NEW YORK DAILY NEWS washington bureau
Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 12:27 AM
WASHINGTON — Leaders in Germany, France and Denmark on Monday bristled at Benjamin Netanyahu’s calls for an exodus of European Jews to Israel in the wake of anti-Semitic incidents.
Some leaders accused the Israeli prime minister of exploiting terror attacks to boost his chances in an upcoming election.
“I can’t allow things to be said in Israel that would lead one to think that Jews have no place in Europe and particularly France,” French President Francois Hollande said near Paris after vandals damaged about 300 gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in northeastern France.
Many Western lawmakers see Netanyahu’s rhetoric as aimed at boosting his standing ahead of a closely contested March reelection bid.
“The fact that you’re in an election campaign doesn’t mean you can just make any statement,” French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Monday. “The place for French Jews is France.”
Following dual terror attacks in Copenhagen that included the fatal shooting of a man guarding a synagogue during a bat mitzvah, Netanyahu suggested on Sunday that European Jews move to Israel for safety.
“This wave of terror attacks can be expected to continue, including anti-Semitic and murderous attacks,” Netanyahu said. “We say to the Jews, to our brothers and sisters, Israel is your home and that of every Jew. Israel is waiting for you with open arms.”