French Socialist Party: Under the control of the powerful Israeli – Zionist Lobby

French Socialists time-out from left-wing alliance over Hamas stance

By Davide Basso
Oct 11, 2023

France’s Socialist Party said it would take a temporary break from the left-wing alliance NUPES after Jean-Luc Mélenchon and his party La France Insoumise (LFI) caused controversy with their reaction to the Hamas attack on Israel.

During the attacks on Israel that started on Saturday, the far-left leader pushed for a cease-fire between Israel and Palestine and wrote, “All the violence unleashed against Israel and in the Gaza Strip only produces [more violence],” while failing to condemn Hamas directly.

In a statement, the political group said, “The armed offensive by Palestinian forces led by Hamas comes in a context of intensification of Israeli occupation policy in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. We deplore the Israeli and Palestinian deaths. Our thoughts are with all the victims.”

It concluded that all parties must return to the negotiation table, and there must be an “end of colonisation”.

But this has not gone down well with some other political forces.

On Tuesday morning, Olivier Faure, first secretary of the Socialist Party (PS), was still ruling out the possibility of leaving NUPES, an alliance of the leading left-wing forces (radical left, socialists, ecologists and communists)

“I want the whole left to take the same step [which] must be one of reason and responsibility”, he told Public Sénat, hoping LFI would reverse its position since most of the left does not share it.

In the afternoon, however, the Socialist Party announced the “suspension” of its participation in the forthcoming meetings of the NUPES intergroup in the National Assembly.

They also took umbrage with LFI group leader in the National Assembly, Mathilde Panot, as she failed to describe Hamas as a terrorist organisation.

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“It is the armed wing that is now responsible for war crimes,” she said, after saying a few minutes earlier: “We condemn all war crimes aimed at terror, so we can call them ‘terrorists’”.

But “by not naming Hamas as a terrorist group, but as an armed force that commits war crimes, LFI is legitimising Hamas and its methods of action”, reacted Socialist MP Jérôme Guedj.

“Hamas is a terrorist organisation. Not the regular army of Palestine”,  said Faure, who took aim at Panot’s wording, which he said was “unacceptable”.

Reflecting the issue’s sensitivity, several left-wing MPs interviewed by Euractiv in the National Assembly on Tuesday requested anonymity to speak freely.

For example, one Socialist official said he had “suffered” from the ambiguities of his LFI partners.

The purpose of this “suspension” is, therefore, to “show them that [in the alliance] we are mutually obliged”. In other words, to send out the message that “they [LFI] are the ones who are blowing up [the NUPES]” by adopting a different position to that expressed by the socialists, communists and ecologists.

Asked about the comments made by Panot and Mélenchon, Cyrielle Chatelain, leader of the ecologists’ group, brushed off the journalists’ questions, saying that she was “only responsible for [her] comments” and not those of the LFI.

As for the LFI MPs, some of them seemed to feel the heat, with one declaring that “the first to slam the door will be responsible for the end of the NUPES” while asserting that they did not want the alliance to “fall apart”.

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“Mélenchon problem” or “LFI problem”?

“When you have made a political mistake, you admit it instead of trying to discredit everyone else at every stage,” Faure said in response to Mélenchon’s tweet accusing him of being a “supporter of the extreme right-wing Israeli government”.

When asked about the stances taken by Mélenchon and other LFI MPs, a leading LFI official conceded that “some [of us] have reacted unilaterally”.

“Actually, [Mélenchon] is behind the official LFI leadership with whom we have daily discussions. And he intervenes through tweets, messages and meetings. It’s a real difficulty”, added Faure.

According to an ecologist MP, “Mélenchon’s position is not that of many LFI MPs”, who are “dumbfounded” by the situation.

Regardless, according to the Greens, LFI and Mélenchon “made a mistake” in their party press release issued on Saturday, which refers to the “Palestinian armed forces led by Hamas”.

As for the attacks on the Socialists and the Greens, “the Mélenchon problem is a problem for NUPES” as a whole, another left-wing MP added but rejected the idea that the NUPES was “finished”.

However, “we’ll have to talk about where we stand and how we express our positions on the various issues”, the MP added.

On the side of the Communists, party leader Fabien Roussel said on France 2 that the position of Mélenchon “and a few LFI MPs” was unclear. It is, therefore, up to him to “clarify” it and decide whether or not to remain in the union of the left.

“If he’s not happy, he [Mélenchon] should leave” the alliance, the Communist said.

However, some, like Boris Vallaud, president of the Socialist Group, are hopeful that NUPES still has a future.

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The alliance’s purpose is “to build an alternative to the liberals who are in power and to the threatening far right”, he told a conference that followed Panot’s.

The different left-wing parties have to question themselves on “how our intergroup works. We are not, of course, putting an end to the NUPES. We believe in the need to unite the left”, he added.

Meanwhile, NUPES’ critics came across as even harsher.

In an interview published in Le Parisien on Tuesday evening, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo warned that Mélenchon “represents an absolute dead end for the left” and called on her party’s leadership, like other alliance opponents, to leave it.

For the time being, however, Hidalgo is one of the few political leaders in favour of burying the alliance for good.

“But we mustn’t prevaricate too much”, concludes one of the alliance’s supporters.

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