Pique in Paris over Tel Aviv festival day

A Paris City Council member called for the cancellation of a city festival day dedicated to Tel Aviv.

Danielle Simonnet, a left-wing lawmaker, objected to the celebration of an Israeli city during the weeklong Paris Plages festival, which turns the banks of the Seine River into a beach and this year is devoting a day to a beach in another country. On Aug. 13, the food, music and activities were to be devoted to Tel Aviv culture.

In an Aug. 10 interview on French Inter radio, Simonnet called instead for turning the day into “a peace protest, in support of fraternity, in support of the fight against all forms of racism and anti-Semitism, and to back recognition of the Palestinian state.”

She also said, “For the Israeli government, this is a nice bit of PR that Paris is serving up on a plate.”

The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, condemned Simonnet for her calls to cancel the event and said the city’s mayor should not yield to her pressure. — jta