French lawmakers: Israel hatred is a form of anti-Semitism

Vandalized tombs with tagged swastikas are pictured in the Jewish cemetery of Quatzenheim, eastern France, Feb.19, 2019. (AP/Jean-Francois Badias)

The resolution also calls on the government to join other European countries in formally adopting the working definition of anti-Semitism used by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

By World Israel News Staff and JNS

France’s parliament on Tuesday voted on a draft resolution that says hatred of Israel is a form of anti-Semitism, with 154 lawmakers in the National Assembly backing the resolution and 74 opposing it.

The draft resolution was proposed by Sylvain Maillard, chair of the assembly’s Antisemitism Study Group.

The resolution also calls on the government to join other European countries in formally adopting the working definition of anti-Semitism used by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

According to the IHRA definition, “anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

In response to the vote, Israel’s Foreign Affairs Minister Israel Katz tweeted, “I welcome the decision of the French parliament to adopt the definition of anti-Semitism of the IHRA. The adoption of the resolution confirms President Macron’s remarks that anti-Zionism is the new face of anti-Semitism. I call on other countries to follow in France’s footsteps.”

In an open letter to National Assembly president Richard Ferrand in October, 39 organizations sent a warning about the resolution.

They argued that a separate definition of anti-Semitism would “weaken the universalist approach” to combating all forms of racism and compromise “defense of freedom of expression and assembly for groups and activists that must be allowed to defend the rights of Palestinians and criticize Israel’s policy without being falsely accused of anti-Semitism.”

Among those who signed the letter was Malik Salemkour, president of France’s Human Rights League, which was founded in 1898 to combat the anti-Semitic persecution and trial of French-Jewish army captain Alfred Dreyfus.

Ebin Sandler: