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French courts to determine if a call for boycott of Israeli goods is `incitement to hatred and violence`

Olivia Zmor
EuroPalestine News, Paris
February 21, 2012
English transaltion of French original at

Dear friends,

Adnan Khader, has been on hunger strike for 64 days against the conditions in which Palestinian prisoners are detained. If he does not die he will be handicapped for the rest of his life due to his heroic resistance against degrading and crual treatments imposed on Palestinian prisoners by the Israeli occupier.
The young members of the GUPS in Paris will be on hunger strike too tomorrow. We are called to join them any time from 9 am to 10 pm Place de la Rpublique in Paris.

While disposession and expulsion of Palestinians are increasing, our French leaders violate the freedom of expression, in order to give `more proofs of their love to Israel` as our French ministry of Foreign affairs stated this month during a meeting with French zionists.

Under the pressure of the Israeli lobby, the management of Paris 8 University wants to forbid a conference called : `Is Israel an Apartheid state ?` planned on 26 and 27 February. We should keep protesting about this :

Still under the pressure of this same Israeli lobby, the French government keeps prosecuting the women and men who participate in the international BDS campaign (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) against Israel.

In March, 3 BDS court hearings !

Next month, March 2012, we are several militants that will appear before Parisian courts, due to our calls to boycott Israeli or supposedly Israeli goods.
Each time it`s the government that brings proceedings against us, and in its footsteps Israeli agencies based in France, for `discrimination against a nation` and `incitement to hatred and violence`.
The plaintiffs try to hijack the 1881 Act which prohibits `any discrimination against a person or group of persons because of their belonging to a particular race, religion, ethnic group or nation.`
But oranges, cherry tomatoes, dates or avocados can not be classified as `persons` or `groups of people,` at least not yet !
The French Ministry of Justice ordered (in writing) all judges to condemn those who call for a boycott of Israel. And only Israel !
We are therefore permitted to boycott any other country without worry: Bernard Henri Lvy calls for a boycott of China, Michelle Alliot-Marie (ex-minister for Justice) and Martine Aubry (president of the french socialist party) call to boycott Mexico, and Brigitte Bardot calls for boycotting Canada (because of baby seals). And UMP (the right-wing majority group in parliament) MP`s called for a boycott of halal fast food: no problem ! But the boycott of Israel must be criminalized.

So far, we have won all our BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) court cases, except the one involving Sakina in Bordeaux, who is still awaiting the decision of the Supreme Court.
On July 8th last year, the 17th Chamber of the Court of Paris issued a significant and satisfying verdict :
- The State Prosecutor refused to demand a penalty against Olivia Zmor, (who was accused of publishing on the EuroPalestine website, a video of a nonviolent action calling for the boycott of Israeli goods).
- The judges acquitted her, repeating in their reasoning all of our arguments and pointing out that the boycott is a citizen`s initiative, motivated by political considerations, therefore it is not illegal. They even insisted on the illustrious history of the boycott as an action that allowed to change reprehensible policies, such as in India (Gandhi), United States (against racial segregation on buses) and in Apartheid South Africa

But the government and associations in support of Israeli colonial policies have appealed this judgment. On Thursday, March 8th at 1:30 pm, Olivia Zmor will appear before the Court of Appeal of Paris (Pole 2. Room 7 of the Court of Appeal).
If you are free that day, your presence will be appreciated.

Thursday, March 15th at BOBIGNY

On that day, Olivia, Maha and Mohamed will be on trial for boycott actions which took place in supermarkets in the greater Paris region (you can see the videos at :
At a preliminary hearing, the presiding judge showed bias in favor of the plaintiffs, and now the Government is calling as a witness, for the prosecution of citizens calling for the boycot of Israel, the `Defender of rights of citizens` Dominique Baudis !
What an independence !
This trial requires strong mobilisation to show that no one is fooled by this masquerade. The proceedings begin at 10 am until at least 4 pm. We need your support !
Come along whenever you can, during the lunch break for example (Metro `Pablo Picasso`, the terminus of line 5).

Finally, in the afternoon of March 23 , a third trial will bring seven BDS activists before court in Pontoise (suburb a few kmsnorth west of Paris) for having called to boycott Israeli products, during a mock trial they played inside the Carrefour supermarket in the nearby town of Montigny.

But far from intimidating us, these trials have led us to organize tours throughout France in order to popularize BDS actions in a light hearted way, as can be judged by this video ( http://www.
We will make sure that the `National Bureau of Vigilance against Anti-Semitism`, which boasts of having filed 80 complaints against boycotters, still has lots more work to do!


It`s not too late to join ( and to participate in the construction of the first International school in Palestine, near Bethlem, from 15 au 21 April 2012. Some one thousand people already answered this appeal for freedom of circulation for the Palestinians and for the people who want to visit them. And also for the right to education.
More information about this international initiative on :

All the best,
CAPJPO-EuroPalestine :
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