On Tuesday, 23 March Patrice Perrot, a French National Assembly deputy representing La République En Marche! (LREM), the party of Emmanuel Macron, addressed a parliamentary question to Gérald Darmanin, French Minister of the Interior, calling for the government to dissolve Collectif Palestine Vaincra.
The fundamentally slanderous and false text is based on the recent designation of the Samidoun Network, of which the collective is a member organization, as a “terrorist” organization by Israel, in order to demand a ban on our collective. The request is a cut-and-paste of a press release from the far-right Israeli organization NGO Monitor, which aims to suppress the Palestine solidarity movement around the world.
Obviously, this request is unfounded and the activities of our collective are public and have not been the target of any ban. Along with the international Samidoun Network, we are carrying out awareness-raising, information and agitation campaigns in support of the Palestinian cause, an anti-colonialist, anti-racist cause. The only terrorists here are the State of Israel and its supporters. Moreover, the International Criminal Court has just opened an investigation of Israel for war crimes during its military assault on Gaza in 2014.
This call for dissolution comes against a background of increased repression of the movement in support of the Palestinian people, most notably in the attempt to criminalize the boycott of Israel. This comes despute the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights last June, condemning France for obstructing freedom of expression following its prosecution and conviction of activists who called for the boycott of Israel.
Moreover, the pro-Israel lobby seeks to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism in order to neutralize any challenge to its apartheid policies. In this context, the municipalities of Nice and Paris have adopted the “new definition of anti-Semitism” promoted by the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance), which includes numerous examples designed to consider anti-Semitic any questioning of the State of Israel as a colonial and racist state. On Monday, 22 March, this scandalous maneuver aimed at instrumentalizing the legitimate struggle against anti-Semitism was rejected by the municipality of Strasbourg, governed by the Green Party.
Since its foundation 2 years ago in Toulouse, the Collectif Palestine Vaincra has systematically been subjected to numerous attacks (intimidation, threats, false allegations, announcements of legal complaints) linked to its various activities in support of the Palestinian people and their legitimate resistance. These attacks are taking place because the pro-Israel far right does not accept the development of an anti-colonialist and anti-racist voice in support of the Palestinian people and their fundamental rights. By calling for the dissolution of the collective, Patrice Perrot and the supporters of Israel demonstrate once again that they are ardent defenders of Israeli apartheid.
But beyond the Collectif Palestine Vaincra and organizations defending the rights of Palestinians, the succession of demands for the dissolution of anti-racist organizations, Muslim associations, syndicates and unions poses a worrying threat for all people committed to freedom of expression, equality and justice. These various attacks are the symptoms of a reactionary and racist offensive which must inspire us to intensify our solidarity with the Palestinian people and build a strong, united and consistent response to these intimidations and threats.