US Jewish group slams French response to Orange’s BDS announcement

June 5, 2015 22:15

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations criticized what it said were inconsistencies in French diplomacy’s reaction to Orange’s pullout from Israel.

The statement Friday by the Conference, an umbrella for 50 national Jewish organizations, focused on a series of messages about the West Bank posted on Twitter by France’s ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud, directly following the announcement Thursday by France’s Orange telecommunications giant that it intends to pull out of Israel.

Faced with complaints over what was perceived as a politically motivated act of disassociation with Israel, Orange, which is partially controlled by the French government, released a clarification on its website explaining the move was the result of a company strategy. Israel, Orange said, was the only country where Orange was operating through an affiliate, Partner Communications — from which Orange now wished to part.

Yet Araud’s tweets, the Conference of Presidents wrote, were seen as “justifying a boycott of Israel by raising extraneous issues regarding the status of the West Bank territories.”

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