Le Monde Guilty of Racial Defamation
Jon Henley in ParisExacerbated by a semantic slip? Sounds more like an anti-Semitic slip to me.
Saturday June 4, 2005
A French appeal court has found the editor-in-chief of Le Monde and the authors of an opinion piece in the paper guilty of "racial defamation" against Israel and the Jewish people. In a ruling greeted with applause by Jewish groups and some alarm by media lawyers, the court ordered Jean-Marie Colombani and the three writers to pay a symbolic one euro in damages to the France-Israel Association and to Lawyers Without Borders.
The two groups had alleged that the June 2002 article, headed Israel-Palestine: the Cancer, contained comments that "targeted a whole nation, or a religious group in its quasi-globality", and constituted racial defamation.
The offence was exacerbated, the groups said, by a "semantic slip" from the phrase "the Jews of Israel" to "Jews in general"; in other words, it referred to "the Jews" when it meant "certain Israelis".
Hat tip to The Powers That Be for this story.