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France: MPs sign draft resolution condemning Israeli apartheid against Palestinians

In this file picture, a Palestinian demonstrator runs past burning tires during a protest over tension in al-Quds and escalations along the border between the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied territories, near Hawara checkpoint near Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on May 14, 2021. (By Reuters)

A proposed resolution by dozens of members of the French parliament from left-wing parties has condemned the Israeli regime for “practicing apartheid and committing war crimes against Palestinians,” causing an uproar among political circles and the Jewish community in the Western European country.

The proposal condemns the Tel Aviv regime for creating a “systematic system of oppression and discrimination with the intention of maintaining the control of one ethnic-national-racial group over another.”

According to the draft resolution, Israel, ever since its creation in 1948, “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.”

The motion adds that “Israel has extended this policy” since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

It also calls for the legalization of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign and the “imposition of a strict arms embargo” on Israel.

The motion called for a French-sponsored resolution to the United Nations Security Council that would impose “targeted sanctions, such as the freezing of assets, on Israeli officials most implicated in the crime of apartheid.”

It also calls on the French government to “recognize the State of Palestine.”

The draft resolution was originally submitted on July 13 by member of the French Communist Party (PCF) Jean-Paul Lecocq.

Among its signatories are former candidate in the 2022 presidential election Fabien Roussel, legislators from the “France Proud” Party such as Adrien Katniss, socialist lawmaker Christine Pierce-Bonn, and Green Party parliamentarians Aurelian Tashi and Sabrina Sabaihi.

Moshe Lewin, a senior advisor to France’s Chief Rabbi and Vice President of the Conference of European Rabbis, attacked the draft resolution, asserting that “the dangerous obsession” of the leftist parties against Israel broke new records. 

“Member of Parliament Jean-Luc Mélenchon feels an inexplicable phobia towards Israel,” Lewin said about the leader of the left-wing France Unbowed Party. 

He further claimed that the proposal could increase the manifestations of hatred and anti-Semitism toward the Jewish community throughout France.

Jérôme Guedj, a lawmaker from the New Ecological and Social People’s Union (NUPES) political alliance, also criticized the anti-Israel draft resolution.

Earlier this year, the former Israeli attorney general said Tel Aviv was an “apartheid regime,” calling on the international community to hold Israel accountable for its discriminatory treatment of the Palestinians. 

In an article published in the Irish newspaper The Journal, Michael Ben-Yair stressed that he agreed with a report by an international rights group, which said Israel is committing the crime of apartheid against the Palestinians in the occupied territories.

Ben-Yair, who was also an acting Supreme Court of Israel judge, said he had spent much of his career analyzing the legal questions concerning Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian lands.

Israeli courts, he added, uphold “discriminatory laws” to expel Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds, which contributes to the “ongoing domination over these territories.”

“It is the Israeli ministerial cabinet for settlements that approves every illegal settlement in the occupied territories. It was me, in my role as the attorney general who approved the expropriation of private Palestinian land in order to build infrastructure such as roads that have entrenched settlement expansion,” he said.

Last year, Israel’s leading human rights group, B’Tselem, said in a report that Israel is not a democracy but an “apartheid regime” that systematically oppresses the Palestinians via military occupation and racist laws.

The Tel Aviv regime, it asserted, is using “laws, practices and organized violence to cement the supremacy of one group over another.”

Israel occupied the West Bank and East al-Quds during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later annexed East al-Quds in a move not recognized by the international community.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East al-Quds as its capital.

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