CRIF, the umbrella group representing France’s Jewish community, warned on Friday that the French government’s upcoming vote on recognizing “Palestine” may fuel anti-Semitism.
“This resolution is not conducive to the establishment of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, it may generate new tensions on the ground if it was voted and supported by the government, it would call into question the position and role of France as an arbiter between Israel and the Palestinians,” CRIF head Roger Cukierman said in a statement quoted by the JNS news website.
“In France, after the anti-Semitic riots this summer, this statement would certainly not be understood as a peace initiative, and might exacerbate anti-Semitic tensions which we saw last summer,” he added.
The warning comes several days after a bloc of Socialist lawmakers in France put forth a proposal for the recognition of “Palestine” in the French National Assembly, to be voted on November 28.
A similar proposal was also put forth in the French Senate. Both votes would be purely symbolic, as President Francois Hollande has exclusive power over foreign policy decisions.
British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on October 13 in favor of a non-binding motion to "recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution".
Spain is also planning a similar move, and its parliament plans to hold a vote next Tuesday on a resolution to recognize a Palestinian state.
Seven EU members in eastern European and the Mediterranean have already recognized a "Palestinian state", namely Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Romania. Non-EU member Iceland is the only other western European nation to have done so.
France has seen a sharp rise in anti-Semitism in recent years, and it flared particularly during this past summer's Operation Protective Edge, with violent protests in Paris. In another incident, hundreds of Muslim extremists attacked a major synagogue in Paris, provoking clashes with Jewish youths who rushed to defend the site and worshippers trapped inside.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)