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August 5, 2022 11:22 am
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Anti-Zionist French Parliamentarians Hit With Legal Complaint Over ‘Israeli Apartheid’ Resolution

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Adrien Quatennens — a far-left parliamentarian who endorsed a resolution accusing Israel of practicing “apartheid” — is seen in the French National Assembly chamber. Photo: Reuters/Xose Bouzas

The 38 members of the French parliament who endorsed a draft resolution accusing Israel of practicing apartheid were the subjects of a legal complaint filed by a Jewish advocacy organization on Friday.

The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism (BNVCA) said in a statement that the wording of the resolution directly contradicted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism embraced by the French National Assembly in a non-binding resolution in Dec. 2019, and that it was filing a complaint on that basis. The BNVCA also criticized their deputies for allegedly straying beyond their remit in signing up to foreign policies that might increase domestic tensions in France.

The BNVCA statement asserted that the resolution was designed to “stir up hatred of Israel” by labeling the Jewish state as an apartheid regime. The parliamentarians from the far-left NUPES bloc who tabled the resolution “would have done better to condemn the indoctrination of Palestinian children,” the group added, referring to schools and summer camps in the Palestinian territories where minors are exposed to anti-Zionist and antisemitic rhetoric.

The BNVCA announcement comes a few days after NUPES deputies stormed out of the National Assembly’s chamber after being accused of antisemitism.

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During a debate on Tuesday, Meyer Habib — a Jewish member of parliament who represents French communities living abroad, including Israel — described the NUPES contingent as “Islamo-leftists” who were the bearers of a “new antisemitism.” Responding to Habib, Justice Minister Éric Dupond-Moretti castigated NUPES for its invitation to Jeremy Corbyn, the former far-left leader of the British Labour Party, and for its recent depiction of President Emmanuel Macron as an apologist for the wartime Vichy regime, causing the NUPES deputies to exit the chamber in protest.

Tabled on July 22, the NUPES draft resolution alleges that “since its creation in 1948, Israel has pursued a policy aimed at establishing and maintaining a Jewish demographic hegemony and expanding its control over the territory for the benefit of Israeli Jews.”

It asserts that following Israel’s victory against a combined force of Arab armies in Six Day War of June 1967, “Israel extended this policy to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Currently, all territories under Israeli control remain administered with the aim of favoring Israeli Jews at the expense of the Palestinian population, while successive Israeli governments have continued to deny the right of return to Palestinian refugees for more than seven decades.”

Among the actions against Israel urged by the resolution are the “imposition of a strict arms embargo” and a French-sponsored resolution to the United Nations Security Council that would impose “targeted sanctions, such as the freezing of assets, on the Israeli officials most implicated in the crime of apartheid.” The resolution also offers a vocal defense of the “boycott, divestment and sanctions” (BDS) campaign singling out Israel, insisting that measures to suppress BDS activism on the grounds of antisemitism and discrimination amount to an attack on the freedom of speech.

On Friday, the French news outlet Marianne reported that some of the parliamentarians behind the resolution had withdrawn their signatures. It named two NUPES deputies, Mathilde Panot and Adrien Quatennens, who were said to have “discreetly withdrawn” their signatures, along with two Socialist Party (PS) representatives, Christine Pires Beaune and Claudia Rouaux, who had also initially supported the draft.

Pires Beaune told Marianne that her signature had been appended by a colleague, and that when she read the text of the resolution she “immediately” withdrew her support, notwithstanding her sympathy with the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

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