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Jews, Non-jews Protest Israel’s Policy Toward Palestinians

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Eighty-five French personalities, including many French Jews, yesterday condemned as “war crimes” Israel’s current policy regarding the Palestinians. On Friday, the Union of Jewish Students in France issued a communique terming Israeli occupation as “civilian colonization.” Both blasts were issued on the occasion of Israeli Premier Golda Meir’s visit here to attend the Socialist International conference.

In a petition taking up a half page in yesterday’s edition of Le Monde, the 85 signatories denounced the “intolerable repression suffered by Palestinians,” and appealed for the rights of Palestinians to a separate state. The signatories, who included the author Jean Genet, Catholic priest Marc Oraison, left-wing publisher Francois Maspero and Jewish author Philippe Sollers, denounced “the posture of those who accuse all those opposed to Israeli policy as anti-Semites.” The petition added that the Palestinians should be allowed to have a separate state while admitting Israel’s existence.

The communique by the Jewish students union stated that while the group supports “the unconditional existence of the State of Israel, it cannot support the policy of the current Israeli government as far as the occupied territories and the Palestinians are concerned. This policy means an Israeli civilian colonization and permanent state of siege.”

Continuing, the communique declared: “Peace in the Middle East can be obtained only by recognizing the rights of the Palestinians to a national existence and the sovereignty of the State of Israel. Any other resolution is contrary to socialism and to the legitimate aspirations of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.”

The union later released another communique Friday protesting against left-wing extremist demonstrations, noting that such acts only serve to strengthen “Israeli and Arab reactionaries.” A union spokesman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the two communiques were voted upon by the group’s national executive committee. The student group is the major association of Jewish university students in France.

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