(JTA) — A French anti-Semitism watchdog group called for a police probe against a former lawmaker who seemingly urged Muslim shoppers to avoid purchasing a Jewish-produced kosher product.
“Ramadan soon: Watch out with your shopping,” Jean-Claude Lefort, a former lawmaker for France’s Communist Party and current president of the France Palestine Solidarity Association, or AFPS, wrote in a social media posting Tuesday.
Attached to the post, appearing on Lefort’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, was a picture of a package of leaf dough produced by the France-based firm Sofrabrick.
The package carried the firm’s name and address in Gonesse near Paris as well as a kosher seal with Hebrew letters. “We know this brand. This is Israeli leaf dough. Look closely at bottom, center,” Lefort said, apparently referring to the Hebrew.
The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, on Tuesday denounced what it called “discrimination that shows once again, if anyone needed showing, how pro-Palestinian activists are calling for a blanket boycott of anything Jewish, though they pretend to target settlement goods.” The group said it was going to file a criminal complaint for discrimination against Lefort.
Lefort denied that he indeed had promoted a boycott, saying he merely “drew the attention of consumers to the product’s origins.”
Last year, Sofrabrick’s leaf dough, marketed under the brand JR, was mentioned on the Twitter account of the French Islamic news site Al Kanz. The tweet’s author claimed that Sofrabrick changed its kosher label in 2000 to omit Hebrew letters for fear of a boycott.
A day after Lefort’s tweets, police raided his home, according to Humanite.fr. However, the raid may have been the result of a computer hacker who gave false information to the police about Lefort.