Guilty of anti-Israel defamation - in France!


A French Court finds a pillar of the French media. Le Monde, guilty of defamation against Israel and the Jewish people. The Wall Street Journal reports:

A French court last week found three writers for Le Monde, as well as the newspaper's publisher, guilty of "racist defamation" against Israel and the Jewish people. In a groundbreaking decision, the Versailles court of appeal ruled that a comment piece published in Le Monde in 2002, "Israel—Palestine: The Cancer," had whipped up anti—Semitic opinion.

The writers of the article, Edgar Morin (a well—known sociologist), Danie Sallenave (a senior lecturer at Nanterre University) and Sami Nair (a member of the European parliament), as well as Le Monde's publisher, Jean—Marie Colombani, were ordered to pay symbolic damages of one euro to a human—rights group and to the Franco—Israeli association. Le Monde was also ordered to publish a condemnation of the article, which it has yet to do.

Of course, these defamation laws in Europe are usually employed to punish those critical of politically correct groups, especially Muslims and Arabs. Orianna Fallaci is currently facing prosecution for her critical writings in that vein. So these laws are not a good thing for freedom of speech.

However, they do exist. So they might as well be applied across the board, at least until they can be repealed. Of course, slander of israel and Jews is commonplace in Europe, so the Le Monde case is merely a grain of sand at a very big beach. And the decision does not exactly sport any teeth. But it is a start.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Thomas Lifson   6 2 05