Creating new perspectives since 2009

France: Parliamentarian boycotts diplomatic trip to Israel due to Gaza war

May 18, 2024 at 10:10 am

Protester with keffiyeh and ‘Gaza silence on genocide’ sign during the rally in support of the Palestinian people of Gaza held in Toulouse, south-west France, on April 27, 2024 [PAT BATARD/Hans Lucas/AFP via Getty Images]

French newspaper Le Figaro reported that Aymeric Caron, of the left-wing Ecological Revolution for Living (REV) Party and who is considered vice-president of the Israel-France Parliamentary Friendship Group, will boycott the diplomatic trip that the French Parliament is scheduled to organise to Israel from 15 to 19 July.

Caron, who has firmly established himself as one of the most prominent French political figures to firmly reject the war on Gaza, said: “This group is led by parliamentarians who, no matter what they say, support the extreme right-wing Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu. It is a pressure and propaganda group, and it is very biased, and therefore I do not believe, even for a moment, in a trip to conduct an unstructured and open dialogue with Israeli parliamentarians,” Le Figaro reported.

The French parliamentarian also accuses those who attack him of “obscurantism”, stating: “These parliamentarians are all defending the Israeli settlement policy. They do not in any way defend France’s official position, which is to call for a ceasefire or a two-state solution.”

It seems that Caron’s decision is no surprise to the Israel-France Parliamentary Friendship Group, of which he is vice-chair, including the MP of the far-right nationalist National Rally party, Julien Odoul, who will participate in this trip. According to Odoul: “The surprise is that Aymeric Caron decided to participate in this trip. It is a continuation of the logic of hatred for Israel. He is the vice president of the friendship group, but it is better for him to be in the opposition group given the propaganda he has been spreading since 7 October.”

Read: Chile students demand government sever relations with Israel 

Also among the most prominent comments was the threat by former Israeli army spokesperson to French-speaking media, Julien Bahloul, if Caron came to Israel. Bahloul warned: “A year of demonstrations against judicial reform in Israel, day and night. I miss it, given the local news. If you come, I promise you a welcome worthy of the name you will remember.”

Due to his firm stance denouncing the Israeli war on Gaza, Caron’s office in Paris was externally defaced four days ago. It was smeared with red paint resembling blood. Posters bearing the faces of Israeli hostages in Gaza were also stuck to the front of the office.

Caron regularly denounces the situation in Gaza. He stated in early April that he wanted to broadcast pictures of the war and the atrocities of the Israeli army to be seen by the MPs who had previously attended the showing of the film about the 7 October attack, which described the Hamas movement as “terrorists”.

Caron had previously posted a photo taken by Israeli soldiers of a tank shell on which they wrote, “Aymeric Caron, now you can cry.” At the time, he considered his country’s stance and the silence of the diplomacy and the media in France in the face of the devastation occurring in the Gaza Strip as offensive to France.