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“An unspeakable spectacle”: in the Assembly, emotion after the broadcast of images of the massacres in Israel


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“An unspeakable spectacle”: in the Assembly, emotion after the broadcast of images of the massacres in Israel

NARRATIVE. A pall of misfortune suddenly fell on the Palais Bourbon. The reality of Hamas' crimes has hit parliamentarians more than ever. From the first seconds, fear runs through the dark room of the National Assembly, where around a hundred parliamentarians are gathered this Tuesday evening. On the screen, images of the massacre scroll for 43 minutes, under the motionless gaze of deputies from the France/Israel friendship group. As Le Figaro revealed, everyone was invited by the group's Renaissance president, Mathieu Lefèvre, to watch the film on the terrorist attacks perpetrated on October 7 by Hamas in Israel.

Only screams and the sound of gunshots echo in the remote room, where absolute silence reigns. On several occasions, some people turn their heads so as not to see the unbearable. Five minutes after entering, an LR MP breaks down and leaves the room in tears. Another comes out a few minutes later, all red, with death in his soul. In the public, a few elected officials, non-members of this friendship group, also wanted to participate in the screening, including the boss of LR, Éric Ciotti, or the Horizons deputy, Frédéric Valletoux.

At the exit, many leave headlong. The step is heavy, very heavy even. Several of them, disconcerted, modestly wipe their tears. “Objectively, the images are unbearable. We can get an idea beforehand, but until we see that... We have a heavy heart,” confides the instigator of the broadcast, Mathieu Lefèvre. “These are the images of the Shoah,” says LR MP Émilie Bonnivard, very moved. “What was shocking was above all the joy these terrorists had in killing,” continues his LR colleague Michel Herbillon. A few meters further on, Emmanuelle Ménard also burst into tears. “It’s chilling. It’s an unspeakable spectacle, there are no words,” says the elected official from Hérault, her voice trembling.

“I don’t know if it was necessary to see that, or if we learned anything. What we saw for 45 minutes was horror but we already knew that,” explains Aymeric Caron. Confronted sharply with his recent remarks by the journalist of a Jewish community radio, the elected official of La France insoumise (LFI) turns away. Then flees the press, visibly moved. “Asshole,” he hears behind his back as he prepares to respond to another media outlet. The atmosphere around the Insoumis is charged with tension.

As he leaves the room, LFI MP David Guiraud passes in front of David Habib (not registered) who vehemently challenges him. “You’re just a dog,” says the elected official from the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. Other MPs agree. “We were happy that he confronted his comments, everyone agreed,” slips a Macronist. David Guiraud leaves and repels the attacks with a wave of his hand. Then appears in front of the journalists, touched. “I came to share a moment of sorrow, of pain, of mourning with colleagues bruised by the war crimes of Hamas,” he confides, accused for several days of having relativized the atrocities of the terrorist movement by ensuring that Israel had committed comparable acts of barbarism. After his controversial statements, during a conference in Tunisia, the elected official from the North was invited by Mathieu Lefèvre to the screening. “I gave the impression of treating it all lightly. I came to make sure I won't make this mistake again. I will never forget to respect all murders,” he tries to defuse.

After a brief appearance in front of the media, everyone goes their separate ways, staring into space. Some return to the session, the debates in the Hemicycle. “I’m going home. I’m going to clear my mind,” confides a Renaissance MP. In a remote corner, out of sight, others take the time to talk with the firefighters, who are there to provide medical support.

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