Skip to main content

Israeli diplomats cheer European debate on anti-Zionism

On the backdrop of rising violence against Jews in Europe, Israeli envoys are relieved to hear Europeans argue about whether anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism.
Read in 

French President Emmanuel Macron is the direct type. As such, his address at the annual dinner for the French Jewish umbrella organization on Feb. 20 offered a clear and direct vision of his government’s battle against the recent rise in anti-Semitic attacks. But Macron went further, rejecting any attempts to negate Israel’s right to exist. He argued, "Anti-Zionism is one of the modern forms of anti-Semitism. Behind the negation of Israel's existence, what is hiding is the hatred of Jews," His words pleased not only the Jewish French leaders who came to listen to their president, but also Israeli ambassador Aliza Bin Noun, who had been invited for the occasion.

Some French politicians went even further. Interviewed on Tuesday, parliament member Sylvain Maillard, Macron’s fellow party member, said, “Anti-Zionism must be punished the same way that anti-Semitism is punishable. It is crucial to say that what is forbidden is to deny the existence of Israel. … However, you obviously have the right to say you do not agree with the policy of the Israeli government. That is normal in a democracy."

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.