Ersilia Soudais is a member of the French Parliament, and is part of the far-left NUPES coalition. She has an obsessive interest in the Palestinians, with whose cause she completely identifies, and naturally she has an equally obsessive antipathy to Israel, which she describes as an “apartheid regime.” She’s no different from many other left-wing haters of Israel, except in one respect: she has just been named by her party to be a vice president for the parliamentary study group on antisemitism. That allows her to camouflage herself as a sympathetic defender of Jews against antisemitism, even as she supports Palestinian Arabs who are the greatest spreaders of antisemitism today. More on Ersilia Soudais can be found here: “‘An Insult to Those Fighting Antisemitism:’ French MP’s ‘Free Palestine’ Tweet Condemned,” Algemeiner, February 20, 2023:
Jewish and anti-racist groups in France have roundly condemned a far left member of parliament who posted a photograph of herself meeting with Palestinian solidarity activists above a tweet concerned with antisemitism.
It was the juxtaposition of the photograph of MP Soudais with her Palestinian activist friends posted just above her tweet about antisemitism intended to disarm the critics of her own efforts to promote the Palestinian cause, that so infuriated French defenders of Israel.
The MP — Ersilia Soudais, who sits with the far left NUPES coalition in the French National Assembly — was appointed by her party on Feb. 14 as a vice-president of the parliament’s study group on antisemitism. The announcement sparked concern among Jewish groups given NUPES anti-Zionist stance, which has included tabling a parliamentary resolution in July last year denouncing Israel for its alleged “apartheid regime.”
Soudais will use her new position as a member of the study group to try to convince French Jews that she cannot possibly be accused of antisemitism, But her vilification of Israel as an “apartheid regime” is both false and goes far beyond any legitimate criticism, and should be properly regarded as antisemitic.
On Friday [Feb. 17], Soudais sparked widespread ire with a tweet announcing her meeting with three Palestinian solidarity activists that claimed the group had discussed “the fight against antisemitism and solidarity with the Palestinian people.”
The tweet ended with the hash tag “Free Palestine.”
Why was she discussing “antisemitism” with Palestinians? What could they possibly contribute to the discussion? Don’t the Palestinians inculcate murderous hatred of Jews in their school curricula? Hasn’t the NGO IMPACT-se repeatedly analyzed the schoolbooks used in the P.A. and the UNRWA schools, and shown how even in the most unlikely places — in math textbooks, for example — there are constant, and hair-raisingly negative descriptions of Jews? Haven’t the Palestinians in the past denied that there ever was a Holocaust, whereas now they more often minimize the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust? Mahmoud Abbas himself has always insisted, ever since he wrote his thesis on the Holocaust and Zionism at Patrice Lumumba University in 1982, that the real number of Jews killed was “at most a few hundred thousand,” not six million. Abbas has never withdrawn, or apologized for, his “Holocaust” minimization, and he is referred to in the Palestinian press as the great “expert” on the subject of the Holocaust. Yet Soudais tells us she has been discussing antisemitism with the very people – her Palestinian fellow activists — who want to destroy Israel and replace it with a Palestinian state extending “from the river to the sea.” To support those who want to bring about the destruction of the only Jewish state is inherently antisemitic. Res ipsa loquitur.
Soudais is suggesting that one can be a stout supporter of the Palestinians and at the same time be just as stout an opponent of antisemitism. There is no evidence for this. She is using her new position on a parliamentary committee studying antisemitism as a defense against charges of her being antisemitic. One wonders how she would, in her new role on the parliamentary committee studying antisemitism, to describe the Palestinian media, with its steady diet of murderous antisemitic incitement. Perhaps Soudais would care to watch the children’s shows on Palestinian television, where tiny tots make stabbing movements with their tiny knives, as they lisp their desire to “stab a Jew.” That should lead her to reconsider her support for the Palestinians who, in their newspapers, on their radio programs and television shows, spread murderous antisemitism as part of their anti-Israel message. But it won’t.
