Hundreds of people took to the streets in Paris, France, on Saturday, 22 June to demand the liberation of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, the imprisoned Arab struggler for Palestine who has been jailed in France for nearly 35 years. After the large demonstration, attacks have poured in from the French far right and pro-apartheid organizations, as documented by the Collectif Palestine Vaincra (translation below from the original French)
A story that comes (again) from afar
We can recognize the “quality” of these attacks in their consistency. Indeed, the Zionist far right and its allies have been repeatedly outraged by the growing support for the release of Georges Abdallah, Arab Communist and fighter for Palestine imprisoned in France since 1984 and eligible for release since 1999.
Since his arrest in 1984, Georges Abdallah has suffered repeated attacks from the supporters of the apartheid regime.
In 2016, during a film screening about Georges Abdallah at Utopia in Toulouse, the CRIF defamed the resister Georges Abdallah and the organizations that support him by attempting (unsuccessfully) to ban the event.
A few months ago, La France Insoumise member of parliament Danièle Obono was subjected to a wave of insults on Twitter for her support for the longest-held political prisoner in Europe. Among these Twitter attacks, one could count that of the lawyer-editorialist for the extreme right, Gilles William Goldnadel, or those of the leaders of the Printemps Républicain, Gilles Clavreul and Laurent Bouvet.
The campaign targeting only this one parliamentarian while dozens of prominent political figures also support Georges Abdallah must raise clear questions. This is especially true as many attacks referred to “integration” and the “values of the Republic,” long-established anti-Black, racist dog-whistles.
Misrepresentation in the service of Israel
The “controversy” surrounding the Paris demonstration for Georges Abdallah was sparked following an article in the pro-Israel, far-right website “Le Monde Juif,” close to the Jewish Brigade and the Jewish Defense League. This article, accompanied by a video, claims that the demonstrators chanted “Death to Israel,” (“A mort Israel” in French) and thus reflects anti-Semitism in the streets of Paris.
Even though it is very clear in the video that the slogan being chanted is actually “Down with Israel,” (“A bas Israel” in French) this is a classic refrain of the supporters of Israeli apartheid. They repeatedly affirm the Zionist claim that attempts to assimilate all Jews under the banner of the Zionist state. What is targeted in this slogan is the Israeli state, as a colonial, racist and advance base of Western imperialism in the region.
The accusation of anti-Semitism is too serious to be taken lightly. We condemn these wretched propaganda operations which aim to cast opprobrium upon a campaign that actually has great political clarity. Indeed, this campaign supports the struggle of Georges Abdallah and his organizations – the FARL as well as the PFLP – who fought and still fight against colonialism and racism, and for a free and democratic Palestine from the river to the sea.
Leading politicans support the attacks
This campaign, initiated by the most extreme ultra-Zionist networks, was soon joined by several prominent politicians.
For example, Les Républicains leader Eric Ciotti said, “hearing ‘Death to Israel’ on the streets of France in 2019 is unacceptable. This anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic act is intolerable.” Note also that he uses the same amalgamation as President Macron in an attempt to criminalize anti-Zionism.
Entendre "Mort à Israël" dans les rues de France en 2019 est insoutenable.
Cet acte antisioniste et antisémite est intolérable.
— Eric Ciotti (@ECiotti) June 26, 2019
For her part, the Israeli apartheid ambassador to France, Aliza Bin Noun, said she was “shocked, especially since the organizers were authorized by the Prefecture of Police.”
On a scandé “mort à #Israël” ce samedi en plein cœur de #Paris. Pas étonnant: c’était lors d’une manifestation de soutien au #terroriste notoire Georges Ibrahim Abdallah! Je suis plus que choquée, ce d’autant + que les organisateurs aient reçu l’autorisation de @prefpolice
— Aliza Bin Noun (@AlizaBinNoun) June 26, 2019
Faced with slander, we must confront it!
This new campaign of defamation helps to reveal that, in the diversity of its expressions, the campaign for the liberation of Georges Abdallah is growing and disturbing the defenders of racism and colonialism. The Collectif Palestine Vaincra asserts on this occasion its support for the Jeunes Révolutionnaires, initiator of the red block that is attacked in the video, which has been attacked on multiple occasions on social networks in this regard.
A bas Israël ! De la Mer au Jourdain, Palestine aux Palestiniens ! pic.twitter.com/mtjehTNS9V
— Jeunes Révolutionnaires (@JR_EF_) June 24, 2019
Meanwhile, LREM deputy Sylvain Maillard will propose that the National Assembly adopts the “IHRA definition of anti-Semitism,” which is yet another attempt to censor support for the Palestinian people. We must not allow France to criminalize anti-Zionism; this is our duty to everyone.