EJC applauds French MPs who wish to criminalise anti-Zionism as a form of antisemitism

(Brussels, Wednesday, February 20, 2019) – The European Jewish Congress (EJC) warmly welcomes the discussions in the French Parliament on how to criminalise anti-Zionism as a form of antisemitism. Sylvain Maillard, from President Emmanuel Macron’s ruling party, who chairs a 30-member cross-party study group on antisemitism in the French National Assembly, held a debate on what type of legislation should be used to make anti-Zionism an offence.

“We absolutely welcome this discussion and hope to see it lead to concrete action because it is clear that the overwhelming majority of those who claim to be anti-Zionist use it merely as a cover for their antisemitism,” Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the EJC, said. “We are, of course, making a huge differentiation between legitimate criticism of Israel and its policies, and singling out and isolating the Jewish people as not being allowed to express its right to self-determination and to live in its national homeland.”

“Anti-Zionists never claim that any other nation on earth, apart from the Jewish State, should be dismantled or is illegitimate so it is clear that this meets any standard of delegitimisation, demonisation and double-standards.”

The debate in the French Parliament comes in the wake of a wave of attacks against Jews and Jewish symbols and institutions in France, like the daubing of swastikas on Jewish tombstones in Alsace, the firing of shots at a synagogue in Paris, the defacing of the image of Holocaust survivor Simone Veil and the abuse directed against Alain Finkielkraut when he was called a “dirty Zionist” by some involved in the ‘yellow vests’ demonstrations.

“Far too many think that if you substitute the word ‘Jew’ for ‘Zionist’, then you can say all manner of abusive and outrageous things, and this sleight of hand has become comprehensively acceptable,” Dr. Kantor continued. “That is why it is so important to close this gap in the law because if you can continue spreading hatred against Jews just by changing a word then you allow a loophole for hate.”

“Just as everyone understood that the Quenelle was merely a disguised Nazi salute and still violated anti-hate laws in France, so using anti-Zionism as a pretext to spread hatred of Jews should be likewise criminalised.”

related

Subscribe to EJC newsletter

Get EJC's bi-weekly newsletter, including the latest statements and news from the European Jewish communities, direct to your inbox.

European Jewish Congress will use the information you provide on this form to contact you. We will treat your information with respect and will not share it with others. By clicking Subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

Events & Meetings

EJC joins round table discussion with UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion

The EJC, represented by Mike Whine MBE, took part in a round table discussion with UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief Dr Ahmed Shaheed organised by the Parliamentary Committee Against Antisemitism and the Antisemitism Policy Trust.

EJC attends first meeting on the implementation of the Council Declaration on the fight against antisemitism

The EJC attended the first meeting of the working group on the implementation of the Council Declaration on the fight against antisemitism and the development of a common security approach to better protect Jewish communities and institutions in Europe.

EJC Executive Vice-President Raya Kalenova addresses European Economic and Social Committee

EJC Executive Vice-President Raya Kalenova delivered a keynote speech at the Plenary of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).

EJC President Moshe Kantor meets with H.Em. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of His Holiness the Pope

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor met with His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of His Holiness the Pope, on 2 May 2019 in the Vatican, in the framework of dialogue and common initiatives between the European Jewish Congress, the Catholic Church and the Holy See.

EJC attends conference on Jewish life in Morocco at the Belgian Senate

EJC attended the conference “‘Living together’ in the 21th Century, being a Jew in Islamic Land: the case of Morocco”, which was held at the Belgian Senate on 23 April 2019.