Macron’s Party Boots Politician Over pro-BDS, anti-Semitic Tweets

LICRA, one of France’s oldest civil rights watchdogs, said earlier this week that there are 'clear anti-Semitic connotations' to Christian Gerin's tweets

Outgoing French President Francois Hollande greets President-elect Emmanuel Macron at the handover ceremony in Paris, France, May 14, 2017.
Outgoing French President Francois Hollande greets President-elect Emmanuel Macron at the handover ceremony in Paris, France, May 14, 2017. GONZALO FUENTES/REUTERS

The party of France’s president-elect Emmanuel Macron withdrew a politician from its parliamentary elections ticket on Friday for making statements deemed anti-Semitic on Twitter.

Christian Gerin, a journalist, was taken off the En Marche ticket a day after he was nominated to represent the party in next month’s elections for the French parliament, in connection with messages he wrote in 2013, throughout last year and this year on Twitter.

In one tweet, flagged as “anti-Semitic” by the LICRA watchdog against anti-Semitism and racism, he wrote: “When will there be a separation between CRIF and state?”

CRIF is the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, whose critics say wields too much influence over French politicians.

He also wrote that Manuel Valls, a former prime minister under outgoing President Francois Hollande, is “virulently Zionist, racist and an Islamophobe.” Gerin also wrote on Twitter: “The only solution: BDS.” Laurence Haim, a spokesperson for en Marche, confirmed to the France Bleu that the suspension was over the tweets.

Advocating for a boycott of Israel, which is the ideology of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, is illegal in France, where it is considered a hate crime.

LICRA, which is one of France’s most best known and oldest civil rights watchdogs, said in a statement earlier this week that there are “clear anti-Semitic connotations” to the statements by Gerin.

Last year, Gerin wrote after a terrorist attack in Nice, that “now we must oppose the appropriation of it by Israel and its expressions of support.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following that attack offered his condolences to the French people and equated it with terrorist attacks in Israel and beyond.