OpinionIsrael at War

A French ban is the height of hypocrisy

The refusal to allow Israeli companies to participate in a major defense conference and exhibition is a wound that will not easily heal.

French President Emmanuel Macron looks on before the inauguration of the new Saint-Denis Pleyel metro station on June 24, 2024. Credit: Yves Herman/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.
French President Emmanuel Macron looks on before the inauguration of the new Saint-Denis Pleyel metro station on June 24, 2024. Credit: Yves Herman/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.
Charles A. Stone
Charles A. Stone is a professor in the Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship at the Koppelman School of Business at Brooklyn College.

Eurosatory is a biannual conference and exhibition for the defense industry held in Paris. Companies attend it to showcase their defense-related products, services and systems. Experts from the private and public sectors participate in it to educate and learn from their peers about the future of defense.

Eurosatory took place in Paris on June 17-21. Some 2,015 companies from 61 countries had the opportunity to demonstrate their defense products and services. But on May 31, with the support of President Emmanuel Macron, a French court decided to ban Israeli companies from participating in Eurosatory. On June 15, a French district court broadened the ban on Israeli companies to include anyone who worked for or represented an Israeli company.

On June 18, the Commercial Court of Paris ruled that the district court’s decision was discriminatory. Nonetheless, the damage France inflicted by empowering the allies of Hamas is a wound that cannot be healed by a single court ruling.

The initial decision to ban Israeli firms appears to have been based on Macron’s belief that Israel should not be fighting Hamas in Rafah. When the infamous criminal Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he answered, “Because that’s where the money is.” Israel is fighting in Rafah because that’s where the terrorists are. It is also very likely where the Israelis and Americans kidnapped by Hamas on Oct. 7 are still being tortured. 

Macron seemed to decide that his best political bet was to climb the metaphorical fence and loudly signal his virtue by aligning himself with the group Al-Haq, which demanded the Eurosatory ban. In doing so, Macron became complicit in the BDS movement, which seeks to weaken Israel so that Hamas can burn, decapitate and slaughter (BDS) with more success. These two BDS movements share the same objective: destroying Israel. 

Eurosatory’s website states that its goal is “Presenting in an exhaustive, concrete and innovative way, solutions, services and expertise in the face of all types of often complex crises, from high-intensity conflicts to humanitarian and environmental disasters specific to our century.”

It does not get more “complex” than Israel’s current multi-front air, ground, sea and cyber war against an enemy that has slaughtered its civilians, kidnapped its women and children, and is in the process of torturing them while using its own citizens as human shields. This is the definition of a “complex crisis” and France’s decision to ban Israel is the definition of hypocrisy.

The hypocrisy is particularly glaring because Turkey (a proud host and supporter of Hamas) and China (an enabler of Putin’s offensive war against Ukraine) were welcomed by France and permitted to showcase their country’s “defense” companies at Eurosatory. It is equally ironic that Egypt, the guardian of the Rafah Crossing, which is quite porous for weapons but not for humanitarian aid, was also welcomed.

Nor was the hypocrisy limited to who was permitted to attend the conference.

One of the 70 Israeli companies banned was Epsilor, an innovative manufacturer of smart chargers for lithium-ion batteries. Epsilon batteries are used to power some French military vehicles.

Another banned Israeli company, Sentrycs, offers technology to “detect, track identity and mitigate drone threats”  On May 29, Sentrycs announced that it had signed a “multi-million dollar deal to protect European military bases.”

Since Oct. 7, Israel has successfully used the Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile system, designed and developed by the banned Israel Aerospace Industries, to destroy ballistic missiles launched by Iran and the Houthis. In September 2023, Israel signed a $3.5 billion contract to supply the Arrow-3 system to Germany. France will certainly benefit from this effective missile shield.

Eurosatory states of its 2024 conference that it “is writing a new chapter in its history, and accompanying global transformations through a three-way focus on defense, security and responding to multiple crises. From the exhibition’s perspective, this means enabling every nation to have means to defend itself and guarantee the security of its population amid this new world order.”

Eurostatory and President Macron, Israel is defending itself in Gaza so that it does not have to defend itself in Tel Aviv.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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