France’s Parliament Suspends Left-wing Lawmaker for Waving Palestinian Flag

Wed May 29 2024
icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp

PARIS, France: France’s parliament suspended a left-wing lawmaker for two weeks on Tuesday after he raised a Palestinian flag during a heated debate over whether France should recognize Palestinian statehood, as President Emmanuel Macron said such a move should not be based on “emotions”.

Sebastien Delogu, a France Unbowed (LFI) MP from the southern city of Marseille, stood up with a flag during questions to the government.

Parliament Speaker Yael Braun-Pivet condemned what she called unacceptable behaviour, and lawmakers voted to suspend Delogu for two weeks and halve his parliamentary allowance for two months.

Delogu left the lower house with a V sign for victory, while right-wing and centrist lawmakers inside applauded the sanctions against him. Some MPs exchanged excited words outside the meeting hall.

His suspension came on the day Spain, Ireland and Norway formally recognized Palestinian statehood in a coordinated decision that infuriated Israel.

Their move brought 145 of the 193 UN member states to recognize a Palestinian state.

But none of the G7 industrial powers – including France, Britain and the United States – have done so.

Macron said in February that recognizing a Palestinian state was no longer “taboo”.

On Tuesday during a visit to Germany, he clarified those comments by saying: “I am fully prepared to recognize a Palestinian state, but this recognition must come at a useful moment”.

“I’m not going to make recognition based on emotion,” he said.

But Prime Minister Gabriel Attal dodged a question from another LFI member of parliament in the lower house on Tuesday about whether France would soon join its European allies.

The latest war in Gaza has raised tensions in France, the country with the largest Jewish community of any country after Israel and the United States, as well as Europe’s largest Muslim community.

icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp