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Strategic Alliances for a Secure, Connected, and Prosperous Region
French Far-Left Organizations

French Far-Left Organizations

Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA) 

Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste

In English: The New Anti-Capitalist Party

Orientation: Western far-left

Fields of operation: “direct action,” BDS promoting

This is a far-left, extremely anti-capitalist and anti-Israeli party, founded in 2009 by former Communist activists. The NPA plays a key role in French BDS initiatives, and its flags carrying the Party’s logo appear a lot in demonstrations against Israel.219  The NPA cooperates in demonstrations with CBSP and with CAPJPO-EuroPalestine.220

Main figures in the Party are:

Olivier Besancenot
Olivier Besancenot221

Olivier Besancenot, the chief spokesman of the party and its driving force,221 in 2009 he visited the West Bank together with delegates from the party and met with Omar Barghouti and representatives of BDS in Ramallah.222

Julien Salingue
Julien Salingue223

Julien Salingue, an NPA activist, holds a PhD in political science and was among the protesters against “Tel-Aviv on the Seine.”223

L’Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS) 

L’Association France Palestine Solidarité

Orientation: Western far-left

Fields of operation: “direct action,” BDS promoting

AFPS is a French political NGO that promotes anti-­Israel narratives, such as accusations of Apartheid, discrimination, and massacres of Palestinians. AFPS promotes BDS and a Palestinian right of return. It also mobilizes local branches for activities and demonstrations against Israel. AFPS organizes several events in cooperation with Palestinian and Israeli NGOs that promote BDS and take part in the Israel Delegitimization Campaign. These partners include: Adalah, Addameer, Alternative Information Center (AIC), Al­Mezan, Badil, Breaking the Silence, Combatants for Peace, Hamoked, Health Work Committees, Jewish Voice for Peace, Ma’an Development Center, Machsom Watch, Miftah, Mossawa, Palestine Monitor, Palestine Center for Human Rights, Palestinian Medical Relief Society, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, Public Committee Against Torture, ICHAD, PNGO, and Zochrot. These NGOs advance political warfare and legal attacks against Israel. Many rely on substantial, direct, or indirect funding by France and the European Union. In cooperation with the Belgian association Intal, AFPS participated in a Dexia shareholder protest that supported Dexia’s divestment from Israeli companies.224

According to the AFPS website, it has about 4,900 members, supporters, and organizers, and more than a hundred regional groups throughout France.225 The AFPS was among the organizations which acted against the “Tel-Aviv on the Seine” happening in August 2015.226 The AFPS cooperated with CAPJPO-EuroPalestine in anti-Israel demonstrations.227 It also acted to promote flotillas to Gaza.228  

Taoufiq Tahani
Taoufiq Tahani

Taoufiq Tahani, AFPS’s President, is a Palestinian-born lecturer in a French university.229 In 2013, during an interview to the media, he said that French textbooks had been examined and were found not to include the subject of the nakba and “the expulsion of the Palestinians,” and added he was working to bring this subject into public awareness in France.230

CAPJPO-EuroPalestine (Coordination des appels pour une paix juste au Proche-Orient) 

In English: the Committee for Coordinating Action for a Just Peace in the Middle East

Orientation: Western far-left, pro-Islamist

Fields of operation: “direct action,” BDS promoting

CAPJPO-EuroPalestine is a French far-left organization founded in 2002, which supports the academic boycott and BDS, and organizes demonstrations and BDS tours in France. According to Israeli sources, EuroPalestine is also a member organization of the Muslim Brotherhood-led International Campaign to End the Siege in Gaza (ICESG).231 CAPJPO-EuroPalestine is headed by Olivia Zemor, a French far-left Jewish activist who was among the organizers of the delegitimization flight to Ben-Gurion Airport in April 2012, called “Welcome to Palestine 2012,” during which activists landing at the airport made anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian exclamations. Both Zemor and her husband, Nicolas Shahshahani, are journalists. Nicolas Shahshahani was born in the United States to an Iranian Shiite father and a Jewish mother.232 For many years, Zemor worked for the French News Agency, and in 2002 the couple started to act for the Palestinian cause, forming CAPJPO together with other Jewish anti-Zionists. In 2004, she cooperated with the anti-Semitic black comedian Dieudonne in founding Europalestine, which participated in the elections to the European Union. Dieudonne later left Europalestine under the chairmanship of Zemor. It should be noted that CAPJPO-EuroPalestine supports, at least officially, the two-state solution.233

