Location (in red) within Paris inner and outer suburbs
|Intercommunality||Argenteuil – Bezons|
|• Mayor (2001–2008)||Dominique Lesparre|
|• Land1||4.16 km2 (1.61 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||6,800/km2 (18,000/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||95063 / 95870|
|Elevation||22–52 m (72–171 ft)
(avg. 41 m or 135 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
An extension of the tramway line T2 to Pont de Bezons opened in 2012. With Bezons not served by any stations on the Paris Métro, RER, or suburban rail network, the extension has greatly enhanced the connectivity of Bezons to the Paris public transport network. The journey time to the La Défense business district and transport hub is estimated at 12 minutes.
The closest train station is Houilles – Carrières-sur-Seine located in the neighbouring commune of Houilles, 2.4 km (1.5 mi) from the town centre of Bezons. It is served by the RER A and Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare rail lines.
Majdi Al-Rimawi Controversy
In March 2013, the convicted killer of Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Ze'evi, Majdi Al-Rimawi, was named a "honorary resident" of Bezons. Majdi Al-Rimawi is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine who was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the 2008 murder of Rehavam Ze'evi.
According to Bezons monthly newsletter, the honouring of Rimawi was the result of a unanimous decision by the Bezons local council, which descrbed his crime as "defending his town and its inhabitants, calling for the application of international law for the establishment of Palestine to the 1967 borders as recognised by the United Nations, and Jerusalem as its capital." The decision and the newsletter made no mention of Ze'evi's killing.
The Mayor of Bezons, Dominique Lesparre, is a member of the French Communist Party, with a history of supporting left wing figures, stated that honouring Rimawi is "strong political act" related to the "colonisation of the Palestinian people". On his website, Lesparre describes Rimawi as being "jailed for 10 years for taking part with his people in the struggle to resist the occupation of their country". The website reportedly contains no mention of Rehavam Ze'evi murder. Lesparre claimed that "For these acts of resistance, he was jailed in 2002 for life + 80 years" and described him as one of many Palestinians who has been "imprisoned for daring to defend their country". Lesparre also stated that "Majdi draws his strength from the Palestinian struggle and the solidarity demonstrations throughout the world". Lesparre later stated that honouring Al-Rimawi was part of a "tradition of peace, solidarity and cooperation with the Palestinian people".
Lesparre was sharply criticized by Moshe Kantor, who stated that "It is inconceivable that an elected official can be so ignorant as to call a cold-blooded murderer a victim" and described the decision "outrageous and horrific". The Israeli Foreign Ministry also criticized the decision, stating that it was "humanly outrageous to honor a convicted murderer, no political view can justify it". Ron Prosor, who serves as Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, sharply condemned what he described as the "glorification of terrorists who deliberately murder innocent civilians" and questioned whether or not Bezons' will also grant citizenship to Anders Breivik or Osama bin Laden. Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League stated, "This award is an insult to the French concept of justice and liberty and a perversion of French values" and charged that Bezons "is callously encouraging more violence against Jews".
Lesparre subsequently accused critics of the town's decision of "hatred" and "complicity in occupation" while claiming that "It strengthens our resolve to defend the noble and just Palestinian cause". Regarding Israel's opposition to the Bezons' honouring of Al-Rimawi, Lesparre stated:
|“||It does not surprise us that this act of solidarity invokes hostile reactions by some of the participants of the occupation of Palestinian territories. Any criticism of Israeli leaders or reference to the Palestinians' suffering is systematically condemned as anti-Semitic."||”|
- Palestinian Media Watch (3 November 2013). "French town honors murderer of Israeli minister". Jewishpress.com. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
- JTA (3 November 2013). "French town honors killer of Israeli minister". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
- Israeli minister’s assassin honored by Paris suburb by Elhanan Miller, Times of Israel, 10 March 2013.
- French town honours Israeli minister 'killer', Al-Jazeera, 11 March 2013.
- French town fetes Palestinian planner of Israeli minister's assassination by Haaretz Staff, 10 March 2013.
- JTA (13 March 2013). "French mayor defends honor for Ze'evi killer". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- French mayor angers Israel by honoring Palestinian convicted in murder of Israeli minister, Fox News, Associated Press, 11 March 2013.
- Israel, Jewish groups slam French town for honoring minister’s assassin by Raphael Ahren, The Times of Israel, 11 March 2013.
- ADL Condemns City Council of Bezons, France for Giving Honorary Citizenship to Convicted Terrorist, Anti-Defamation League, Press Release, 11 March 2013.
- http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/166127 by Rachel Hirshfeld, IsraelNationalNews (Arutz Sheva), 12 March 2013.
- European Jewish Congress slams French award to Israeli minister’s killer Shari Ryness, European Jewish Press, 11 March 2013.
- http://www.jta.org/news/article/2013/03/13/3121911/french-mayor-defends-honoring-palestinian-murderer, Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), 13 March 2013.
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