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Simone Rodan-Benzaquen: "When will the far left stop instrumentalizing the Palestinian cause?"


FIGAROVOX/TRIBUNE - The director of AJC Europe denounces the triumphant welcome received by Salah Hamouri, sentenced by Israeli justice for attempted murder, since his return to France. According to her, the far left helps to justify violence against Israelis and by...

Simone Rodan-Benzaquen is director of AJC Europe (American Jewish Committee).

Last December, after being expelled by Israel, the Franco-Palestinian Salah Hamouri was welcomed as a hero at Paris airport by several deputies from France Insoumise.

MP Ersilia Soudais even called the expulsion an

“Israeli-orchestrated deportation

,” the choice of words being inappropriate to say the least.

For those who follow the Israeli-Palestinian question, but above all the treatment that has been made of it in France, this episode is not surprising.

Salah Hamouri, often presented as a "Franco-Palestinian lawyer", "human rights defender", "former political prisoner", was imprisoned in Israel between 2005 and 2011 for participating in the attempted assassination of Ovadia Yossef, a former Sephardi rabbi of Israel.

Hamouri is suspected of being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) - which he disputes - classified as a terrorist organization by the European Union.

Following his reception at the airport, Hamouri was, a few days ago, received by the communist group at the National Assembly.

He was also invited by EELV Mayor Grégory Doucet to a round table on the Oslo Accords and made honorary citizen of the towns of Rezé, Vitry, Carhaix and Gennevilliers.

Beyond the debates around Hamouri himself, these initiatives undeniably reflect the desire of certain political leaders to appear as paragons of the defense of what they imagine to be the Palestinian cause, which they use as a tool of political clientelism.

Here in France, violent anti-Semitism, linked to hatred of Israel, has been structurally entrenched for at least two decades and has destroyed so many lives.

Simone Rodan-Benzaquen

These elected officials, often from the extreme left, have caressed certain associations and a particular section of voters in the direction of deviation.

Before Salah Hamouri, other extremist or terrorist figures had already been elevated to the rank of symbols of several cities.

This was particularly the case of Marwan Barghouti, sentenced by the Israeli courts to five life sentences for the murder of Israeli civilians and his involvement in four terrorist attacks.

Majdi Ihrima Al-Rimawi, sentenced for his participation in the assassination of the Israeli Minister of Tourism, Rehavam Zeevi, made an honorary citizen of Bezons.

However, following the cancellation of this distinction by the administrative court of Pontoise, in February 2013, the mayor had made the 4,500 Palestinians found guilty and imprisoned by Israeli justice, symbolic honorary citizens.

By glorifying terrorists in this way, by qualifying them as 'resisters' and by calling into question the reality, scale and seriousness of the crimes committed by them, when they have been tried and sentenced, these representatives of the République are not limited to political or ideological criticism of the Israeli government, they go beyond their function.

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Attachment to the Palestinian or Israeli cause, the debate on the conflict in the Middle East are healthy behaviors when they take place within the framework of democratic debate.

The justification, the glorification of terrorism and anti-Semitism, the instrumentalization of the Palestinian cause and the transformation of the latter into indirect support for terrorism, or even fraternization with enemies of the Republic are, on the other hand, behaviors unworthy.

We must denounce such initiatives which not only add fuel to the fire but lead to the rehabilitation of murderers and to a justification of violence against Israelis and by extension against Jews.

Here in France, violent anti-Semitism, linked to hatred of Israel, is

The acts of these terrorists are no less horrible, nor more acceptable than those committed by Amedy Coulibaly, the Kouachi brothers, Mohammed Merah or Mehdi Nemmouche.

The moral confusion to which the review of criminal acts tends calls into question the very foundations of the fight against racism, anti-Semitism and terrorism.

Simone Rodan-Benzaquen

Therefore, how can we expect our children to discern the acceptable from the unacceptable or understand what terrorist ideology is, if our political leaders are themselves sinking into an intellectual and moral perversion?

How can we prevent our young people from “importing the conflict” on our soil, if our elected officials excuse, even glorify, hatred of Israel?

How to make new forms of anti-Semitism understood, including that linked to hatred of Israel, which our institutions are also trying to combat, in particular by adopting the working definition of anti-Semitism of the Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

At the very moment when the government is about to reveal its new plan to fight against anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination, it is difficult to conceive of letting elected representatives of the Republic go in the opposite direction and stir up the worst instincts for electoral reasons.

Because, it must be said bluntly: the moral confusion to which the revision of criminal acts tends calls into question the very foundations of the fight against racism, anti-Semitism and terrorism.

However, if we wish to fight effectively against these scourges and defend republican values, we must be intractable in the face of any compromise and political recovery of extremism - particularly when they are initiated by our elected officials.

Without this, the initiatives, measures and plans put in place will definitely be empty shells.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-26

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