French parliament to vote on Israel hatred as a form of antisemitism

December 3, 2019 by JNS
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France’s parliament on Tuesday will vote on a draft resolution that says hatred of Israel is a form of antisemitism.

The Palais Bourbon, where the French National Assembly meets. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The draft resolution that will be put before the National Assembly in Paris was proposed by Sylvain Maillard, chair of the assembly’s Antisemitism Study Group.

The resolution also calls on the government to join other European countries in formally adopting the working definition of antisemitism used by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

According to the IHRA definition, “antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

In an open letter to National Assembly president Richard Ferrand in October, 39 organizations warned against passing the resolution.

They argued that a separate definition of antisemitism would “weaken the universalist approach” to combating all forms of racism and compromise “defence of freedom of expression and assembly for groups and activists that must be allowed to defend the rights of Palestinians and criticize Israel’s policy without being falsely accused of antisemitism.”

Among those who signed the letter was Malik Salemkour, president of France’s Human Rights League, which was founded in 1898 to combat the antisemitic persecution and trial of French-Jewish army captain Alfred Dreyfus.


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