Solidarity activists in Paris, France, demonstrated on Saturday 27 October against a large public exhibit erected by the Mayor of Paris which proclaims Parisiansâ âsupportâ for the Israeli Occupation forces.
The exhibit in Parc de Bercy in the 12th Arrondissement of Paris, shows three smiling Israeli members of the Occupation forces, dressed in civilian clothing, along with a message stating Parisâs support. They were taken prisoner of war in the course of Israeli raids on southern Lebanon and the Gaza strip, part of the ongoing Israeli assault those areas.
A spokesperson told the assembled demonstrators:
âThese men are soldiers, soldiers of an occupying army, the Israeli army, taken prisoner while they occupied territories other than their own, in their case Gaza and the Lebanon. They are men from an army which commits war-crimes, bombs civilians and which does not hesitate to fire upon defenceless people.
âWe therefore make an official protest against this lying statement: NO! Paris does not support and does not wish to support this occupying army which does everything to spread chaos and death in a whole region of the world: in Palestine, in Lebanon, in Iraq and wishes now to attack the people of Iran.â
Activists stapled a banner across the exhibit, stating âIsraeli Occupation Armyâ, and erected placards calling for the release of 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners. A spokesperson presented a list of 45 names of Palestinian Members of Parliament abducted by Israeli Occupation forces.
The protestors chanted:
âArmy of Israel, army of criminals! Liberate the Palestinian prisoners! No to the occupation! Stop the massacre of the Palestinians!â
The exhibit was erected on Friday 19th October on behalf of the Paris Municipality, with the backing of the socialist Mayor of Paris, Bertrand DelanoÃ« who inaugurated it together with Sandrine Mazetier, also from the Socialist Party and CRIF (the representative body for French Jews). Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, recently welcomed by French president Nicholas Sarkozy whom he asked to help him in his proposals to attack Iran, also came to greet the photographs.
To see a video the protest, click here.