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France Threatens to Dissolve Pro-Palestine Organizations

While Israel has implemented a blockade on Gaza and is preparing for a ground offensive, the French government is taking steps to criminalize support for the Palestinian cause.

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The French Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, has deemed that displaying a flag or expressing support for the Palestinian people is an anti-Semitic act and is threatening to prosecute and even dissolve social or political organizations that do so.

The French government has started laying the groundwork for an escalation in the criminalization of the Palestinian cause. At the same time, there has been a police and military presence deployed outside all Jewish places of worship in France, and the Minister of the Interior has already begun equating any form of criticism of the policies of the State of Israel with antisemitism.

Darmanin told the press that they will give full support to demonstrations in favor of the State of Israel, while denouncing a “resurgence of anti-Semitic acts” throughout France—acts that have already led to a dozen arrests, while 44 of the 700 reports sent to Pharos (the government site for reporting illegal behavior online) resulted in the opening of a judicial investigation.

Consequently, the government has begun to exploit the fight against anti-Semitism to criminalize any act of solidarity with Palestine and resistance against the State of Israel, as if the struggle against a colonialist apartheid state were an act of anti-Semitism. As if denouncing a State that is in the process of imposing a blockade on the Gaza Strip by cutting off electricity, water, and gas were an act of anti-Semitism.

In the list of acts considered “anti-Semitic” that it intends to prosecute, the government includes: “displaying banners in support of the Palestinians,” “statements calling for an intifada,” and “posters in support of the Palestinians.”In other words, any act in support of the Palestinian people would be qualified as anti-Semitism. Yesterday, a demonstration in support of the Palestinian resistance planned in Lyon was banned and harshly repressed by the police, who charged at demonstrators and fired tear gas.

Saying that any form of support for the Palestinian people or questioning of the colonialist state of Israel is anti-Semitic is a way of criminalizing an entire population resisting violence and those who support them. In this context, the Minister of the Interior said that he reserves the right to consider the dissolution of groups, associations, and political parties. Darmanin has also called for the withdrawal of residence permits and the deportation of all persons without French nationality who have expressed sympathy for the Palestinian people.

France, which has always unconditionally supported the racist and colonial State of Israel, is undertaking a new offensive by attempting to fuse anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism as a means to silence all the parties that have opposed its policies in recent years — from La France Insoumise to our comrades of Révolution Permanente through Philippe Poutou’s NPA.

There is an urgent need for solidarity with organizations and individuals in France who are struggling to freely express their support for the Palestinian people and their right to question the racist and colonialist nature of the State of Israel.

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