Montpellier mayor urged not to hang Palestinian flag

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — The president of France’s Jewish communities urged the mayor of Montpellier to abandon plans to place a Palestinian flag across city hall.
Flying the Palestinian flag “would be a mistake” which would “go against the decision of the international community,” Dr. Richard Prasquier, president of CRIF, the umbrella organization of France’s Jewish communities, said.
Montpellier flies the country flag of each one of its twin cities. In March, Mayor Hélène Mandroux of the French Socialist Party signed a twin city agreement with Bethlehem. Montpellier has been twinned with Tiberias since 1983.
Prasquier, who visited Montpellier on June 5, said during a conference that CRIF supported the creation of a Palestinian state, but only after the resolution of issues like the status of Jerusalem, the refugee issue and other core issues. Any other course of action, he said, would destabilize the principles agreed upon in the Oslo Accords.
Until the creation of the Palestinian state, Prasquier proposed Montpellier fly the flag of Bethlehem, not the Palestinian flag.
Prasquier praised the Montpellier municipality for not allowing performances by Dieudonne, a French comedian and founder of the Anti-Zionist Party. Dieudonne has been convicted a number of times of hate speech because of anti-Semitic statements.

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