Sunday

25th Aug 2019

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

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join 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.

News in Brief

  1. Ocean Viking to disembark in Malta after ordeal
  2. Germany joins France in world outcry on Brazil fires
  3. British people lose faith in Brexit deal
  4. Brexit hardliners want further changes to EU deal
  5. German manufacturers confirm fear of recession
  6. Belgian socialists and liberals scrap over EU post
  7. Fall in EU migration leading to UK skills shortages
  8. Switzerland makes post-Brexit flight preparations

Investigation

The EU committee's great 'per diem' charade

Around 30 members of European Economic Social Committee, who live and work primarily in Brussels or nearby, have claimed €1.47m in a 'daily subsistence' allowance from European taxpayers to cover accommodation, food and local transport for meetings held in Brussels.

EU ends silence on Hong Kong protests

The EU, in league with Canada, has spoken out on the Hong Kong protests after months of silence in what one expert called "a clear expression of support for the protesters".

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. Spain heading for yet another general election
  2. EU to discuss Brazil beef ban over Amazon fires
  3. 'Our house is burning,' Macron says on Amazon fires
  4. What happens when trafficking survivors get home
  5. EU states and Russia clash on truth of WW2 pact
  6. EU considers new rules on facial recognition
  7. EU to pledge Africa security funds at G7 summit
  8. Letter from the EESC on per diem article

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us