With a wave of radical Islamic terrorism hitting France, the French government is discussing the halting of foreign funds to groups threatening the safety of French citizens. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel is doing something similar, and one of the countries in scope of such anti-Israel financing is… France. “We are also disturbed by such donations to organizations that deny the State of Israel’s right to exist,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office, noting that in a preliminary inquiry “we found support from European countries, including France, for several organizations that engage in incitement, call for a boycott of Israel and do not recognize the State of Israel’s right to exist.”
France is continuing to push for their own track that would achieve a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, hosting US Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for talks on the topic over the weekend, according to the Ma’an News Agency. That same French government can expect a report from Israel seeking their cooperation regarding support for anti-Israel groups coming from France in the near future, Netanyahu said Sunday.
“We will discuss this with them because terror is terror everywhere and incitement is incitement which, apparently, encompasses the world, governments must be as united as possible in dealing with them,” said Netanyahu.
Israel faces a troubling range of anti-Israel sentiment from various parts of the world, including Europe. While anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism is alive and well in Europe, nonetheless European leaders have repeatedly encouraged Israel about their opposition to anti-Israel boycotts.
That puts Europe in an important but complicated position regarding anti-Israel groups—while funds for such organizations may be coming from their continent, their traditional alliance with Israel and opposition to anti-Semitism provides motivation to work with Israel to curb such activities.
France is an even more complex case, as anti-Semitism has become a serious enough concern that even President Francois Hollande has addressed it. At the same time, their Palestinian statehood plan has been rejected by Israel as seeking to impose a solution on the parties without proper negotiations.
So for now, Israel is seeking to collaborate on the issue of foreign funding of groups opposed to Israel, even as France is seeking to move forward on a unilateral peace plan that Israel itself opposes.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, July 31, 2016)