By Vacy Vlazna
France, the nation whose 1789 Revolution gave the world the ideals of Equality, Fraternity and Liberty especially freedom of speech and of the press, jumps to attention (as a docile marionette does) when its Zionist manipulators such as the National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism(BNCVA) the France Israel Chamber of Commerce, International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA) Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, get a whiff of criticism of Israel's war crimes and crimes against humanity.
In June, puppetmaster CRIF frantically pulled its incitement-to-hate-Israel-strings when Professor Christophe Oberlin had the temerity to light a spark of conscience and morality (important qualities for the medical profession) by setting an exam question for his students of humane medicine at Bichat Hospital Faculty of Medicine using the example of the massacre of 22 members of the Samouni family [by the Givati Brigade] during the 2008-2009 Israeli war on Gaza "To what extent does it constitute a perpetual crime (war crime, crime against humanity, genocide crime)?"
Oberlin's boss, the Puppet, oops, President of Diderot University, Vincent Berger shamefully apologised (for the truth) to CRIF and said an internal investigation would be mounted. Ironically, Diderot University prides itself on Denis Diderot's humanist values and his profound respect for freedom of knowledge and thought. Diderot himself did not shy from controversy when accused of 'publishing dangerous ideas' and Berger's unworthy coerced apology is at odds with Diderot's "Every man has his dignity. I'm willing to forget mine, but at my own discretion and not when someone else tells me to."
Professors Mads Gilbert and Eric Fosse, Norwegian surgeons, who attended the Samouni survivors and other innocent victims of Israel's violent Cast Lead Operation in Gaza describe in their book, 'Eyes in Gaza', how in April 2009, Norwegian lawyers filed charges of 'war crimes and gross violation of international humanitarian law' against the war on Gaza's key Israeli political and military leaders Ehad Olmert, Ehud Barak, Tzipi Livni, Gabi Ashkenazi, Eliezer Marom, Avi Mizrahi, Ido Nehoshtan, Yoav Galant, Ilan Malka (Givati) and Avi Peled (Golani) and requesting their arrest if they go to Norway. Gilbert and Fosse's 'Eyes in Gaza' details the medical challenges of treating injured civilians in the thick of the fierce Israeli bombardment and severe medical shortages and should be a mandatory text for medical students and Vincent Berger.
Another serious attack on academic independence and freedom of expression occurred in February at the Paris 8 university when a conference titled "Is Israel an apartheid state?" which included the keynote speaker, Omar Barghouti, coordinator of the Palestinian campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel was obsequiously banned by the University president Pascal Binczak who closed the university down for 2 days after a delirium of "discrimination against a nation"-and-"incitement to hatred and violence" string-pulling by CRIF and the Simon Weisenthal Centre which warned of the threat to public order and danger to the Jewish community. This is the same Wiesenthal Centre that intolerantly desecrated the Muslim Ma'man Allah cemetery, Jerusalem to build its Museum of Tolerance. Shimon Samuels is the director of both the European Wiesenthal Center and the BNCVA.
The conference was peacefully held off-campus.
In January 2011, CRIF president, Richard Prasquier contacted the Minister of the Universities, Valerie Pécresse convincing her to cancel a BDS conference at the prestigious "l'Ecole Normale Supérieure" (ENS) in an attempt to silence Stephane Hessel, diplomat, ambassador, writer, concentration camp survivor, former French resistance fighter, an editor of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and author of Indignez-vous! (Time for Outrage) in which he states, "Today, my main indignation concerns Palestine, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank.... This conflict is outrageous."
Zionists also tried to string along the French justice system since 2010 during a series of trials against French BDS activists citing the 1972 amendments to Law of 1881 whereby racially defamatory comments and incitement to racial hatred were criminalised. CRIF has 80 cases pending trial. In 2011, the judgement from the Bobigny criminal court ruled that "incitement to discrimination could only be applied to a population or a population group, and not to a state or the products of that state." On 17 June 2011, judges of the tribunal of the 17th magistrate's court of the Paris law courts ruled on the right of citizens to call for a boycott of Israel and its products.
When Olivia Zemor, president of CAPJPO-EuroPalestine, was acquitted on 8 July, 2011 "the judge explained that the article of law cited by the plaintiffs (article 24, paragraph 8, Law of 1881) is designed to "fight any form of racism" and cannot be cited in order to forbid a call for boycott "suggesting a certain form of conscientious objection, which each of us is free to express or not to express" and "launched by non-governmental organisations without prerogative powers".
