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The Chief Rabbi welcomes Nicolas Sarkozy to London

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The Chief Rabbi welcomed the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to the UK last night, expressing his thanks to the Republican Leader for an unerring commitment to protecting his nation’s Jews.

Invited to the capital by the Conference of European Rabbis to receive the Rabbi Moshe Rosen Prize, which recognises a significant contribution to European Jewry, Mr Sarkozy lamented the climate of fear that was prompting French Jews to depart for Israel. “We did not fight the Nazis to force the Jews to run to Israel 70 years later,” he told the audience, “it is unacceptable that…French Jews are afraid.”

It is this sort of impassioned defence of the Jewish community that made Mr Sarkozy eligible for the Prize, which memorialises the former Chief Rabbi of Romania – himself a staunch defender of the community under the iron fist of communist rule.

CER President Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt praised Mr Sarkozy as a “deserving recipient of the award,” highlighting that France had become “the main battleground between hope and fear for the future of Europe, especially for the Jewish community.”