Edited by: TJVNews.com
On Tuesday, the international community expressed a mixture of shock and dismay when the French National Assembly passed a bill which rules that anti-Zionism is tantamount to the egregious scourge anti-Semitism, with 154 lawmakers voting in favor of the bill while 72 voted against.
The definition encompasses various manifestations of antisemitism including applying blatant double standards to the State of Israel.
Ynet reported that the bill has undergone a number of revisions and modifications in recent months in the light of a heated public debate on the matter. The controversial bill has been water downed to mollify its critics and was approved as a declarative decision only, and not as part of the country’s penal code.
The bill was promoted following a host of anti-Semitic acts committed in France over the past year, including 107 tombstones that were vandalized on Tuesday in a Jewish cemetery near the eastern city of Strasbourg, as was reported by Ynet News.
In February of 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron had encouraged a similar notion as he was under pressure to concretely address the escalation of Jew hatred in France.
“Anti-Zionism is one of the modern forms of anti-Semitism,” the French leader said in Paris at a dinner of Jewish umbrella organization CRIF. “Behind the negation of Israel’s existence, what is hiding is the hatred of Jews.”
The bill was due in May, but despite Macron’s public statement, the voting on the bill was postponed several times, as was reported by Ynet.
In response to the vote, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said, “The passage of IHRA definition by the French National Assembly is a crucial step in the fight against the age old hatred of antisemitism. For too long too many have used the excuse that their obsessive criticism of Israel stands exclusive from their otherwise positive feelings for the Jewish people. Those days are now over.
“I stand with the Jewish community of France in commending this critical decision by the French government and encourage all other nations who have not yet done so to follow suit.”
INN reported that World Zionist Organization VP and Chairman of World Likud Yaakov Hagoel stated: “We congratulate France in passing this important resolution by a large majority and expect other countries in Europe to do the same,”
“We are very happy to have the masks finally removed — anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. This distinction was merely an attempt to legalize anti-Semitism and bigotry against the Jewish people. Enough with the hate. Jews around the world have the right to live in complete safety with a Star of David symbol or kippah on their head without the fear of being harmed.”
Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog stated: “We, as the representatives of the global Jewish people, applaud and salute the French National Assembly and the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, on their historic decision that is a moral beacon against antisemitism and hatred of Israel. The homeland of Emile Zola who led the fight against anti-Semitism is standing tall in supporting the right to live a Jewish life without fear, and in unequivocal support of Zionism and the State of Israel.”
Israeli politicians also praised the resolution.
Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz stated: “Following the adoption of the resolution recognizing that anti-Zionism is the new face of anti-Semitism. I intend to continue to work so that more countries understand and support the definition of anti-Zionism and hatred of Israel as anti-Semitic. This is an important step in the fight against anti-Semitism and I urge other countries to follow France.”