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April 29, 2022 1:10 pm

French Interior Minister’s Dissolution of Palestinian Solidarity Organization Overruled by Council of State

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Supporters of the “Palestine Will Overcome Collective” demonstrating in the French city of Lyon. Photo: Screenshot

A high court in France has reversed a decision of the country’s interior minister to dissolve a pro-Palestinian organization accused of inciting antisemitic hatred.

In a ruling on Friday, the French Council of State — the supreme court for administrative matters — annulled a decision by Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin to dissolve the “Collectif Palestine Vaincra” (“Palestine Will Overcome Collective”).

Darmanin had announced on March 9 that the Collective would be dissolved along with another solidarity organization calling itself the Palestine Action Committee. “As detailed in the executive order I presented, it called for hatred, violence and discrimination,” Darmanin said of the Collective.

Darmanin has also launched an offensive against Islamist groups in France during the last year, closing down several mosques around the country that were alleged to have been radicalized.

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According to the Council of State, Darmanin’s ban was “neither necessary nor appropriate and constitutes a disproportionate attack on freedom of expression and freedom of association.”

The ruling added that the Collective “does not cause or contribute to discrimination, hatred or violence, that its positions vis-à-vis Israel and Zionism do not present an antisemitic character, that it has always condemned antisemitism, that the campaign to boycott Israeli products constitutes a legitimate means of expressing protest.”

A statement on the Collective’s website says that the group “fights the State of Israel as a colonial and racist entity, an outpost of Western imperialism in the region. We denounce and fight France’s support for the Zionist entity.”

It also pledges to support the Palestinian “resistance … in all forms it deems necessary and legitimate, including armed struggle.” The group strongly supports the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), an extreme left-wing terrorist organization.

In a statement welcoming the Council of State’s decision, the Collective hailed it as a “real snub against power that undermines the propaganda of the Zionist extreme right and its amalgam between anti-Zionism and antisemitism.”

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