Jean-Claude Gaudin, Mayor of Marseille. (AP Photo/Claude Paris) AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Mayor of Marseille
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Does the mayor of major French city Marseilles really think Tel Aviv is in a non-existent country called “Ex-Palestine”? Perhaps he needs a geography lesson and a history course.

Imagine receiving a letter from a foreign government identifying your hometown as located in a country that never existed.

That’s exactly what happened to a man who was born in Tel Aviv, a city that was founded by Jews in 1909 and became part of the State of Israel when it declared independence in 1948. While Tel Aviv is not the capital of the Jewish state, a distinction held by Jerusalem, it remains a location inextricably linked with Israel, and with no other nation.

Notwithstanding history, geography, and reality, Jean-Claude Gaudin, mayor of the French city of Marseilles, recently signed a letter related to elections that identified Tel Aviv as located in “Ex-Palestine,” a reference to the Greek name that Roman occupiers foisted on Judea shortly after the beginning of the Common Era.

(BNVCA National Bureau for Vigilance against Anti-Semitism)

Renaming Jewish territory as “Palestine” is “commonly viewed as a move intended to sever the connection of the Jews to their historical homeland,” according to Professor David Jacobson of King’s College London, an expert in ancient history and archaeology.

A nation, country, or state called “Palestine” never existed, neither before nor after the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.

Those facts didn’t get in the way of Gaudin signing the February 5, 2020 letter locating Tel Aviv in “Ex-Palestine.”

Eli Nahum, former anti-Semitism researcher for the Prime Minister’s Office in Israel and founder of the Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism-CFCA, commented, “For the city hall of Marseilles, Israel does not exist.”

Nahum said the letter is part of ongoing efforts by French politicians to attract votes from anti-Israel sectors of French society.

“The past few weeks have revealed that many elected officials, including some from the right, do not hesitate to patronize the Muslim community to get their votes,” Nahum said.

The time has come to tell Gaudin that Tel Aviv is located in a country called “Israel” and to demand that he stop denying the existence of a sovereign, independent Jewish state!

Tell Mayor Gaudin Tel Aviv is in Israel. Stop denying the existence of the Jewish state!

1. Send Marseilles Mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin a message directly by clicking here.

2. Send Mayor Gaudin a message via Twitter by clicking here.