Monday

21st Jun 2021

France considers ban on 'anti-Zionist' voting lists

France is examining the possibility of banning the "anti-Zionist" voting lists French comedian Dieudonne wants to present for the European Parliament elections in June, a senior advisor of President Nicolas Sarkozy has said.

"The public authorities are currently looking into whether [Dieudonne's] initiatives are within the reach of the law," Claude Gueant, the secretary-general of the Elysee Palace, said on Sunday (3 May) on France's Radio J.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"I am not sure that we will manage to prohibit them. We can only prohibit what the law allows to prohibit."

At the end of last month, the controversial comedian said he would present at least five "anti-Zionist" lists for the European elections in June, which would include Alain Soral, former member of the far-right National Front, and Yahia Gouasmi, president of the Anti-Zionist Party - a French nationalist movement.

During the press conference launching the campaign, Mr Gouasmi said: "Behind every divorce, there is a Zionist, I am telling you. Behind everything that divides human nature, there is a Zionist. This is what we believe and this is what we are going to prove."

Mr Gueant called the initiative "absolutely outrageous."

"Can somebody present himself at the elections with an openly anti-Semitic programme?" he said. "Dieudonne is anti-Semitic all the time."

The 43-year-old Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, the son of a French mother and Cameroonian father, has several times been given fines for making anti-Jewish comments, notably during his shows.

These included calling Jews "black slave traders" and claiming they exploit the Holocaust to avoid political criticism in what he called "memorial pornography."

'Only anti-Zionist list'

Reacting to the announcement, Mr Dieudonne stood by his idea.

"I think it is absolutely impossible to ban a list, a law would need to be passed [for this to happen] and the period of time is extremely short," he told French news agency AFP.

"We will be the only anti-Zionist list, the only list to frontally oppose that extremely powerful Zionist lobby of which Mr Gueant is the echo today as a good little soldier," he added.

For his part, Mr Soral attacked the fact that Mr Gueant's comments were made for Radio J, a radio station of the Jewish community.

"This is outrageous. What he [Claude Gueant] said, where he said it ... means that the state is following the orders of the Zionist lobby in France," he told AFP.

But Xavier Bertrand, the leader of the governing conservative UMP party, defended Mr Gueant's views.

"Lists that have hatred as their only engine have nothing to do with the democratic debate," he said.

Dieudonne should on Tuesday appear before the Magistrate's Court of Paris, following fresh accusations of "racial insults."

The same day, Israel's hard-right foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, will be meeting French government officials in Paris as a part of his tour aiming to reassure the Europeans about the new Israeli government's policy on peace with Palestine.

EU to wage economic war on Belarus dictator

EU foreign relations chief Josep Borrell will announce sweeping economic sanctions on Belarus at Monday's foreign affairs meeting after Austria caved to pressure.

EU commission takes stand against Danish asylum law

EU home affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson has taken a firm stand against outsourcing asylum to other parts of the world. Her comments follow a recent Danish law that aims to stop asylum seekers from filing claims in Denmark.

Air pollution in many EU cities 'stubbornly high'

Many European citizens are still exposed to illegal and dangerous levels of pollution, especially badly in Italy and Poland, new data from the European Environment Agency revealed.

Agenda

EU leaders discuss Turkey, Russia, migration This WEEK

EU foreign affairs ministers will try to sort out a new round of sanctions on Belarus, and EU affairs ministers will hold intergovernmental conferences with two candidate countries, Serbia and Montenegro.

Pandemic exposed corruption in some EU health systems

The report's findings are particularly worrying as member states are preparing to roll-out billions of euros for a post-pandemic recovery. The European Commission is approving national plans for the spending of around €800bn by member states from now until 2026.

Agenda

EU leaders discuss Turkey, Russia, migration This WEEK

EU foreign affairs ministers will try to sort out a new round of sanctions on Belarus, and EU affairs ministers will hold intergovernmental conferences with two candidate countries, Serbia and Montenegro.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. Too soon to lift EU sanctions on Burundi, NGOs warn
  2. EU to wage economic war on Belarus dictator
  3. EU commission takes stand against Danish asylum law
  4. Air pollution in many EU cities 'stubbornly high'
  5. EU leaders discuss Turkey, Russia, migration This WEEK
  6. Pandemic exposed corruption in some EU health systems
  7. The European Court of Justice vs German Constitutional Court
  8. AstraZeneca must deliver 50m doses by September or face fines

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us