Ambassador asks French cities to ban anti-Israel apartheid week

Israeli envoy says events are against French law and will cause incitement to hatred and violence towards Jews

Then-Israel ambassador to France Aliza Bin Noun, 2015. (CC BY-SA Erez Lichtfeld, Wikimedia Commons)
Then-Israel ambassador to France Aliza Bin Noun, 2015. (CC BY-SA Erez Lichtfeld, Wikimedia Commons)

Israel’s ambassador to France called on local cities to ban events tied to the pro-Palestinian Israel Apartheid Week, scheduled to begin Monday.

Aliza Ben-Nun wrote to mayors of nine cities across France asking them to cancel events organized by the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the Foreign Ministry said Friday.

Ben-Nun said that the events are likely to cause disturbances, incitement to hatred and violence towards Israel and the Jewish community. She also wrote that the boycott is prohibited under French law.

Her letter was first reported by Israel Radio.

Israel Apartheid week events are scheduled for Paris, Rennes, Toulouse, Montpellier, Lyon, Saint Étienne, Lille, Marseille and Grenoble as part of a world-wide initiative in more than 200 cities and universities that critics say seeks to deligitimize the State of Israel.

According to its French website, the events in France will mark 100 years of colonization by Israel and 100 years of popular struggle for justice by Palestinians, counting from the Balfour Declaration of 1917.

Many of the anti-Israel events scheduled for Britain at the end of February were canceled for violating the government’s definition of anti-Semitism.

The British government in December adopted a relatively broad definition of anti-Semitism that includes denying the Jewish people its right to self-determination, for example by claiming that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavor, or drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

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