Cérémonie en mémoire des victimes de l’attentat du Mont Scopus
Discours de l’ambassadeur le 31 juillet 2012
pour la cérémonie en mémoire des victimes de l’attentat du Mont Scopus,
le 31 juillet 2002
Dear Professor Menahem Ben-Sasson, President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,
Your Excellency Mr Daniel Schapiro, Ambassador of the United States,
Dear members of the families of the victims,
Dear students of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We gather on this day, to mark the 10th anniversary of the despicable act of terror that killed 9 people and wounded another hundred, on this very Campus of the Mount Scopus (Har Atsofim), in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
I would like to thank the management of the Hebrew University, especially the Professor Menahem Ben-Sasson, for holding this event, as a tribute to the victims of terror, whom we should and will not forget.
I want to express, on behalf of my country, my deepest sympathy to the families of those killed or wounded 10 years ago.
Among the victims of these cowardly murders, were 4 Americans, 4 Israelis, and a Frenchman.
David Gritz, ALAV HASHALOM (“may peace be on him”), was a young and promising student in philosophy. He had studied at McGill University in Canada, as well as at the Sorbonne and the Institute for Political Studies, in Paris.
David had already written an outstanding essay on the French Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas.
He was to get a degree in Jewish thought in the Hebrew University, thanks to a scholarship from the French-Israeli association Maskilim.
But David was more than a remarkable intellectual aged only 24.
The only child and loving son of Norman and Nevenka Gritz, David was a gifted violinist, who had fallen in love with the Askenazi “Klezmer” music, and played recitals for Jewish associations in France.
David came to Israel for the first time that year, full of hope and curiosity, with a true belief in peace for the future. He was eager to learn, eager to see and discover new ways of thinking.
But his brilliant personal and intellectual prospects were shattered to pieces, on that day, the 31st of August 2002, when he was murdered in this dreadful terror attack.
On that day,
by hitting an intellectual and academic institution,
by killing nine members of its student and administrative community,
terrorism displayed the face of obscurantism, of blind violence and pure hatred.
Terror can never be justified.
But it seems especially appalling, when it strikes places and people dedicated to knowledge, and heralding tolerance and pluralism.
We are all the more moved by what happened that day, since France and French citizens have been the victims of numerous acts of terror.
The killing of 3 soldiers and 4 Jewish civilians, including 3 children, in March, in the south-west of France,
or the murder of a French hostage in the Sahel in July 2010,
remind us that this is a threat we all face together.
Ten years after the bombing on the Mount Scopus, we strongly reassert :
our staunch condemnation of all acts of terrorism : great progress has been achieved thanks to the cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security services.
But, today, more than ever, we must remain vigilant.
We affirm our unyielding commitment to fighting terrorism throughout the world, in cooperation with our allies.
Our military presence in Afghanistan, in the Sahel, or in the Gulf of Somalia, and the work of our intelligence services, are driven by our concern with this plague, and our will to eradicate it.
and we reassert our unwavering solidarity with its victims, whether they are students and staff of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, or Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.
But, to add a note of hope to this memorial tribute, I would like to inform you of an initiative launched by David’s university in Paris, the Institute for Political Studies (Sciences-Po), to honour his memory.
The Sciences-Po David Gritz scholarship will allow the best and brightest deserving students enrolled at partner Israeli Universities to pursue their post graduate education at Sciences Po, in Paris.
This scholarship, a symbol of the enduring bond between our academic communities, in France and Israel, as well as between our two countries, is also a strong response we give to terrorism.
It reminds me of a powerfull Hebrew word : DAVKA, “in spite of everything”.
DAVKA, in spite of everything, the love of knowledge, the scholarly work, the ethics of reflexion, and the academic bonds between our countries, shall prevail over all kind of intimidation.
We will never surrender to terror and intimidation.
Our intellectual ties, and our common pledge to peace and security, will always be stronger than violence, and barbaric hatred.
I thank you for your attention.