Pro-palestinian Activists On Strasbourg

A group of French senators have introduced a bill that would make any criticism of Zionism a crime as the country tries to get a grip on a rise in antisemitic attacks since the 7 October Hamas attack. 

Sen. Stephane Le Rudulier and 15 colleagues want those who deny the existence of Israel to face up to a year in prison and a 45,000 euro fine. Those who “insult” Israel would face an even steeper fine: up to two years in prison and a 75,000 euro fine. Those convicted of provoking hatred against the country could face up to five years in prison and a 100,000 euro fine, according to TVP World. 

Gérald Darmanin, the French interior minister, said there have been more than 1,000 antisemitic attacks in France since the Hamas attack and subsequent Israeli crackdown that has killed over 9,000 people, mainly women and children.  

“With 16 senators we demand the criminalization of anti-Zionism. The explosion of anti-Semitism is fueled by hatred of Israel, the false nose of hatred of Jews Anti-Zionism could expose its perpetrators to up to 5 years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros,” Le Rudulier posted on X.

TRENDPOST: It is worth noting that Zionism has been blamed for the displacement of over a million Palestinians and a million more arrests, Middle East Eye reported. The report cited a definition put forth by Ilan Pappe, the Israeli historian, who said Zionism is a “colonialist movement that penetrated the Palestinian homeland by force, with the wish to colonize the country and with possible expansionist ambitions to penetrate the heart of the Arab world.”

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, conflated the two during an interview with CNN. 

“There is no argument anymore that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, that is as plain as day,” he said.

The Atlantic magazine wrote, “Political Zionism, defined concisely, is the belief that the Jews should have a Jewish state in their ancestral homeland. Anti-Zionism, in similarly brief terms, is the opposition to that belief.”

Nikki Haley, the Republican hopeful who has been an outspoken supporter of Israel, said “anti-Zionism is antisemitism.”

“As president, I will change the official federal definition of antisemitism to include denying Israel’s right to exist, and I will pull schools’ tax exemption status if they do not combat antisemitism in all of its forms—in accordance with federal law,” she said, according to The Nation.

Dave Zirin, a Jewish writer for the magazine, wrote that Judaism is a “beautiful religion and culture, of which I am proudly a part, that has been around for thousands of years. Zionism is a 125-year-old political philosophy that has solidified into the idea that Jews need their own ethno-state.”

He continued: “The nation of Israel has been around for only 75 years. I have members in my family well older than the state of Israel. It is, as Jimmy Carter has bravely argued in his last years, an apartheid state built on the dispossession of Palestinian land. While this factual history is something that Haley thinks we should be legally forbidden to discuss in the United States, it is a subject of constant debate in the Israeli press: How do you justify a Jewish state if it is built, as Carter said, on “an apartheid basis?”

The Trends Journal has reported extensively on Israel’s illegal and expanding land grab and horrible treatment of Palestinians. (See “HUNGER STRIKER DEATH SPARKS ROCKET EXCHANGE BETWEEN PALESTINE AND ISRAEL” 9 May 2023, “ISRAEL KILLS 3 MORE PALESTINIANS DURING ANOTHER DEADLY WEEK” 14 Mar 2023, and “DOES ISRAEL SEEK A ‘FINAL SOLUTION FOR PALESTINIANS?’” 14 Feb 2023.)

Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth told The New York Times in May 2021 that the “oppression of Palestinians there has reached a threshold and a performance that meets the definitions of the crimes of apartheid and persecution.”

Palestinians have been making the claim about the conditions there since the 1960s. President Jimmy Carter agreed with this back in 2006, and there is a growing number of Jewish human-rights groups that also make the claim. Jerusalem-based B’Tselem also made the claim.

We also remind our readers that in the 1967 six-day war, Israel invaded and seized Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, and the Syrian Golan Heights, expelling some 300,000 Palestinians from their homes, while gaining stolen territory that was three and a half times its original size. To date, some 670,000 Israelis live in the occupied West Bank.

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