In response, the French Union of Jewish Students (UEJF) called on Soudais to “STOP!”…
Other tweets similarly condemned Soudais, with one describing her invocation of the “Free Palestine” slogan as an “insult to all those who fight against antisemitism.”
That “Free Palestine” slogan is “From the river to the sea/Palestine will be free.” This is a call for the disappearance of the Jewish state, and its replacement by a Palestinian Arab state. Those who share the goal of effacing the Jewish state – totally, permanently, from the face of the earth – are surely antisemitic.
Soudais has clashed with the Jewish community on previous occasions. Last December, she was among a group of MPs who greeted Salah Hamouri, a Palestinian terrorist with French citizenship, when he arrived in France after being expelled by Israel. Hamouri had served a six-year prison sentence in Israel for his part in a 2005 attempt to assassinate the country’s then Sephardic Chief Rabbi, Ovadia Yosef.
What in god’s name was Ersilia Soudais thinking when she chose to welcome Salah Hamouri upon his arrival in France? Hamouri was a convicted terrorist, who was part of a plot to murder the Chief Sephardic Rabbi in Israel, and far from denying his role, was proud of it. Soudais supports, openly and directly, those who would murder Jews – not soldiers only, but all Jews. Should she be serving on a parliamentary committee devoted to fighting antisemitism?
Soudais was also excoriated by a prominent lawyer with a record of representing victims of antisemitism after she tweeted a tribute to Ilan Halimi, a young French Jew who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by an antisemitic gang in Jan. 2006.
On this day of commemoration of the death of Ilan Halimi, tortured and kidnapped because he was Jewish, let us remember that antisemitism kills,” she wrote. “Hate speech and racist prejudices are to be fought day after day. Humanism must be our only compass.”
Her feigned sorrow over the kidnapping, torture, and murder of Ilan Halimi – and her statement that “antisemitism kills” — do not impress. She has never denounced the obsessive and obscene antisemitism of the Palestinians. She’s never mentioned the antisemitism in the Palestinian and UNRWA school books, or on the children’s shows on Palestinian television. Nor has she displayed any concern over the PA’s “Pay-For-Slay” program, that provides generous subsides to imprisoned terrorists and to the families of terrorists killed while carrying out their acts.”Pay-For-Slay” both rewards past, and incentivizes future, terrorism. Not a word about this program from Elisia Soudais. She hasn’t expressed any objection to the P.A.’s naming of schools, streets, plazas, hospitals, and sports competitions after terrorists, as a way to honor their memories and to keep their terrorist deeds fresh in the minds of new generations of Palestinians who may be persuaded to emulate them. She has never said a word about Mahmoud Abbas’ “Holocaust minimization,” with his nauseating claim that not six million, but “only a few hundred thousand Jews” died in the Holocaust.
In response, Frances Szpiner tweeted that “as the Halimi family’s lawyer, I deny you the right to use his martyrdom.”
Said Szpiner: “Your hatred of Israel leads to hatred of Jews — you who dared to speak of deportation regarding the expulsion of the terrorist Salah Hamouri, whom you welcomed with great fanfare.”
Ilan Halimi’s lawyer does not want Soudais shedding her crocodile tears over Halimi’s kidnapping, torture, and murder, an atrocity rooted in antisemitism. Someone like Elisia Soudais, whose entire political life has been devoted to embracing those who would destroy the Jewish state, should not be allowed to ‘scape rhetorical whipping because she now pretends to care about antisemitism. After Ersilia Soudais has denounced the Palestinian and UNRWA schoolbooks and demanded that their antisemitic passages be removed, after she has called for Palestinian children to be provided with television fare that does not teach them to be murderers, after she has called for an end to the “Pay-For-Slay” program that rewards terrorist murderers and their families, after she asks that the names of terrorists be removed from Palestinian schools, streets, plazas, hospitals, and sports competitions – after all that has been done, then just maybe she will have earned the right to speak about antisemitism. But not before. Not now.