France rejects labelling ‘Israel’ as “apartheid”
Paris – France’s President Emmanuel Macron has rejected the finding by several major human rights groups that ‘Israel’ perpetrates the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people.
“It is not acceptable in the name of a just struggle for liberty that organizations misuse historically charged, shameful terms to describe the State of Israel,” Prime Minister Jean Castex said at the gala dinner of CRIF, France’s main Jewish communal and Israel lobby group, on Thursday.
The Prime Minister was reading a speech that Macron had planned to deliver in person.
However, the president sent his prime minister instead due to the unfolding crisis in Ukraine.
“How dare anyone speak of apartheid in a state where Arab citizens are represented in the government, parliament and occupy positions of responsibility and leadership?” Macron’s speech states.
This month, Amnesty International joined Human Rights Watch and Israel’s B’Tselem in concluding that ‘Israel’ perpetrates apartheid against the Palestinian people as a whole.
Amnesty said in the new report that Israel’ is carrying out “the crime of apartheid against Palestinians” and must be held accountable for treating them as “an inferior racial group”.
The 278-page report by the leading rights group details how Israeli occupation authorities enforce a system of oppression and domination against the Palestinians.
The damning investigation sets out how massive seizures of Palestinian land and property, unlawful killings, forcible transfer, drastic movement restrictions, and the denial of nationality and citizenship to Palestinians are all components of a system “which amounts to apartheid under international law.”
Amnesty said that this system is maintained by violations which the rights group found to “constitute apartheid as a crime against humanity, as defined in the Rome Statute and Apartheid Convention.”
Amnesty International also called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to consider the “crime of apartheid in its current investigation in the OPT” and called on all states to “exercise universal jurisdiction to bring perpetrators of apartheid crimes to justice.”
A year ago, B’Tselem drew criticism from Israeli politicians when it asserted that Israeli policies had been designed to enforce “Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea”.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch in April last year became the first significant international rights group to publicly level the allegation of apartheid.
The speech of Macron also claims that “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people.”
“That does not stop anyone from recognizing and respecting the attachment of other religions to this city,” the president’s statement adds.
Macron also reaffirmed his intention to continue his war on France’s Muslim population and supporters of Palestinian rights under the guise of fighting “anti-Semitism” and “separatism.”
The president’s speech boasts that the French parliament in 2019 adopted the controversial IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.
As a result, Macron claims, “Our security forces, our judges as well as our schools are learning better how to unmask its new faces, the words in which anti-Semitism, often tainted with anti-Zionism, are concealed.”
The attack on anti-Zionism – which can be heard in the video of Castex reading the speech – is absent from the officially published text.
Macron’s remarks came the same day his interior minister – acting on presidential orders – moved to outlaw two Palestine solidarity groups on the grounds that they are “promoting hatred of Israel.”
The interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, tweeted on Thursday that “at the request” of President Macron, he would move to dissolve Palestine Vaincra (Palestine Will Win) and Comité Palestine Action (Palestine Action Committee).