Orange CEO received death threats over Israel boycott controversy

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Orange CEO Stephane Richard received death threats against himself and his family over the company’s controversy with Israel.

The threats came after Richard’s personal details were published online. He received about 100 calls on his phone, including several death threats, Reuters reported.

Richard filed a complaint with a Paris court over the threats last week before traveling to Israel, the French news agency AFP reported, citing unnamed sources.

It is not clear whether the threats were from Israel supporters or haters.

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Richard’s visit last week to Israel came in the wake of statements earlier this month by Richard in Cairo that his company, which is 25 percent owned by the French government, would end its Israeli presence if it were not contractually bound to the Israeli firm Partner. A day later Orange announced that it would seek to cancel a recently signed 10-year arrangement with Partner in Israel. The announcement led to accusations of a boycott against Israel by the company.

Richards personally apologized in a Jerusalem meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the controversy and said Orange would never support a boycott of Israel.

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