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Israeli Attack on Palestinians Prompts International Backlash

Politicians and unions in France have urged Emmanual Macron's government to take a stance against Israel for its 'crimes against humanity.' | Photo: Sadak Souici / Le Pictorium Politicians and unions in France have urged Emmanual Macron's government to take a stance against Israel for its 'crimes against humanity.' | Photo: Sadak Souici / Le Pictorium
Israel's latest attack on Palestinian protesters in Gaza, which killed 60 and injured thousands with live ammunition, has generated a widespread backlash.

The attack on Monday was the latest in Israel's ongoing use of lethal force against Palestinian protesters since the beginning of the Great March of Return, on March 30.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to pressure Israel to end its occupation of Palestine and recognize Palestinians' right to return, has registered several victories.

Meanwhile, the French government faces mounting pressure to take diplomatic measures against Israel.

RELATED: South Africa Withdraws Ambassador in Israel Over Gaza Killings

On May 15, when Palestinians commemorated 70 years of the Nakba ('Catastrophe') unleashed by the creation of the state of Israel, the chief executive of the engineering company Versarin announced a US$4 million loss after its links with the Israeli Aerospace Industries were made public by BDS supporters.

Since May 14, several politicians and major unions in France have urged Emmanual Macron's government to take a stance against Israel for its 'crimes against humanity.'

They are also urging the French president to summon the Israeli ambassador – just as Belgium, Ireland and Luxembourg have done – to protest Israel's actions.  

Earlier this month, in an important victory for the cultural boycott of Israel, 80 French artists – including director Jean-Luc Godard – published an open letter announcing they would not participate in the upcoming France-Israel Season to celebrate Israeli 'independence.'

On May 16, there were massive rallies across France to protest Israeli actions and demand that President Macron take action.

RELATED: Benicio del Toro Joins Pro-Palestine Protest Against Gaza Killings at Cannes Film Festival

The latest BDS endorsement was reported Thursday when the artistic director of the Portuguese National Theater, Tiago Rodriguez, announced he was cancelling a presentation in Jerusalem and publicly endorsed the cultural boycott of Israel.  

Rodriguez cancelled the show after he learned official communications by the Israel Festival announced this year's edition celebrates the 70th anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel.

"The mention of this celebration is not accompanied by a single word of criticism to the state of Israel for its conduct towards Palestinians during the last 70 years," Rodriguez posted on Twitter.

"I have decided not to perform in the Israel Festival in June because I believe that it is the only guarantee that my artistic work will not be used to condone and promote a government that deliberately violates human rights and is currently attacking the Palestinian people."

Rodriguez also said he was joining the cultural boycott of Israel "convinced that global and collective pressure might produce similar results to the boycott of South Africa during apartheid."

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