew precisely what they have been doing and whom they have been doing it to,” Ariane Tamir says. “My cousins went as much as Tel Aviv each weekend to reveal in opposition to the Netanyahu authorities. The Hamas focused individuals who need peace with the Palestinians.”
A few days later, Ariane did cry briefly, very briefly, upon studying that one other physique, that of her cousin Lilach Lea Kipnis, age 60, had been recognized.
However now we stand collectively within the busy eating room, as relaxed enterprise executives and their wives and husbands make the rounds of tables and start digesting the fish primary course to make room for a chocolate cake desert. “That is, in spite of everything, a enterprise gathering,” she tells me.
Awards have been handed out by CCFI vice-president André Maarek to the next French corporations:
Artelia, for work on the Tel Aviv regional metro strains.
Bersay, for authorized work with Israeli firms in France.
Carrefour, for the opening of fifty shops in Israel.
EDF renewables, for working 27 photo voltaic power installations.
Mérieux NutriSciences, for coming into the meals manufacturing high quality, safety and laboratory fields.
And but France nonetheless lags far behind Nice Britain and Germany in enterprise relations with Israel, proof that having Europe’s largest Jewish inhabitants means little to nothing.
“France stays eleventh or thirteenth when it comes to nations working in or with Israel,” CCFI President Cukierman informed me. “We appear to do higher with creating world nations than with these of the primary world. The exception is the sphere of cybersecurity.” He has been telling me this for years. The CCFI organizes a profitable annual cybersecurity discussion board.
In a while, I stepped out for a cigarette with the I 24 Information journalist, and once we returned to the eating corridor, it was empty.
And the battle continues. Hamas has launched a number of hostages, however greater than 200, together with Ariane Tamir’s household from Be’eri, stay captive in Gaza. She defined to me that their grandparents had come to Ottoman Empire Palestine in 1905 from Ukraine. Her grandmother, Chana Orloff, went to Paris to check in 1910 and have become a widely known sculptor right here. A small museum in Paris homes her work. Ariane moved to Israel as a younger grownup per week earlier than the 1973 Kippur Battle, and divides her time with husband Amnon between Tel Aviv and Paris.
Her cousin Shoshan Haran, whose dad and mom have been among the many founders of Kibbutz Be’eri in 1946, developed a profitable agriculture seed firm, Hazera Genetics, purchased by French large Vilmorin years in the past. She additionally created an agriculture NGO referred to as “Honest Planet”, sending seeds to poor farmers largely in Ethiopia and Tanzania. Shoshan is now a captive in Gaza; her husband Avshalom is among the many lifeless.
Ariane and Amnon Tamir have been dropped at the CCFI dinner by Daniel Rouach, who heads the Tel Aviv-based Israel-France Chamber of Commerce, and publishes the IsraelValley web site, an lively enterprise information supply. “The thought was to assist them make essential enterprise and media contacts right here,” he mentioned, “to publicize the hostage state of affairs, and get French diplomacy concerned. And it appears to be working.”
It’s working, for what it’s price. Rouach helped organized a gathering on the Assemblée Nationale right here, sponsored by morning Jewish Radio J. Tamir informed her story to a crowd of French political figures, together with former President François Holland, ministers, deputies, and speaker of the home Yael Braun-Pivet, who had simply returned from Israel, and a set of visitors from the Jewish group.
Ariane Tamir defined to all of the household state of affairs at Be’eri, saying merely, “I ask you to assist us save the hostages. The tears can be for later.”
She has since appeared on all main French tv networks.
She was adopted on the podium by a younger girl from the southern French metropolis of Montpellier, Chloé Ghnassia. “My little brother Valentin, an IDF lone soldier, was killed preventing the Hamas at Be’eri,” she informed the gathering, lips trembling. “He was 22 and had per week left in his military service earlier than returning to France.”
She was met by a standing ovation. The emotion was intense. Her brother and different troopers in his unit had been flown by helicopter to Be’eri from their base on the Lifeless Sea. The query Israelis are asking, why have been there so few troopers current on the Gaza border, was not raised at this gathering, nor have been different political debates raging in Israel. Nor was the loss of life toll in Gaza talked about, now over 6000, in accordance with Hamas officers.
French President Emmanuel Macron was assembly that day with Benjamin Netanyahu and with Mahmoud Abbas, the one western chief to talk with the pinnacle of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. He was criticized by some within the Jewish group right here for doing so.
Did Tamir discover that the one non-political visitors current on the Nationwide Meeting gave the impression to be from the Jewish group. And apparently, not one French Arab or Black individual of observe was invited, or in any case, none have been current. On the identical time, articles in “Globes”, “Haaretz” and different Israeli information shops have described Israeli Arabs expressing outrage over the Hamas massacres and becoming a member of palms with Israeli Jews. These articles are typically not learn in France, which has the biggest Jewish and Muslim communities in Europe.
“No, I didn’t discover this,” she mentioned. “I merely gave my message.” However then got here a move of harsh phrases, repeated by different Israelis. “This Israeli authorities is incompetent, with no obvious technique in Gaza,” she informed me, “and now it’s shedding the battle of communications in opposition to Hamas. I’ve seen the pictures from Gaza. However when this battle is over, there can be investigations in Israel as to what occurred. Proper now, that is about frustration and anger. However criticism of this authorities can be expressed. And we are going to return to important considering.”
Printed by Globes, Israel enterprise information – en.globes.co.il – on October 26, 2023.
© Copyright of Globes Writer Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.