12 April '17..
Officially, France prohibits any form of boycott against Israel. In 2015, the Court of Cassation confirmed a 2013 decision regarding the illegality of boycotts and the call for boycotts in France. Under the law, in 2013, BDS France was fined €28,000 (USD $30,000) by a local French court, after a call made in 2010 by 14 activists to boycott Israeli products in a supermarket. In addition, each of the 14 activists was fined €1,000.
However, according to a report recently released by NGO Monitor, the French government continues to fund NGOs openly hostile to Israel and to fund NGOs that support and promote boycott campaigns against Israel.
The French government's financial support for boycott campaigns embraces:
The Made in Illegality campaign -- which includes The Platform of French NGOs for Palestine, International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), as well as the French Union La CGT. France's financial support goes beyond the French government's November 2016 decision to support labeling products produced in the settlements and instead supports the boycott of such products.
The campaign's goals include "prohibiting the import of settlement products," "excluding the settlements from their bilateral agreements and cooperation with Israel," and "excluding companies which are active or located in the settlements from public markets and public procurement procedures..."
The French government (Agence Française de Développement, AFD) provided the Platform of French NGOs for Palestine with €46,560 in 2009, €199,000 from 2011-2014, and €225,000 from 2014-2017. The Council of Île de France Region provided the Platform with €62,000 in 2013, €22,000 in 2014, and €20,000 in 2015. Claude Léostic, President of The Platform, was denied entry to Israel, and compared Israel to Nazi Germany: "...The people of France resisted the Nazi barbarians... But you have been suffering for more than 40 years, as incredible as it seems in this modern world, and that came after the Nakba..."
According to NGO Monitor, "40% (€225,000) of The Platform's 2014 project "Mieux agir pour le respect du droit en Palestine" (Improved Action for the Respect of Rights in Palestine) was funded by the French government (AFD). This project was partnered with Ittijah. In 2010, the head of Ittijah, Amir Makhoul, was sentenced to nine years in prison for spying for Hezbollah during the 2006 Lebanon war....
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Yves Mamou is a journalist and author based in France. He worked for two decades for the daily, Le Monde, before his retirement.
Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blog
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