Hundreds of pro-Palestinian demonstrators took to the streets in Paris on Saturday to decry the scheduled visit of Benjamin Netanyahu, who is set to meet President Macron on Sunday, as well as Trump’s now historic words.
In an interview to Sputnik France, Nicolas Shahshahani, deputy chair of the EuroPalestine association, explains what the protesters in Paris are striving for:
"We have to rally against something one could call an overthrow, against our government, our President feeling sympathetic about crimes committed by Netanyahu and torturers ruining Palestine."
One of the ways out, the expert notes, is to join efforts and impose a boycott to rule out the "sympathetic" approach.
"This is what we are heading for here in France, by non-violence means that come in handy, and that is launching a campaign to boycott the country practicing real apartheid."
"Donald Trump’s provocative statement is the final nail in the coffin of the so-called peaceful settlement – the fable we have been listening to for years. He [Trump] is depriving the US of the weakest possibility to act as a fair peace broker between Palestinians and Israelis. "
Meanwhile, the French Council of Jewish Organizations (CRIF) called on Macron to join the US’ "bold decision", whereas numerous pro-Palestinian organizations have already announced massive protests. Experts predict that such a standoff may worsen the interreligious conflict and cause a dramatic surge of anti-Semitism, especially on the outskirts of big cities, which are densely populated by Muslims.
One expert who takes a different stance on the issue is Pierre Stambul from the national bureau of France’s Jewish Union for Peace (Union Juive Française pour la Paix – UJFP), a leftist organization battling against the occupied Palestinian territories being colonized. He thinks the CRIF’s position is in tune with that of Israeli nationalists, and its call for Macron to admit Jerusalem as the Israeli capital puts French society at risk of collapse.
"CRIF represents not French Jews, but the Likud [National Liberal Movement, a right-wing political party in Israel]. It represents today the ultra-rightists now in power in Israel. CRIF is pursuing policies that are not only ruinous for Palestinians, but destructive for all Jews around the globe."
Stambul goes on to say that the CRIF’s policy is threatening the stability of French society.
"A whole wave of protests are currently targeted at Israel. Such a mess around! Tensions may really inflate. Who can put an end to it? We can! We, the Jews, have to communicate to others that the Israeli policies are not about attacking Palestine alone, but they put us at risk as well."
Gilles-William Goldnadel, a Franco-Israeli lawyer, essayist and public figure, on the contrary, hails Trump’s “ruthless logic“ and says there is no point in anticipating the rise of anti-Semitism, as in this respect things could not be worse in France.
"There could be rallies in France. And they will definitely take place. And so what? Will it change anything in the way the Jews are currently living in France, dangerous as it is?"
"How can I reject the possibility of terroristic acts, manifestations? These are certainly probable."
The views and opinions expressed by Nicolas Shahshahani, Pierre Stambul, Gilles-William Goldnadel are those of experts and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik’s position.