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Macron’s anti-Zionism definition draws criticism

French President Emmanuel Macron seen at a press conference as during the European Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the European Union in Brussels, Belgium on December 15, 2017 [Dursun Aydemir / Anadolu Agency]
French President Emmanuel Macron seen at a press conference as during the European Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the European Union in Brussels, Belgium on December 15, 2017 [Dursun Aydemir / Anadolu Agency]

French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent statement in which he said anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism has drawn criticism.

Critics are of the view that being critical of Israel and its aggressive policies in Palestine should not be labelled as anti-Semitism.

“France wants to be close to the Zionist state of Israel. Macron wants to show that he is in harmony with the Jews and the Jewish Council in the country,” French Jewish Union for Peace Communication Executive Pierre Abecassis told Anadolu Agency.

On Wednesday, Macron said anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism and he pledged to adopt International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism at a dinner with Jewish leaders.

“Macron made it clear that he had succumbed to the pressure of Jewish institutions and pro-Israel lobbies in the country,” Abecassis said.

Read: Israel’s $72m war chest to fight BDS comes to Brussels

“Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are to be considered equal, which means that those who criticize Zionism will be punished. This is worrisome,” he added.

Criticising Macron’s statements that support Zionism, French journalist Dominique Vidal said: “Criticisms of Zionism should not be prohibited in France. Anti-Zionism should not be punished as anti-Semitism.”

“The government tries to defame the movement of yellow vests by using verbal assaults on Alain Finkielkraut,” Vidal said, adding: “Identifying yellow vests movement as anti-Jewish is a failure.”

Finkielkraut, a French thinker, is known with his anti-Muslim and racist remarks in the country.

Read: Eminent QC criticises IHRA definition of Anti-Semitism as ‘Not fit for purpose’

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