Boycott-Israel activists fined by French court for discrimination

This Court of Appeals ruling reversed a 2012 ‘not-guilty’ verdict by the Correctional Tribunal of Mulhouse.

 

 

A French court imposed a $1,300 fine on members of an anti-Israel group who called on supermarket shoppers to boycott Israeli products.

Anti-Semitic display (illustrative) - Photo: UMIT BEKTAS/REUTERS

Anti-Semitic display (illustrative) – Photo: UMIT BEKTAS/REUTERS

The Court of Appeals of Colmar near Strasbourg fined each of the group’s 12 members individually on Wednesday for their participation in a pro-boycott activity in 2009-2010, which the court qualified as “provocation to discrimination.” The court also gave the activists a suspended jail sentence, according to a report by the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities.

The ruling reversed a 2012 verdict by the Correctional Tribunal of Mulhouse, which found the defendants not guilty. Prosecutors filed the appeal, CRIF said in a statement.

The actions for which the defendants were sentenced took place in 2009 in a supermarket in Mulhouse and again in 2010. Some of the defendants received a double fine for each action, CRIF reported.

The perpetrators were sentenced in accordance with strict anti-discrimination laws, including one passed by the French parliament in 2003 known as the Lellouche Law, after the lawmaker who drafted it, Pierre Lellouche.

In September, seven activists were given a $650 fine for a similar action in 2010 in a supermarket in Alençon.

Yet the Court of Cassation — France’s highest criminal court of appeal — on Nov. 19 acquitted several anti-Israel protesters who staged a boycott action in a supermarket in Evry near Paris in 2009.

In a separate ruling, a French court of appeals on Thursday slapped a $36,000 fine on the comedian Dieudonne for “inciting racial hate” in films in which he ridiculed the Holocaust and expressed anti-Semitic views. It was Dieudonne’s seventh conviction related to anti-Semitism.

Some of the films contain the word “shoananas,” a combination of the Hebrew name for the Holocaust with the French word for pineapple. It is used as a code word for denying the Holocaust yet seen to be too vague to violate France’s law forbidding Holocaust denial.

View original JTA publication at: http://www.jta.org/2013/11/29/news-opinion/world/french-court-fines-boycott-israel-activists-for-discrimination

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