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Israeli Firm Calls for Boycott of Air France, French Groups Call for boycott of Israeli Goods

IslamOnline & News Agencies
12 July 2002


An Israeli telecom company called for its employees to boycott Air France in protest at a pilot's "Israel-Palestine" comment, while in France, an association of 30 French groups called Thursday, July 11, for consumers to boycott Israeli goods in protest against the occupation of the Palestinian West Bank.

The Israeli telecom company Bezek has called for its thousands of employees to boycott Air France in protest at a pilot's "Israel-Palestine" comment last week, army radio reported Thursday.

A row broke out between air crew and passengers on an Air France flight between Paris and Tel Aviv on July 5 after the pilot announced the destination as Israel-Palestine, Agence France-Presse (AFP) said.

Ilan Biran, the head of Bezek, sent a letter to the French carrier's representative in Israel warning the boycott would stay in place until the pilot was fired, the radio said.

"We are Zionists and proud of it, and Israel is our home. We have had enough of the double-talk of certain people," Biran said in the message.

In France, meanwhile, an association of 30 French groups campaigning for Middle East peace called Thursday for consumers to boycott Israeli goods in protest at Israel's occupation of Palestinian areas in the West Bank, AFP said.

"We call on the public to no longer buy Israeli products as long as the occupation by Israel of the Palestinian territories continues," the president of the Coordination for Calls for a Fair Peace in the Middle East, Olivia Zemor, told a media conference in Paris.

Israel "is practicing a virtual apartheid on the Palestinian population," she said.

The boycott comes three months after the European parliament suspended an economic association agreement with Israel because of its violations of international law.

Israel exports more than 100 million euros (dollars) of farm products to France, an expert at the media conference said.