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June 8, 2016 5:23 pm

Outrage Over Special Labeling for French Passports of Jews on Aliyah; Residence Listed as ‘Israel/Palestinian Territories’

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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An El Al airplane. Photo: WikiCommons.

An El Al airplane. Photo: WikiCommons.

Prominent Jews expressed outrage this week over new French Foreign Ministry “software” that lists the residency of French citizens who made aliyah as “Israel/Palestinian Territories” in their passports.

“Grotesque” is how Nidra Poller – an American Jewish intellectual who has been living in France for more than four decades — described the move. “French citizens living in Israel have to move over and make room on their passports for those Palestinian territories that the French pretend to cherish,” she told The Algemeiner.

Author, most recently, of The Black Flag of Jihad Stalks La Republique, Poller placed the labeling of passports in a broader context of French policy in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“France voted in favor of giving the Palestinians the Temple Mount, the Kotel (Western Wall), the tombs of the Patriarchs. At the World Health Organization summit, French representatives joined in the call to investigate Israel for so-called ‘abuses of mental, physical and environmental health.’”

According to Poller — who referred to Friday’s Paris Peace Summit, which coincided with major floods, as a “wash-out” — “virtually nobody in France really cares about Palestinians and Palestinian territories. But they come in handy to give a slap in the face to French Jews who have immigrated to Israel but still keep their French nationality.”

US-based French-Jewish artist Ron Agam was equally forceful in his objections to the passport-labeling.

“Once more, the French diplomatic corps is attacking Israel’s legitimacy in a very aggressive manner that highlights the pro-Arab and old antisemitic attitude of most of its functionaries,” Agam told The Algemeiner. “Supporters of Israel are vastly outnumbered at the Quai d’Orsay [home of the French Foreign Ministry] and the ministry should be fought. The submission to Qatari and other Arab interests must be called out vociferously in every way possible. They are not impartial when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – something that has been illustrated recently by their voting at the UN and public displays of enmity towards Israel.”

Agam said he believes that “President Francois Hollande and other French politicians and citizens are friendly and sympathetic to Israel.” But, he questioned rhetorically, “How long will they remain so, when Arab interests and 10 million French Muslims exert such enormous influence on a country that is struggling to regain its importance in a world that is losing its moral and ethical responsibility?”

In addition, he said, “Antisemitism in France today is propelling a majority of Jews to question their future in the country,” asserting that “Jews all over the world will have no choice but to reciprocate, and make the Quai d’Orsay aware of their displeasure, in no uncertain terms, because it is very susceptible to hard lines taken by powerful Jewish interest groups, especially those in the United States.”

Such protestations were lodged publicly by French parliamentarian Meyer Habib, reported to be a close confidant of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s.

Habib — who in December threatened to call on French Jews to halt their plans to make aliyah unless Israel eases exam restrictions on immigrant doctors, dentists, nurses and lawyers – said he was “amazed” about the new labeling for French nationals in Israel. He lashed out at the French Foreign Ministry, which he said is “too often guided by a strong pro-Arab, anti-Israel bias. This case is a new blow to all Franco-Israelis and friends of Israel, who view this as a desire to question the sovereignty and legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state.”

Habib announced that he would be sending a letter to the Foreign Ministry to protest.

Meanwhile, however, the outgoing president of French Jewry’s umbrella organization CRIF, Roger Cukierman, tweeted on Monday: “I was assured by the Elysee that the new IT system of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was abandoned. The French of Israel will be clearly identified as residents of Israel, not Israel/Palestinian territories. ”

Though, apparently, this indicates that the outcry against the new labeling of the passports of Franco-Israelis has had the desired effect – since the passport stamp was instated on June 1, and is now purportedly being discontinued, Agam said that until official confirmation from Hollande is issued, “We still have to be on the attack.”

There are an estimated 220,000 French Jews living in Israel – 8,000 of whom made aliyah in 2015 alone. Another 10,000 are expected to arrive by the end of 2016.

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  • Saw a WWII French rifle for sale:
    Mint condition, never fired, only dropped once.

  • Of interest is to note that that I see no call for secular New York Jews to return their empty French perfume bottles to Saks,Neiman Marcus etc. with a label saying no thanks never again! Or if you prefer perhaps a note to that noble vineyard juice seller saying: no thanks, no more French wine, never again. To the Alliance Francaise in NYC,or Washington DC a similar note saying ; No more Vichy, never again etc etc. No more Paris trips!
    But you all want your cake and eat it too.
    You Yankee Jews just do not get it do you?
    These are tiny fascist moves, part of the larger worldwide war on Judaism, designed to discourage Jews from hitting back where it hurts: IN THE POCKET BOOK.

  • Robert Kopuit

    After reading this French outragious slap in the Jewish face I only can conclude that the frogs are getting what they deserve with all the terrorist actions in their countru.

  • Al Talena

    A twist on the nazi ‘J’

  • DockyWocky

    So Israelis are just finding out that French bureaucrats are somewhat anti-Semitic?

    I thought they learned all that from their Nazi conquerors.

  • Pinkas L

    It is a very “interesting” concept. Is the French government issuing a triple citizenship ( which includes the French )on the behave of the palestenian government ? Or the French developed an amnesia effect and forgetting that Israel has a legal status as A country called Israel and not Israel/Palestine . How do you think France has to name herself now or maybe we should ask all the immigrants which arrived recently to France how their passports should be stamped.
    A land which accepted Napoleonic principles before the rest of the free world should have at least a self respect toward their own nation and their citizens.
    America as a relatively new country and their free citizens are outraged at the behavior of so called bureaucrats of the ministry or maybe anti Israeli ( anti Jewish and/or anti Semitic ) elements in the French society. France as a free and proud republic should clean them self from this undesirable elements.

  • Jack Holan

    I’m surprised by this point the French didn’t leave just enough room so in the next passport edition they can print a large Yellow J. This will benefitting a Petin Vichy type Government that hates us. Jews of France Make Aliyah Your Future is Not in FranceYou have nothing worth staying for in France. They do not think of you as French

  • ed halperin

    The French like the Austrian always believe that they were the victims of the Nazi.
    With the Muslim population so large, the French economy so
    inefficient, business from the Arab league is necessary,
    Jews are and will be not people they will consider.
    Marseilles is the largest Arab city in Europe.

  • fred

    France’s labeling reminds me the German labeling of Jewish passports with “J “( Jude ) during the Hitler period on the advice of the Swiss & Sweden. France is on the same road of Vichy, In charge are Hollande & Valls who never fail to show on the perverse world bodies like the UN cesspool , EU garbage ,UNESCO etc.. how the bootlick the Arabs. They have the audacity to want to bring a false sense of peace to squatters who do not want peace. France has been and is a failed state since before the First World war. Vive La France not a chance…

  • enufetenuf

    All Jews should leave France and observe the upcoming civil wars with their muslims from a safe distance.

  • stevenl

    France wants to save her relationship with the Maghreb. IL and Jews in no position to counteract.
    Just get out of France.

  • SteveHC

    Apparently France will not extricate itself from Israeli affairs unless and until a) enough people – particularly Jews – voice their displeasure with France and its government, and b) Israel and Israelis refuse to have anything to do with them.

  • Chris Rettenmoser

    Dreyfus comes to my mind…

  • Why don’t they just label the passports with a large read “J” in Old Gothic font?

    For sure, they could find images on the Internet.

    Seems like the French Foreign Ministry has just simply become another consular office of the Arab League.

  • If I were the government of Israel, I’d make a declaration to the Jews of France inviting them to come home to Israel.