Fury as French MPs call Israelis a ‘racial group’ in a parliamentary resolution

The motion put forward by a group of far-left MPs, which calls on France to 'immediately dismantle' the 'Israeli Apartheid regime', has been condemned as antisemitic


Deputy for the Parti Socialiste (PS) and member of the NUPES left-wing coalition Jerome Guedj takes a selfie at the French National Assembly (Assemblee Nationale), in Paris, on June 20, 2022, one day after the parliamentary elections. (Photo by Thomas COEX / AFP) (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)

A French parliamentary resolution describing Israelis as “a racial group” has been condemned as “antisemitic”.

The motion put forward by a group of far-left MPs calls on France to “immediately dismantle” the “Israeli Apartheid regime” and insists that “boycotting Israeli products is perfectly legal”.

The text refers to Israelis as “a racial group” who have “institutionalised systemic oppression and domination”.

The resolution by 34 French MPs from the NUPES coalition (communists, socialists, environmentalists and the France Unbowed party) says: “Inhumane acts are regularly carried out against Palestinians in the occupied territories (West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza) as well as in Israel.

“This includes arbitrary and extra-judiciary executions, torture, the violent death of children and the denial of fundamental human rights.”

The resolution has widely been criticised in and outside Parliament and is unlikely to pass. In an apparent condemnation of the motion, Justice minister Eric Dupond-Moretti said: “Antisemitism is not dead. It crawls everywhere (…) even in some political statements.”

He added: “Who could have imagined that in this day and age people would still refer to ‘the Jewish race’?”

Jewish Socialist MP and NUPES member Jerome Guedj said the resolution was not in the official NUPES platform and has never been discussed in group meetings. He denounced the resolution as an attempt to delegitimise Israel.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne also voiced her objection to the resolution.

But the NUPES MPs robustly denied the accusations against them.

One, Manuel Bompard, who did not sign the resolution, said: “You can’t accuse elected representatives of being antisemitic. If the justice minister believes anyone is antisemitic, then he should sue them.”

Political observers have suggested the MPs who submitted the resolution want to demonstrate they staunchly oppose official government policies on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a pitch to some voters.

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