Two Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists have been convicted by a French court for incitement and Holocaust denial and fined 3,000 euros, according to the French news site Libération.
Saadia Ben Fakha, 26, and Husein Abu-Zaid, 58, will also have to pay each of the civil parties that joined the case against them a symbolic one euro in damages: League of Human Rights (LDH), International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA), France-Israel Association, Movement against Racism (MRAP), Lawyers without Borders, and the anti-Semitism watchdog BNVCA.
The case is all the more fascinating because it provides an insight into how BDS activists react to being caught out.
In August 2014 the members of BDS France 34, the local branch in Hérault, posted on social media an image comparing the IDF to Nazi Germany along with a caption saying “The Nazis and Zionists are two sides of the same coin,” and that “What Hitler did to the Jews was done so that the world will sympathize with them and give them all the rights.”
LDH, which itself often participates in BDS activities, discovered the Holocaust-denial post and requested that it be removed. However, it was not until LDH turned to the police that BDS condemned the post and denied any responsibility.
Holocaust denial has been illegal in France since the 1990 Gayssot Act.
The two accused then claimed they had accidentally clicked and shared the post without ever reading or seeing the image.
BDS 34 not only supported its two activists and denied they were anti-Semitic, they even went to the extent of holding a rally in their support.
However, LDH discovered that Ben Fakha had also posted pictures of IDF soldiers along with inappropriate comments, and photos of herself making quenelle, the reverse Nazi salute.
BDS 34 then, in a case of total chutzpah, condemned their ‘old friends’ LDH because they exposed the issue, and in doing so allowed “Zionist” groups (i.e French racism and anti-Semitism watchdogs groups) to join as plaintiffs.
Read more here.