French Jewish leaders condemn Israel 'apartheid' bill as dangerous leftist obsession

French rabbi slams left-wing politicians who signed a draft resolution claiming Israel is an "apartheid regime." 

A man wearng a T-shirt with the message, "Boycott Israel Apartheid" holds a Palestinian flag during a protest action on a bridge overlooking umbrellas placed along the artificial beach along the "Paris Plages" event, in Paris, France, August 13, 2015. Paris' decision to celebrate "Tel Aviv on Seine" (photo credit: REUTERS/PASCAL ROSSIGNOL)
A man wearng a T-shirt with the message, "Boycott Israel Apartheid" holds a Palestinian flag during a protest action on a bridge overlooking umbrellas placed along the artificial beach along the "Paris Plages" event, in Paris, France, August 13, 2015. Paris' decision to celebrate "Tel Aviv on Seine"
(photo credit: REUTERS/PASCAL ROSSIGNOL)

A senior French rabbi has criticized 37 left-wing members of parliament who signed a draft resolution condemning the Israeli government for "practicing apartheid and committing war crimes against Palestinians."

Moshe Lewin, senior advisor to France's Chief Rabbi and Vice President of the Conference of European Rabbis   responded to the draft, saying that "the dangerous obsession of the leftist parties against Israel broke new records. 

"Member of Parliament Jean-Luc Mélenchon feels an inexplicable phobia towards Israel," Lewin said about the leader of the extreme-left wing France Unbowed Party. Mélenchon ran for president in the 2022 elections and ended up in third place.

"While France is facing a big economic crisis, a war in Ukraine and diplomatic tensions in Taiwan, the members of the left-wing parties found time to propose a scandalous bill, the likes of which have not yet been seen [in French history]," Lewin said.

"The Palestinian lobby is working behind the scenes to incite and strengthen the flames of incitement. This proposal could increase the manifestations of hatred and antisemitism toward the Jewish community throughout France."

A proposed resolution by French members of parliament from the leftist parties condemning the Israeli "apartheid regime", demanding a boycott and imposing sanctions on Israel, has caused an uproar among political circles and the Jewish community, the senior adviser said.

French flag in France (credit: REUTERS)French flag in France (credit: REUTERS)

Bill on "Israeli apartheid"

The bill has already been condemned by the umbrella council of the Jewish organizations of France, which called it "an antisemitic move in an anti-Zionist disguise." 

"Member of Parliament Jean-Luc Mélenchon feels an inexplicable phobia towards Israel."

Moshe Lewin

The proposal accuses Israel of creating a "systematic system of oppression and discrimination with the intention of maintaining the control of one ethnic-national-racial group over another."

21 of the signatories are members of the Communist Party. 

The draft resolution was originally submitted on July 13 by Communist MP Jean-Paul Lecocq and stirred a public debate only a few days later. Among the signatories are former presidential candidate Fabien Roussel, deputies from the "France Proud" Party such as Adrien Katniss, socialist Christine Pierce-Bonn and Green Party MPs Aurelian Tashi and Sabrina Sabaihi.

According to the draft, since Israel's Independence in 1948, it “has pursued a policy aimed at establishing and maintaining a Jewish demographic hegemony and expanding its control over the territory for the benefit of Israeli Jews."

France Jewry's umbrella organization the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (CRIF) has responded to the draft. Its new president Yonathan Arfi criticized the draft, saying that it was “misleading in substance and hateful in form.’’

“It reflects the rise in power in France of the far Left, Corbyn style, mixing clientelism and obsession with Israel," he said, adding that it is an "irresponsible and dangerous approach."