Monday, 13 Jul 2020 - 21 of Tammuz, 5780

Jewish group calls on France to withdraw Human Rights Prize bestowed to B’Tselem and Al Haq groups

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PARIS—The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has called on France to  withdraw the 2018 Human Rights Prize it awarded to B’Tselem,’’a group that is a fervent boycott of Israel activist’’ and to  Al Haq, an organization reportedly linked to PFLP terrorism.

The prizes will be awarded by French Minister of Justice, Nicole Belloubet, and the President of The National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH), Christine Lazerges during a ceremony Monday in Paris on International Human Rights Day, which marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The ceremony will be held at the Ministry of Justice in Paris.

In a letter to French Justice Minister, Nicole Belloubet, Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations,  expressed disgust that, “on International Human Rights Day, the French National Commission for Human Rights (CNCDH) awards its ‘French Republic, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity Prize’ to two recipients that represent the contrary of each of those values.’’

The letter argued that, “As a state entity under the auspices of the Ministry of Interior, we consider CNCDH as violating French law in endorsing ‘B’Tselem’,a group that is a fervent boycott activist – itself illegal under French law”…adding, “Likewise, in honouring Al Haq, an organization reportedly linked to terrorism, the CNCDH is violating French and European security law.”

According to NGO  Monitor, the Palestinian ‘Al Haq’ leaders  are active figures of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP),  an organization on the EU and US terrorism lists and  responsible for the 1976 Air France hijack to Entebbe, among hundreds of attacks on French and other Jewish targets

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre called on the Justice Minister, “to forestall what is an antisemitic travesty by withdrawing these prizes, to publicly condemn those responsible and see that they are removed from the CNCDH.

Samuels noted that the 70th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights was authored by Rene Cassin, a French Jew.

French MP Meir Habib, who represents the 150,000 French living in Israel,  denounced the decision to award B’Tselem and Al-Haq. “. I am again struck by France’s obsession with what they call “the occupation.” We Frenchmen choose again to see reality in a distorted way. How can a human rights prize be awarded to organizations that treat terrorists as freedom fighters? How do human rights values ​​coexist with the ceaseless activity of these organizations to boycott the State of Israel? Why is there no reference to the human rights of Israelis who have suffered from constant terrorism?”

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