In response to France’s National Assembly resolution passed Tuesday equating anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, 127 Israeli and Jewish intellectuals penned anopen letter voicing their opposition to the resolution.
"There is no doubt that there are anti-Semites among people who oppose Zionism. But there are also many anti-Semites who support Zionism," read the letter published in the French newspaper Le Monde. "It is therefore inappropriate and totally inaccurate to generally identify anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism."
The letter continued: "For Palestinians, Zionism represents dispossession, displacement, occupation and institutional inequalities. It is cynical to stigmatize them as anti-Semites because they oppose Zionism."
The letter was signed by academics from Israel, the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, The Netherlands, and Belgium. Next to the names of the signatories were their credentials and academic institutions.
43 Israelis signed the petition – the most of any country – and comprised primarily of academics from publicly-funded Israeli universities, including 16 from Hebrew University, 12 from Tel Aviv University, five from Ben-Gurion University, and three from Haifa University and the Weizmann Institute.
Alon Schvartzer, Director of Policy for the pro-Israel watchdog Im Tirtzu that first reported the letter, said, "It is sad to see that when members of France's parliament are fighting against anti-Semitism, Israeli professors are fighting them."
"Once again, Israeli academics who live off of public funds are taking advantage of their positions to promote anti-Israel activities," continued Schvartzer.
"This results in irrevocable damage toward the Jewish State, and the time has come for Israeli academia to root out this phenomenon."