PARIS (Apr. 11)
The French minister of the environment, Brice Lalonde, said Thursday that his ministry would stop cooperating with the environmentalist Green Party as long as it refuses to expel “an anti-Semite from its ranks.”
Lalonde and members of the party were outraged by the remarks of one of the Green leaders, Jean Briere, who denounced what he called the “war-mongering role of Israel and the Zionist lobby” in the Persian Gulf war.
“Zionist lobby” is recognized as a code-word for Jews.
“When free criticism of the positions of a Middle Eastern state (Israel) degenerates into appalling anti-Semitism, which could be prosecuted under (French) laws, the only possible attitude is the exclusion of Jean Briere,” the minister said.
Briere’s ouster was also urged by Yves Cochet, a Green Party representative to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.
Antoine Waechter, the party’s leader, called Briere’s remarks “an unacceptable, blameworthy mistake.”