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France’s Left Party adopts boycott-Israel policy

(JTA) — A small leftist party in France announced that it is aligning itself with the international campaign to boycott Israel and Israeli products.

“The national bureau of the Left Party has convened on Nov. 16 and decided to engage the Left Party in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign,” read a statement placed this week on the party’s website.

The Left Party has one seat in France’s parliament, the National Assembly, and is led by Jean-Luc Melenchon, who received 11 percent of the votes in the first round of the 2012 presidential elections when he headed the Left Front — an alliance of smaller radical left parties led by the Left Party. Melenchon did not make it to the second round.

The statement on Israel cited Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip; it’s “flouting of international law;” its resettlement of Bedouins in the Negev Desert and its construction in the West Bank.

“Anyone can respond, notably by boycotting Israeli products and demanding that French entities not participate in the colonization and apartheid policy of the Israeli government,” the statement said.

The Union of Jewish Students in France condemned the move in a statement released Thursday. “The Left Party is aligning itself with a position which runs contrary to peace as envisioned by French President Francois Hollande during his visit to Israel this week,” the statement read. “Boycotting Israel is to boycott peace.”

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