Outrage as France's interior minister outlaws two pro-Palestinian organisations
France's interior minister has said that he will be outlawing two leading pro-Palestinian NGOs, accusing them of fueling hatred.
Gerald Darmanin announced on his official Twitter account on Wednesday that "Palestine Vaincra" - which translates to Palestine Will Overcome - and "Comité Action Palestine" - meaning "Palestine Action Committee" - will be dissolved in "accordance with the President of the Republic".
He also accused the two organisations of "inciting violence, discrimination and provoking terrorist attacks".
Darmanin previously announced the dissolution process of the NGOs move last month, following orders by French President Emmanuel Macron.
L’association « Comité Action Palestine » a été dissoute en conseil des ministres, conformément aux instructions du Président de la République.— Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) March 9, 2022
Comme le détaille le décret que j’ai présenté, elle appelait à la haine, à la violence et à la discrimination. A lire 👇 pic.twitter.com/80gjSyke7U
Palestine Vaincra, which describes itself as a collective which opposes the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories, expressed its shock over the decision.
"We are outraged by this purely political decision and denounce this full-scale attack for thought-crime!" it said.
"Through this outrageous attack and these abject accusations, French president Emmanuel Macron and his government seek to gag the entire Palestine solidarity movement and continue their unconditional support for Israel and the illegal colonisation of Palestine unchallenged," they added.
Comité Action Palestine expressed its "deepest concerns" over the accusations brought against them, and stressed the public discussions on the violations of Palestinian rights should not be "conflated with hatred or antisemitism", according to the French regional daily Sud Ouest.
The threat to dissolve the organisations provoked an outcry among other pro-Palestinian organisations, such as BDS France Toulouse and the Association France Palestine Solidarité, who protested in France's fourth largest city of Toulouse earlier this week.
Pro-Palestine activists took part in a rally at the Jean Jaurès metro station in Toulouse, France, to denounce the French interior minister’s threat to dissolve the Collectif Palestine Vaincra and another pro-Palestine association, the Comite Action Palestine. pic.twitter.com/LxEiYfl9QM— PALESTINE ONLINE 🇵🇸 (@OnlinePalEng) March 6, 2022
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Prisoners Solidarity Network Samidoun, denounced the French government's decision, calling it "authoritarian".
France has recently introduced a number of anti-Palestinian solidarity moves.
In May last year, Darmanin asked police to ban any Palestinian protests denouncing Israel's bombing of the besieged Gaza Strip under the pretext of "avoiding disturbances". Protest organisers appealed the ban to a French court, but to no avail.
Earlier this year, the Paris-based Arab World Institute’s president Jack Lang compared Arab intellectuals to "sheep". Several leading intellectuals objected to the display of Israeli-owned artefacts in an exhibition, in accordance with BDS’ petition to boycott.
Lang's remarks were labelled as "racist and colonialist attack" against Arab intellectuals who signed the petition.