Even so, the new French president Francois Hollande was quick to emulate his predecessor, the Zionist ventriloquist dummy Sarkozy, stating " I am totally opposed to the boycott of Israeli goods, which is illegal and does not serve the cause of peace."
Tracking Zionist interests and manipulation of the French government is a matter of following the money which ultimately leads to the Israeli arms industry and to Israel's occupation of Palestine.
France is Israel's largest European weapons supplier which as David Cronin points out is "at variance with the Union's decade-old code of conduct on weapons exports. Formally declared legally binding by EU governments last year, the code forbids weapons sales in cases where they may exacerbate regional tensions or where there is a strong likelihood they will be used in violation of human rights."
Charles Edelstenne, who by the way is also a director of Carrefour, is chairman and co-founder of Dassault Aviation, a major military supplier, which has a stake in Thales, a French multinational company that turns over more than $22 billion in revenue in Aerospace, Space, Defence and Security markets annually. Heron TP aircraft are built by Dassault Aviation and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) which was founded in 1953 by Shimon Peres and is owned by the government of Israel. Le Figaro, France's second largest national newspaper is owned by Dassault. Lagardère, a French conglomerate with defence and aviation interests, owns the Paris-Match magazine and part owner of Le Monde, Xavier Neil, is a partner of Israeli company, Golan Telecom whose controlling shareholder, Michael Golan made 'aliyah to Israel in 2007 'as part of his Zionist vision'.
Former President of France, Sarkosy (as well as Blair) is a personal Bernard Arnault, Europe's 4th richest man, who controls the luxury goods empire of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) which also owns the French cosmetics chain Sephora and has stakes in the Carrefour supermarkets and in De Beers Diamond Jewellers Limited.
Sephora operates 269 stores in France and more than 1,400 stores in 27 countries. It retails the AHAVA Dead Sea products that are produced in Israel's illegal colonies. EI blogger, Adri Nieuwhof points out that "Ahava uses Palestinian natural resources without the permission of or compensation to the Palestinians. Meanwhile, Israel denies Palestinians access to the shores of the Dead Sea and its resources, although one-third of the western shore of the Dead Sea lies in the occupied West Bank."
French BDS activists have been targeting Carrefour supermarkets deshelving "Israeli agricultural products imported in France by the Israeli company Mehadrin, which is an essential tool for the Israeli policy of colonization of the Palestinian territories. Most of the products come from Israeli settlements, including from settlements located in the Jordan valley where 7,000 settlers have taken over 95 % of the Palestinian farmer's lands and have ensured the control of 98 % of the water. As per international law, and in particular as per the IVth Geneva Convention, the activities of Mehadrin are criminal."
Israeli Textile giant, Delta Galil also supplies Carrefour. It's boss, Dov Lautman is an associate of Ehud Barak and a staunch Zionist. He a member of the Jewish Agency's Board of Governors since June 2002 and a member of the Jewish Agency Executive. The Jewish Agency was established by the World Zionist Organization (WZO) in 1929. "It acts as agent of the government in assigning land to Jewish colonists" in Occupied Palestine.
From 2009 until 2011, when it hit a financial slump, Israeli billionaire Nochi Dankner's Koor Industries Ltd held a 3% share stake in Carrefour. Former president and CEO of Strauss Group Ltd (which actively supports the vicious Golani and Givati elite brigades), Erez Vigodman joined Makhteshim Agan Group in January 2010 which is 40% owned by Danker's Koor Industries. Maketish Agan is a pesticide factory located in the Ramat Hovav industrial zone that pollutes its environs with hazardous waste including Wadi el-Na'am, a village of more than 5,000 Bedouins. "In a 2004 study commissioned by the Israeli Ministry of Health found a high rate of birth defects among children living in the vicinity. In August 2006, Ben Gurion University epidemiologist Batya Sarov, formerly a specialist at Chernobyl, compared the environmental monitoring and health risks to Chernobyl."
Dankner is also a director of Nesher Israel Cement Enterprises, Israel's sole cement producer, which supplies construction materials to Israeli companies building the illegal Annexation Wall and 'products of Nesher were seen in construction sites in West Bank settlements and in the construction of the light rail project in Jerusalem, which connects the settlement neighbourhoods of the city with the city center.'