CAPJPO-EuroPalestine was central to three attempts to send thousands of activists simultaneously to Israel via Ben-Gurion Airport (July 2011, April 2012) and the Allenby Bridge (August 2012). These events, intended as anti-Israel media provocations at the border checkpoints, did not have the impact expected by the organizers. The Allenby Bridge event completely failed and had no media coverage whatsoever. During 2012, CAPJPO-EuroPalestine sent an aid delegation numbering 100 activists to Gaza. It was received by Hamas officials, performed a show of defiance near the border (low profile and no provocations), and promised to promote Hamas’s propaganda messages aimed at French public opinion and and international legal forums. Other members of the delegation were from other delegitimization organizations, among them nine activists of Freedom Flotilla Italia, which is involved in the project of sending flotillas to Gaza. These activists met in Gaza with senior members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and representatives of other terrorist groups. A further indication of the affinity between CAPJPO-EuroPalestine and elements in the PFLP can be found on its website, which reported a meeting on December 8, 2012 between about 100 pro-Palestinian activists of Toulouse and a senior personality of the PFLP. Far-left elements, which had organized the meeting, thanked the organization for supporting the meeting. It is also worth noting that the organization’s website reviewed widely the Salah Hamouri affair, supported him, and called for his release.234   Hamouri, a PFLP activist from east Jerusalem carrying French citizenship, planned to murder the late Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yossef. He was eventually released in the Shalit deal.

Olivia Zemor
Olivia Zemor speaking against Israel in one of the May 2010 demonstrations.235
Nicolas Shahshahani
Nicolas Shahshahani, one of the organizers of “Gaza on the Beach,” a response to the “Tel-Aviv on the Seine” happening.236
A demonstration of EuroPalestine activists in Paris A demonstration of EuroPalestine activists in Paris, March 20, 2010.

A demonstration of EuroPalestine activists in Paris under the auspices of BDS, in a mall at the Montparnasse quarter on March 20, 2010 against the Swedish company H&M which has stores in Israel. The demonstrators shouted “Long live the Terror,” “Long live the phosphorus bombs” (allegedly dropped on Gaza by the Israelis), and “Long live the occupation,” and broke into the shop. A large number of them were Muslims.237

A demonstration in Paris by EuroPalestine
A demonstration in Paris by EuroPalestine Another demonstration in Paris by EuroPalestine activists on March 7, 2009

Another demonstration in Paris by EuroPalestine activists on March 7, 2009, during which BDS activists broke into a supermarket and loaded carts with Israeli products. This mode of action is a blatant violation of the right of property, so they can be legally prosecuted.238

“separate between CRIF and the state.”
“separate between CRIF and the state.”

In March 2016, EuroPalestine activists participated in a demonstration in support of a pro-BDS activist who had been arrested. Among the signboards raised and slogans heard during the demonstration was the call to “separate between CRIF and the state.” CRIF (Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France) is the umbrella for Jewish organizations in France established in 1945, and this slogan implies the possible power it has over the state.239

Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l’amitié entre les peoples (MRAP) 

Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l’amitié entre les peoples

In English: Movement Against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples

Orientation: Western far-left

Fields of operation: “direct action,” BDS promoting

This far-left movement was founded in 1949 but was re-designed in 2007. The movement deals with human rights around the world, and works against globalization, anti-Semitism, and racism. However it has also been involved in BDS, which it sees as part of efforts to bring about a just and lasting peace.240   It also promoted a flotilla to Gaza.241

The leadership, since 2012, includes: Dominique Deltour, Bernadette Hétier, Renée le Mignot, and Pierre Mairat.242All four carry the titles of joint chairman. Pierre Mairat acts as the attorney of MRAP, Renée le Mignot is in charge of international relations, Bernadette Hétier is joint chairperson, and Dominique Deltour is also joint chairperson.

Bernadette Hétier
Bernadette Hétier, joint chairperson of the movement.243
Pierre Mairat
Pierre Mairat, a lawyer acting as joint chairman of MRAP.244

Renée le Mignot, an MRAP activist who participated in promoting a flotilla to Gaza.245

Renée le Mignot
Renée le Mignot, an MRAP activist who participated in promoting a flotilla to Gaza.245
Christian Masson
Christian Masson

Christian Masson, director of the local committee in Nice, talking about the campaign in Nice against “Tel Aviv on the Seine.”246 MRAP took part in these activities under the title “Gaza sur Prom.”247

l’Union Juive Française pour la Paix (UJFP) 

l’Union Juive Française pour la Paix

Orientation: Jewish far-left

Fields of operation: “direct action,” BDS promoting

UJPF is a Jewish far-left organization with about 300 members throughout France. It fights “against racism and discriminations” and among various activities also promotes BDS. It was founded in 1994 and is part of the far-left Jewish European federation European Jewish Network for a Just Peace (EJJP). It is signatory on the EJJP’s December 2014 declaration that called “for the recognition of the State of Palestine and for strong measures against Israel until it ends the occupation of Palestinian land., These include urging the European Union to suspend the EU/Israel Association Agreement until Israel complies with UN resolutions and international law, stopping all forms of military and security cooperation, and promoting BDS throughout the world.248 The UJFP’s joint president and driving force is Pierre Stambul.249 Another prominent figure is Michèle Sibony, a feminist, anti-colonialist activist.

