New York, NY, June 18, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged the French Ministry of Culture and Communication to undertake an independent investigation to assess the facts surrounding purported anti-Israel discrimination by the Louvre and Sainte-Chapelle chapel.
According to reports, a group from Tel Aviv University was denied reservations in both facilities even after attempting to make reservations for the same time period under a fictitious non-Israeli affiliation and was subsequently granted the reservations.
In a letter to Fleur Pellerin, France’s Minister of Culture, ADL expressed “great consternation” over Tel Aviv University’s claims of anti-Israel discrimination and the Louvre’s denial of the story.
“If true, such clear anti-Israel animus is extremely troubling,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “We are not talking about some off the beaten path venue, but rather two major institutions who denied hosting an academic group, which is flat out unacceptable.”
“President Hollande, Prime Minister Valls, and Foreign Minister Fabius have all recently expressed their firm opposition to any boycotts of Israel, and the French judicial system has punished those found guilty of anti-Israel boycotts under France’s non-discrimination law,” Mr. Foxman said. “We hope such an investigation will reveal no discrimination took place. However, should the investigation uncover acts of anti-Israel discrimination, we expect the French government will hold to account those who perpetrated such acts, both in the name of justice and to send a clear message to French society about the unacceptability of such acts.”
In April, ADL praised the French government’s announcement to implement a strategy to combat anti-Semitism and racism.