Liberman Compares Paris Conference to Dreyfus Trial

YERUSHALAYIM -
MK Avigdor Liberman, Yisrael Beytenu chairman and minister of defense, addressing his party faction at the Knesset on Monday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman took aim at the French Mideast peace initiative on Monday, comparing the upcoming conference in Paris to the infamous Dreyfus Trial in the same city.

“It is not a peace conference but a tribunal against Israel that is intended to harm Israel and its good name,” Liberman said. “It will not just be a trial against Israel but a modern Dreyfus trial. Look at how France has been voting against us. We know the direction and the goal of the conference. It adds to the atmosphere in France against Jews.”

The trial of French Jewish artillery officer Alfred Dreyfus in 1894 on false allegations of treason became a national crisis which nearly led to civil war between the defenders of Dreyfus and the anti-Semitic campaign against him and French Jews in general. Dreyfus was eventually exonerated, but not before he had been expelled from the army and spent time imprisoned on Devil’s Island.

Liberman told his Yisrael Beytenu faction on Monday that U.N. Security Council resolution 2334 was “awful, unnecessary, and harms any chance to reach dialogue with the other side.” He said he was worried that such misguided international efforts would continue with the Paris conference.

After reading off a list of recent anti-Semitic incidents in France, Liberman reiterated the appeal to French Jewry to pack up and move to Israel.