Jewish lawmaker in Toulouse stripped of credentials after saying ‘too many Arabs’ in city


(JTA) — The mayor of Toulouse stripped of his credentials a local Jewish lawmaker who told an Israeli radio station that the French city has “too many Arabs.”

Toulouse city councilman Aviv Zonabend had apologized for his words in Hebrew last month in an interview with Israel’s Army Radio station, explaining he had meant to say Islamists rather than Arabs. But he declined Mayor Jean-Luc Moudenc’s demand that he resign as a local city lawmaker. Zonabend was a member of the mayor’s Republicans party.

Following the mayor’s move Friday, Zonabend is still officially a city councilman but he is no longer affiliated with the Republicans and is therefore barred from some votes and functions. He also is barred from any executive post in the city government, Tribune Juive reported Friday.

Zonabend told Army Radio on April 25 that there were “very many, too many” Arabs in the city and “very few” Jews.

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Army Radio interviewed Zonabend following advice by a Jewish community leader in Berlin for congregants to avoid wearing kippahs in certain situations following an anti-Semitic assault.

He said all European Jews should refrain from wearing kippahs in public and suggested Jewish community life “has no future” in Europe.

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