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Fri Nov 9, 2012 7:58AM
French President Francois Hollande (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend a ceremony in Toulouse, France, November 1, 2012.

French President Francois Hollande (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend a ceremony in Toulouse, France, November 1, 2012.

French President Francois Hollande has criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over transforming a memorial ceremony in France into an electoral campaign, saying Netanyahu tried to hijack the event. The ceremony was held on November 1 to commemorate a Rabbi and three Jewish children who were killed during a shooting in France’s southern city of Toulouse in March. “Netanyahu came to France to campaign and we knew that,” Hollande said. “Since I was there, he toned down his speech but it wasn’t good to transform this ceremony into an electoral meeting,” Hollande stated, adding, “It wasn’t appropriate.” A French weekly recently exposed Hollande’s remarks. Last year, former French President Nikolas Sarkozy called Netanyahu “a liar” in a private meeting with US President Barack Obama during a G20 summit. He was not aware the microphones in the meeting room had been switched on. “I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar,” Sarkozy said. According to a French interpreter, Obama replied, “You’re fed up with him but I have to deal with him even more than you.” MKA/HSN/AZ