In 2007 Jonathan Kolber, Koor Industries chairman and former director of Makhteshim, who is also on the board of directors of Elbit (Israel's largest defence firm specialising in drones ad surveillance), invested in Eyeblaster along with BRM Capital managing director Eli Barkat. Eli's bother, Nir was a founder of BRM. Nir Barkat, as mayor of Jerusalem drives the judaisation of occupied Jerusalem through ethnic cleansing, home demolitions and illegal colony construction.
LVMH also has the jewellery lines of TAG Heuer, Chaumet, Christian Dior Montres, Zenith, Fred, Hublot, including the joint-venture De Beers Diamond Jewellers Limited. In 2012 Nicky Oppenheimer sold the family's 40% stake in De Beers after its long and lucrative relationship with Israel's diamond industry which still continues.
Patrick Galey, in his article "Israeli Blood Diamonds: The Global Coverup' reveals the close connection between the Israeli diamond industry and the Israeli military. " Israeli economist Shir Hever, in evidence given at 2010's Russell Tribunal on Palestine, said that it was the Israeli Defense Forces, among other organizations, that most benefited from Israel's lucrative diamond business."
"Overall the Israeli diamond industry contributes about $1 billion annually to the Israeli military and security industries," Hever told the Tribunal. "Every time somebody buys a diamond that was exported from Israel some of that money ends up in the Israeli military, so the financial connection is quite clear."
"That is not counting the private diamond revenue that goes to the Israeli Army. Steinmetz, [a buyer of rough diamonds from De Beers] one of the world's leading diamond producers, owns a charitable foundation that has "adopted" a unit in the Israeli Army. The diamond giant is funding the notorious Givati Brigade, responsible for one of the worst atrocities perpetrated on the people of Gaza during Operation Cast Lead" i.e.. the Samouni massacre.
Zionist puppeteers ensure that the French government protects its interests in Israel. For all the financial loss of billions of dollars, due in part to the successful BDS campaign against it, the massive debt of Veolia Environnement, a multinational French company which is heavily implicated in Israel's apartheid framework, is being propped up by tax monies by the French government through Caisse des Dépôts (CDC), a public investment authority that manages public funds. Veolia built the Jews-only Light Rail Project in Jerusalem and provides Jews-only bus services along the Jews-only Highway 443 for illegal colonists to the illegal colonies built on stolen Palestinian land in Occupied Palestine.
Little wonder then, in April, that Zionist interests in France could pull strings to prevent 100 Flytilla activist from leaving France when Air France refused to embark passengers marked on Israel's blacklists. A French woman was taken off an Air France plane when she failed to declare herself an Israeli or a Jew. The French government went as far as urging its citizens not to take part in the 'Welcome to Palestine' campaign which simply requested participants to openly state to Israel authorities their intention to travel to Occupied Palestine.
France extends impunity and legality to the militant, racist Jewish group, Ligue de défense Juive (LDJ), banned in Israel and USA as a terrorist group, which conducts military training in officially known places, and recruits only members with military training. When arrested for attacks on 'anti-Israel' bookstores, theatres, exhibitions, performances, the court grants suspended sentences not imprisonment and the union Jewish businessmen collects monies to pay their fines. In 2011, the LDJ sent militants to 'defend' Israeli illegal colonies. On 28th June 2012, LDJ filmed their thuggish attack on Olivia Zemor, with red oil paint and displayed it on their website. On 6 July the writer Jacob Cohen was similarly attacked.
Despite French attitudes that show 20% are positive towards Israel and 65% are negative (BBC Poll), France manifests as a puppet regime of global Zionism surrendering the civil liberties of its citizens, the academic freedom and independence of its universities, and its binding responsibilities to uphold international law noteably the Geneva Conventions which protect Palestinian human rights. It is the determined and principled actions of French activists, withstanding Zionist antisemitism hysteria, who uphold the tattered motto of France- liberté, égalité, fraternité.
- Dr. Vacy Vlazna is Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters. She was Human Rights Advisor to the GAM team in the second round of the Acheh peace talks, Helsinki, February 2005 then withdrew on principle. Vacy was coordinator of the East Timor Justice Lobby as well as serving in East Timor with UNAMET and UNTAET from 1999-2001. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.