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Protests as French channel hosts Israel PM Netanyahu

May 31, 2024 at 11:07 am

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian demonstrators gather in front of the French news channel LCI, owned by TF1 Group, to protest against an interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris, France on May 30, 2024. [Luc Auffret – Anadolu Agency]

Hundreds of demonstrators rallied late yesterday outside the offices of private broadcaster TF1 in the western Paris suburbs to protest the broadcast of an interview with the Israeli occupation Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the Gaza war.

Wearing keffiyehs and waving Palestinian flags, protesters gathered at a distance from the channel’s building due to a heavy police presence, and chanted: “Gaza, Paris is with you,” “immediate ceasefire!” and “Israel, murderer.”

Members of parliament from French far-left party La France Insoumise (France Unbowed, LFI) had called for the demonstration soon after the channel announced the interview would be aired.

Rima Hassan, a candidate for the upcoming European elections for France Unbowed, said on X: “This evening TF1 gives the floor to the war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu to broadcast his propaganda for genocide! Let’s spread #boycottTF1 as widely as possible.”

Antoine Leaument, another LFI lawmaker, highlighted the irony of a lawmaker being recently sanctioned in the National Assembly for displaying a Palestinian flag while Netanyahu, the person directing the “bombing and killing” of these people, was invited to speak on a major television channel.

Thomas Portes, another LFI lawmaker, accused the French channel of “rolling out the red carpet for a war criminal,” describing the invitation to Netanyahu as “shameful” given the ongoing violence against the Palestinian people.

In his interview, Netanyahu claimed accusations that Israel was targeting and starving civilians in Gaza were “anti-Semitic slander”.

On Tuesday, the French lawmaker, Sebastien Delogu was suspended for 15 days after he waved a Palestinian flag in parliament.

“I think the French state is an accomplice in what happens today in Palestine. Our group [LFI] and I are proud of standing up for international law, and the people who are currently suffering and [being] massacred in Palestine,” Delogu told reporters.

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