Toward the Palestine-focused World Social Forum (WSF) in Puerto Alegre in November 2012 and the WSF in Tunis in March 2013, the UJFP held a workshop in cooperation with several French-Arab organizations and the Israeli far-left Alternative Information Center (AIC), which dealt, among other things, with the challenge of “rebuilding an Arab-Judeo perspective” in Western societies and the Arab world. Michèle Sibony, who wrote about the workshop, said that the world today had been redrawn by American neo-Conservatism, whereas the Middle East became the new front line, and Islam took the place of Communism as the global civilizational enemy. The separation wall in Palestine replaces the Berlin wall in this division of the world, and anti-Semitism, the question of veiling of women etc. are used as ideological weapons in this war.250

Just before the end of 2017, UJFP issued a series of 10 clips, directed by the controversial Israeli filmmaker Eyal Sivan, in which activists of the organization are interviewed and aim to demonstrate that opposing racism is a Jewish theme that should also include the criticism of Israeli policies.251

Pierre Stambul
Pierre Stambul, joint president of UJFP, wearing a BDS shirt.252

La Plateforme des ONG Françaises pour la Palestine 

La Plateforme des ONG Françaises pour la Palestine

Orientation: Western far-left, pro-Islamist, Christian

Fields of operation: “direct action,” BDS promoting

La Plateforme des ONG Françaises pour la Palestine is an umbrella body of pro-Palestinian organizations in France, which was created in 1993 in the wake of the Oslo agreements. It brings under its wings 40 member associations (28 of which are full members and the rest are observers) from far-left to religious backgrounds (both Christian and Islamist). All of these found common ground on the Platforme’s charter, which asserted the “mutual recognition of Palestinian and Israeli states, the full implementation of the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and the implementation of UN resolutions 242 and 338, as well as a fair solution to the refugees issue, based on international law.”253

The Platforme lobbies members of the European Parliament to impose sanctions on Israel. It offers resources for advancing an anti-Israeli agenda and engages in BDS campaigns. Among the Platforme’s members are: FIDH and CCFD-­Terre Solidaire and Catholic organizations involved in the delegitimization campaign – Pax Christi­ France, Secours Catholique, and Caritas France. Another member is the Comité de Bienfaisence et de Secours aux Palestiniens (CBSP).254

In December 2017, the Platforme co-organized a symposium in the French Senate titled “Palestine: Does the Occupation Seriously Affect Health?,” which hosted, among others, prominent Israel delegitimization figure Mustafa Barghouti in his role as head of a medical NGO called Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS).255 The Platforme promoted a flotilla to Gaza in October 2010.256

Bernard Ravenel
Chairman of the organization, Bernard Ravenel.257

Bernard Ravenel is a history professor at the l’Institut d’études politiques de Paris. Ravenel participated in the founding of the Socialist party (PSU) in 1960 and was later a member of the Communist Party – Parti Communiste Français. He is also one of the founders of the Comite pour le désarmement nucléaire en Europe – CODENE. Ravenel has been accused of anti-Semitism.258

Following is the list of member organizations of La Plateforme des ONG Françaises pour la Palestine.259

  • Amani
  • AdM Artisans du Monde (Fédération)
  • AURDIP Association des Universitaires pour le Respect du Droit International en Palestine
  • AFPS Association France Palestine Solidarité
  • AJPF Association pour les jumelages entre camps de réfugiés palestiniens et villes françaises
  • Association régionale Pays de Loire Gaza – Jérusalem
  • CEDETIM Centre d’études et d’initiatives de solidarité internationale (Cedetim)
  • CEMEA Centres d’Entraînement aux Méthodes d’Education Active
  • Cimade
  • CICUP Collectif Interuniversitaire pour la Coopération avec les Universités Palestiniennes
  • CCFD Comité Catholique contre la Faim et pour le Développement – Terre Solidaire
  • CBSP Comité de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens
  • CVPR-PO Comité de Vigilance pour une Paix Réelle au Proche-Orient
  • Comité Palestine Israël 44-49
  • ERM/SERVICES Enfants Réseau Monde/ Services
  • FSGT Fédération Sportive et Gymnique du Travail
  • Génération Palestine
  • GREF Groupement des Retraités Educateurs sans Frontières
  • La Forge
  • LDH Ligue des Droits de l’Homme et du citoyen
  • LIFPL Ligue Internationale des Femmes pour la Paix et la Liberté – section française
  • MRAP Mouvement contre le Racisme et pour l’Amitié entre les Peuples
  • Mouvement de la Paix
  • MIR Mouvement International de la Réconciliation
  • MAN Mouvement pour une Alternative Non violente
  • Pax Christi France
  • SCCF Secours Catholique – Caritas France
  • SIDI Solidarité Internationale pour le Développement et l’Investissement
  • UJPF Union Juive Française pour la Paix

