French court cancels Paris suburb’s honor for Palestinian terrorist

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — A French court nullified a Paris suburb’s decision to honor a Palestinian leader who is serving multiple life sentences in Israel for acts of terrorism.

The ruling by the Administrative Court of Montreuil dealt with the honorary citizenship conferred last year by the municipality of Aubervilliers on Marwan Barghouti, according to a report published by the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA.

Aubervilliers mayor announced the honor for Barghouti, a member of the Fatah faction, as part of his city’s commitment to support political prisoners. The city’s statement compared Barghouti, who is the mastermind of dozens of deadly terrorist attacks, to the late Nelson Mandela of South Africa.

The decision to honor Barghouti came shortly before a French court ordered another Paris suburb, Bezons, to nullify an honor conferred on Majdi Irhima al-Rimawi, a Palestinian who assassinated Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi more than a decade ago.

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BNVCA wrote that the court’s July 7  decision to nullify the Aubervilliers honor relied on previous rulings against such honors, which determined they constituted political acts that exceeded the duties and responsibilities of municipal governments.

Last month, the Seyne-sur-Mer municipality in southern France announced plans to name a street after the late Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat.

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