Wiesenthal Centre Sponsors Campaign to Counteract “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS)” in France

Paris, 20 July 2010

In a letter to French Interior Minister, Brice Hortefeux, the Simon Wiesenthal Director for International Relations, Dr.Shimon Samuels, expressed grave concern at “a wave of intimidation unleashed, since early 2009 in supermarkets and department-stores across the country, by the so-called ‘Collectif Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: BDS’”.

The letter noted that, “Uniformed squads occupy the premises and, under the frightened gaze of staff and shoppers, steal from the shelves of the kosher department all products suspected to be from Israel. Forcing their way to the exits they then proceed to demonstratively burn their loot.”

Samuels argued that “this behaviour is surely, illegal and actionable on the following counts:-

1. it is direct theft and, as such, an encouragement to increased looting with impunity.
2. it is in breach of public order sowing terror among bystanders.
3. it is religious and ethnic discrimination against the Jewish community in targeting kosher products.
4. it violates French obligations under the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe “2004 Berlin Declaration on Antisemitism” and under the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency “2004 Working Definition of Antisemitism”. Both of these instruments acknowledge such anti-Israel incitement as a contributing factor to antisemitism.
5. it contravenes World Trade Organization provisions on freedom of commerce".
6.perhaps unsurprisingly reminiscent of Vichy,the enterprises targetted for boycott are often those identified in neo-Nazi circles as "Jewish-owned", thus arguably;exposing BDS as an act of criminal racism.

The Centre pointed to “its sponsorship of the BNVCA (National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism) whose President, Sammy Ghozlan, has registered 37 legal complaints for a list of respective assaults by BDS henchmen.”
(For the story of Ghozlan and Samuels co-operation in the establishment of the BNVCA, see “France’s Scarlet Letter” by Marie Brenner, Vanity Fair, June 2003,
http://www.mariebrenner.com/pdf/FranceScarletLetter.pdf)


The Centre alerted the Minister to “apparent recruitment plans to disturb holidaymakers with BDS-incitement on French beaches throughout the August vacation.”

Samuels called on the Minister “to pre-empt these hatemongers by ordering their arrest on sight and to take measures for the prompt dissolution of the ‘Collectif BDS’”.

List of BNVCA Legal Complaints:-

18 March 2009 on vandalism and closure of kosher department of Carrefour, Chateauroux
19 March 2009 Boycott of Carrefour, St.Denis on 14 February and Carrefour, Aulnay/Bois on 2 March 20 May 2009 Boycott of Carrefour, Gennevilliers on 21 February 20 May 2009 Boycott of Carrefour, Flins on 4 April
25 May 2009 Boycott of Veolia, Bordeaux on 14 March and Auchan on 28 March
25 May 2009 Boycott of Carrefour, Drancy on 24 March
25 May 2009 Boycott of Carrefour, Bercy on 25 April and Carrefour, Villejuif on 2 May
25 May 2009 Boycott of Auchan, Saint Priest on 7 March and Carrefour on
25 April
25 May 2009 Boycott of Carrefour, Montignyles Cornielles on 9 May
21 July 2009 Boycott of Sephora, Champs Elysees, Paris on 16 July
21 July 2009 Boycott of Carrefour, Evry II on 4 July 30 Sept 2009 Boycott of Carrefour, Ilzach on 26 September
01 Oct 2009 Boycott of KKL Stand at the Ecology Fair, Paris on 26 September
03 Nov 2009 Boycott of Carrefour, Merignac on 6 June
21 Nov 2009 Boycott of Leclerc, Mulhouse on 21 November
18 Feb 2010 Boycott of Carrefour, Le Merlan, Marseilles on 13 February
25 Feb 2010 Boycott of Carrefour, Avignon on 23 January
25 Feb 2010 Boycott of Carrefour Market, Alencon Station on 13 February
25 Feb 2010 Boycott of Grand Frais, Bron, Lyons on 17 February
18 Mar 2010 Boycott of Carrefour, Lyons on 13 January
28 Mar 2010 Boycott of Carrefour, Nevers on 13 January
03 May 2010 Boycott of Boutique H and M, Paris- Montparnasse on 20 March
04 May 2010 Boycott of Boutique H and M, Avignon on 27 March
01 June 2010 Boycott of Darty, Paris on 15 May
01 June 2010 Boycott of Carrefour, Perpignan on 15 May
03 June 2010 Boycott of Carrefour, Lyons on 29 May
21 June 2010 Boycott of Carrefour, Trifontaine, Montpellier on 24 April and 12 June
and Ed, Montpellier, on 21 May
22 June 2010 Boycott of MacDonalds, Limoges on 12 June
22 June 2010 Boycott of Carrefour, Nancy, on 12 May and antisemitic abuse of Jewish student during the assault on the store
07 July 2010 Boycott of Darty, Nice on 5 June including serious antisemitic speeches against the Israel Defence Forces
07 July 2010 Boycott of Carrefour, Montigny les Cormeilles on 26 June in the presence of several members of the European Parliament.



16 letters of protest have also been addressed to the Mayors of the cities in which these assaults have taken place. Likewise, letters of information and support are sent to the CEO’s of the targetted companies.

For further information contact Shimon Samuels on 0033(0)609770158