PARIS (May. 16)
The cease-fire in Vietnam has focused the attention of various peace groups and French left-wing organizations and personalities on the Middle East. A number of groups that had been actively campaigning to end the war in Vietnam have now organized as “Middle East Peace” movements. These groups, however, are identifying with the Palestinians rather than with Israel.
Prominent French leftists joined some 5000 Arabs and other demonstrators who marched through central Paris last Saturday night to protest against “Zionism and Arab reaction.” Leftist leaders Alain Krivine and Alain Geismar, both Jews, led the march from the Place de Bastille to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery where the French representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Mahmoud el Hamshari is buried. He died last Jan of wounds he suffered when a bomb exploded in his home.
Hamshari’s widow was also in the line of march which passed through a Jewish quarter. There were no clashes or incidents between the residents and the marchers who carried Palestinian flags and huge photos of Hamshari.
Another manifestation of concern for the Middle East was a quarter page advertisement that appeared Sunday in Le Monde calling for the return of the Palestinian refugees “to-their homeland from which they were chased.” The ad was signed by 85 French intellectuals, including the philosophers, Jean Paul Sartro. They rejected “the accusation of anti-Semitism” which they said “is levelled at all those who oppose the policies of the Tel Aviv government.”