ADL Condemns City Council of Bezons, France for Giving Honorary Citizenship to Convicted Terrorist

New York, NY, March 11, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned the decision of the city council of Bezons, a suburb of Paris, to award honorary citizenship to Majdi al-Rimawi, who was convicted for planning the 2001 assassination of Israeli Minister of Tourism Rechavam Zeevi.

Mr. al-Rimawi is also a member of the terrorist group, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

“This award is an insult to the French concept of justice and liberty and a perversion of French values,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  Al-Rimawi is a convicted terrorist and the PFLP is on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations. There can be no justification for honoring him.”

According to the March issue of the Bezons municipal newsletter, the city council met in a special session on February 13 to convey honorary citizenship to Mr. al-Rimawi, whose wife, Fathiya Irhima-Barghouti, is the former mayor of Qarawat Bani Zeid, a Palestinian town that has been a “sister city” of Bezons since 2008.

The newsletter also noted that Mr. al-Rimawi has been in Israeli prisons for over a decade and wrote, “His crime?  Defending his city and its inhabitants.”

“After Mohamed Merah murdered three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse, the French Jewish security agency noted a rise in anti-Semitic incidents, many of which included praise for Merah,” Mr. Foxman said. “By honoring another high-profile murderer, the city council of Bezons is callously encouraging more violence against Jews and it is important for all sectors of French society to counter this message and condemn the award.”

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

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