Collectif69 / Collectif 69 Palestine 

Collectif 69 Palestine

Orientation: Western far-left, pro-Islamist

Fields of operation: “direct action,” BDS

Collectif69 is an umbrella body based in Lyon and founded in 2003,260 and comprises pro-Palestinian organizations and far-left parties.  Among its members are MRAP, CAPJPO, GUPS, the Parti Communiste Français, et al. Collectif69 is active with the issue of removing the siege from Gaza261 and also works for the release of Palestinian prisoners, among them Muhammad Allan, the hunger-striking activist of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). It supported Salah Hamouri, who was released in the Shalit deal.262 Associate organizations are CBSP, EuroPalestine, UJFP and Tadamun.263 The president264  and the driving force of the Collectif is the far-left journalist265  Jérôme Faynel, active in the Green Party (des Verts du Rhône),266  who also promoted a flotilla to Gaza in 2011.267

Jérôme Faynel
Jérôme Faynel

List of the member organizations of Collectif69 and signatories of its 2013 treaty268

  • AFAK Bethléem
  • AFPS (Association France Palestine Solidarité)
  • Agir à la Mulatière
  • Alternatifs (les)
  • ATTAC Rhône
  • ATTAC Villefranche
  • CAPJPO-Europalestine
  • CCIPPP (Campagne Civile Internationale de Protection du Peuple Palestinien)
  • CFDT commerces et services
  • C.N.T Interco du Rhône
  • Entr’Cultures
  • Femmes en Noir
  • Gauche Unitaire
  • GREF (Groupement des Retraités Educateurs sans Frontières)
  • GUPS (Union Générale des Etudiants Palestiniens)
  • Initiatives Citoyennes
  • LDH (Ligue des Droits de l’Homme)
  • MRAP (Mouvement contre le Racisme et pour l’Amitié entre les Peuples)
  • MJCF (Mouvement des Jeunesses Communistes de France)
  • Mouvement de la Paix
  • OXFAM Lyon
  • PCF-Rhône (Parti Communiste Français)
  • Parti de Gauche
  • PIR (Parti des indigènes de la république)
  • NPA (Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste)
  • Solidaires Rhône Sud
  • Union Départementale CFDT
  • Union Départementale CGT
  • UJFP (Union Juive Française pour la Paix)
  • Europe Ecologie / Les Verts du Rhône

CCFD-Terre Solidaire 

CCFD-Terre Solidaire

Orientation: Catholic, Western far-left

Fields of operation: BDS

CCFD-­Terre Solidaire is a French Catholic organization that purports to promote human rights and poverty reduction. CCFD-­Terre Solidaire collaborates with far-left Israeli NGOs such as Sadaka­Reut, Zochrot, Baladna, Association of Arab Youth, the Alternative Information Center (AIC), and ICAHD. In August 2014, CCFD­-Terre Solidaire published an appeal for the European Union and their member states to divest from all settlement activities. In July 2014, CCFD-Terre Solidaire published “European Measures against Israeli Occupation,” calling for settlement product labeling and divestment from business and other activities with Israeli entities beyond the 1949 Armistice Line. The document also urges the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs to endorse calls for divestment from settlement activities.269

French Association des Universitaires pour le Respect du Droit International en Palestine (AURDIP)

Orientation: Western far-left

Fields of operation: BDS, campus activism

AURDIP acts for an academic boycott of Israel.  Its driving force is Ivar Ekeland, who serves as the organization’s president.270 Ivar Ekeland is a French mathematician of Norwegian descent.

Ivar Ekeland
Ivar Ekeland

Confédération paysanne 

Confédération paysanne

Orientation: Western far-left

Fields of operation: BDS promoting, trade unions

The French Farmers’ Federation was founded in 1987 by two minority unions.271 In most elections to the chambers of agriculture it won between 20-26 percent of the votes. The Federation has been supporting BDS since 2011.272

Confédération Nationale du Travail – CNT 

Confédération Nationale du Travail

Orientation: Western far-left

Fields of operation: BDS promoting, trade unions

The National Confederation of Labour is a French anarcho-syndicalist union aligned with the General Confederation of Labour (CGT). In 2010, it joined the BDS Campaign, adding that this decision is “coherent with our solidarity with Palestine, defined by our statement of support of the Palestinian people’s struggle, adopted by the CNT during its 2006 congress,” and that, “It confirms our opposition to all forms of colonization and occupation, as well as our solidarity with the oppressed against the oppressor.”273