French FM’s apartheid declaration “shameless, false” –

French FM’s apartheid declaration “shameless, false” – fr

Israel is a leader of democracy and human rights in the Middle East and not an apartheid state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, protesting against recent comments by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
“The minister said that Israel was likely to become an apartheid state – a shameless and baseless false claim,” Netanyahu said.

The Prime Minister added that “in the State of Israel all citizens are equal before the law, regardless of their origin. The State of Israel is the beacon of democracy and human rights in our region, the only democracy in our region. It always has been – and always will be.

“We will not tolerate any hypocritical and false preaching of morality on this matter,” Netanyahu said.

Le Drian said on Sunday that the chance for a two-state solution “is starting to wane” and that “the risk of apartheid is great if we continue to adopt a logic of one state or the status quo.”

We must “initiate a policy of small steps,” Le Drian told the French television show Grand Jury, adding: “We must make sure that there is a logic of trust that can be established” between Israel and the Palestinians.

French lawmaker Meyer Habib, who represents French expats in Israel and other countries and is a long-time personal friend of Netanyahu, called Le Drian’s remarks “unfortunate.”

“Israel will never be an apartheid state,” he said. ” [France] should not preach to the only democracy in the Middle East and the only Jewish state in the world.

“Le Drian’s irresponsible statement is fueling the fire, possibly in an attempt to secure votes from the pro-Arab left,” Habib said.

Le Drian’s remarks come amid an NGO push to label Israel as an apartheid state. Human Rights Watch published a lengthy report making this argument last month, as did Breaking the Silence earlier this year.

While accusing Israel of apartheid, Human Rights Watch distanced itself from comparisons with what was once a true apartheid state, South Africa, while asserting that Israel falls into this category.


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