La Seyne-sur-mer voted to commemorate a man responsible for the murder of thousands of Jews by naming a street after him.
La Seyne-sur-mer, a French municipal township, has approved a proposal to name a new street after late Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader and arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat, the French Nice Matin reported on Tuesday.
A large majority of elected representatives of the southeastern town voted in favor of the motion.
According to Mayor Marc Vuillemot, the proposal was brought forward by the town’s residents and only a handful voted against it.
Those who opposed the measure were reportedly unhappy with honoring a “controversial figure” or, as others acknowledged, a “terrorist.”
Yasser Arafat vs. Yitzhak Rabin?
The mayor said he did not understand the criticism. “There is also a Yitzhak Rabin Street in the district. To my knowledge, the two men received the Nobel Peace Prize together.”
Rabin was prime minister of Israel at the time of his assassination in 1995. He and Arafat, as well as then-Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, were awarded the prestigious award for participating in US-led peace negotiations, which ultimately failed and were followed by the Second Intifada in 2000 under Arafat’s leadership.
This is a first in France, aside from the “Yasser Arafat-Rabin” place in Seine-Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris.
Previous attempts to have a street named after the terrorist responsible for thousands of deaths were turned down following local Jewish objections, the French newspaper reported.