Four French pro-Palestinian activists have stood trial over their call for a boycott of all Israeli products manufactured in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The trials are the latest measure taken against those who dare criticize Israel, including members of the long-running Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.
The anti-Israel campaign is in retaliation against Tel Aviv's treatment of Palestinians, a Press TV correspondent reported from Paris on Friday.
The four defendants are facing the charge of inciting anti-Semitism. They must wait until October when judges will pronounce their verdicts.
An adverse verdict against the accused is expected to raise numerous questions in France, where the government considers itself as a trailblazer for freedom of expression.
“We have some sympathizers and we have to be proud. We have to continue to boycott,” Maha Ahmed, a co-defendant, told Press TV.
Olivia Zemor, a co-founder of the French non-governmental organization (NGO) CAPJPO-Europalestine which is dedicated to ending “the occupation of the Palestinian territories,” also criticized the French government over its refusal to condemn Israeli atrocities and defend Palestinian rights.
“Our French government refuses to take any sanctions against Israeli criminal policy. We have tried demonstrations, petitions, meetings, and boycott proves to be the most efficient tool. The history of liberation struggles has shown how effective it could be,” Zemor said.
The lawsuits against Zemor and three other defendants had been filed by a number of pro-Israel groups in France. French prosecutors and Jewish lobbyists claim the campaign launched by the four pro-Palestinian activists seeks to provoke “racial hatred” and “discrimination” against Israelis.
“First the boycott was against goods made in the occupied [Palestinian] territories, and then it extended to cover all Israeli goods. These actions lead to anti-Semitism,” Charles Bacouche from France's National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism told Press TV.
This is while the defendants' lawyer, Antoine Comte, has said there is no legal ground in France to say that an appeal for a campaign on boycott is a racist one.
Pro-Israel organizations have filed a series of complaints and lawsuits against French citizens for participating in campaigns to boycott Israeli products. Ten cases have so far been heard in French courts.