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Paris, 5 October 2023

In December 2019, the Wiesenthal Centre sat in the French Assemblée Nationale (lower chamber of Parliament) to witness the historic adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Definition of Antisemitism. The vast majority approved, with the exception of populist extreme-left La France Insoumise (LFI - “France Unbowed”) and a few other sparse deputies.

This week, LFI Member of Parliament Sylvie Ferrer – elected in Toulouse – called on the Ministry of Justice to take action against the “direct and indirect participation of French citizens in illegal acts.” She apparently referred to French – presumably Jewish – citizens who volunteer in the Israel Defense Forces.

Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, commented: “In doing so, she implicitly raised the suspicion of the ‘dual loyalty’ of French Jews... a classical antisemitic trope, included among the contemporary examples of the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism, i.e., ‘Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations’.”

In her anti-Israel obsession, MP Ferrer mentioned French citizens involved “in Israeli military programs and indirect financial support for the IDF.” Would this also include any research or industrial defence cooperation benefitting both countries?

Her explicit demonization of Israel and its right to defend itself – quoting “non-compliance with UN Resolutions... and illegal acts by the [Israeli] regular Army...” is compounded by her application of double standards.

Perhaps Madam Ferrer has forgotten the spurious charges against French Jewish Officer Alfred Dreyfus for treason? Or perhaps she could blast the French Foreign Legion, or perhaps the many Jews in the French Resistance against the Nazis and the Vichy regime? Indeed, why does she not attack the neo-Nazis recently discovered in today’s French Army?

In fact, she does actively campaign for the liberation of a Palestinian-Lebanese terrorist, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, that France sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for the 1982 murders of US Military Attaché, Lt. Colonel Charles R. Ray, and of Israeli diplomat Yaakov Bar-Simantov outside his home in Paris, as well as involvement in the 1984 attempted assassination of former American consul in Strasbourg.

Incidentally, her constituency, Toulouse, was the theatre of the most abject antisemitic Jihadi terror attack... where a lone wolf attacked the Otzar Hatorah school, murdering 3 and 5-year-old brothers together with their father, and an 8-year-old girl at point blank range.

Toulouse is also the base of outlawed (in March 2022) – but still reportedly active – Collectif Palestine Vaincra (CPV, “Association Palestine Will Vanquish”), which has ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist group combining Arab nationalism with Marxist-Leninist ideology.

“We wonder if she has ever expressed similar doubts on the loyalty of French citizens supporting Palestinian terrorist groups or departing to fight with Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State?”, concluded Samuels.

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