A reunion for the Lebanese Jewish Community took place at the Embassy of Lebanon in Paris last night.
Lebanon’s ambassador to France, Rami Adwan, convened several dozen Lebanese Jewish people at the embassy. Representatives from all the main religious communities of Lebanon were present.
This meeting, the first of its sort for Lebanon in recent decades, took place with the Chief Rabbi of France, Chaim Corsia, in attendence.
Four generations of the Lebanese Jewish community attended this meeting: Including first generation born abroad, as well as those who emigrated to France during three waves in 1967, 1976, and 1990.
Some regularly visit Lebanon and are interested in Jewish sites, while others stopped visiting and avoided seeking Lebanese consular or diplomatic services completely.
The cause of this estrangement is the belief that the Lebanese state, along with its diplomatic and consular missions across the world, rejects or deals with them cautiously.
Activists in the Lebanese community in France spoke out against the meeting, alleging that “the ambassador is following the agenda of the head of the Free Patriotic Movement, Gebran Bassil, and hence this meeting is a service for Bassil and not for Lebanon.”
But Adwan denies this, claiming that whatever decision he takes originates from his dedication to the fact that he is the ambassador of Lebanon, and that the embassy is for all Lebanese, including the Lebanese who belong to the Jewish community.
Naji Jerji Zeidan, a Jewish affairs researcher who attended the gathering, says: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. All Lebanese officials failed to do what Ambassador Adwan did. In this conference, I found Lebanon as it should be, and this homeland was conveyed by Ambassador Adwan when he emphasized the need of returning Lebanese Jews to their homeland.”