(JTA) – A regional council in France that includes Paris passed a precedent-setting amendment that excludes funding from promoters of boycotts against Israel.
The council of the Ile-de-France region, where right-wing parties have a majority, adopted the amendment Thursday, the Le Monde Juif website reported the following day.
The report said the council’s president, Valérie Pécresse of the UMP party of former president Nicolas Sarkozy, led the vote in keeping with her campaign promises to pursue vigorous measures against the BDS movement – an acronym for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.
“In accordance with the law, I will not tolerate any form of boycotts against Israel in the Ile-de-France region,” she said while campaigning for the top executive political position of the region, which is home to most of France’s 500,000 Jews.
Robert Ejnes, deputy-president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities, in a Twitter post congratulated the council for its amendment, whose final text was not yet published. Ariel Goldmann, another CRIF vice-president, wrote on Twitter about the measure: “Thank you and bravo.”
In France, several dozen promoters of a boycott against Israel have been convicted of inciting hate or discrimination. Some activists have been convicted based on the 2003 Lellouche law, which extends anti-racism laws to the targeting of specific nations for discriminatory treatment.
The judiciary in neighbouring Spain has cracked down in recent years on BDS initiatives, declaring them unconstitutional. Last month, the high court of the Asturias region there joined other Spanish high tribunals in upholding rulings by lower instances declaring BDS discriminatory.
Britain’s ruling party is formulating legislation against BDS, officials said earlier this year.