Apology Not Accepted - Within Hours of Being Blasted Online, France Overturns Israeli Ban at Defense Show

AP Photo/Masha Macpherson

Mere hours after it went viral that French courts had banned Israelis from the defense show Eurosatory, they have rescinded the ban. It's understandable, considering the shameful information about the ban that surfaced, but it's somewhat surprising to see someone actually backtrack their antisemitism. 

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Related: Blatant Antisemitism: France Bans Israel From Defense Show- But Still Boasts 'Trophy' Israeli Tank


Let's be clear, though — France is no hero. There are obvious benefits for them in rescinding the ban. It was hardly a show without the 74 Israeli companies or affiliates that had been disinvited. 

In fact, immediately after the ban garnered international attention, people started to call out the hypocrisy, considering Israeli technology was among some of the main attractions in the exhibition.

Even President Macron's plane was said to have been studded with Israeli equipment. 

A court had ruled in May that Israel could not have a booth, but then extended the ban to not even allow Israeli affiliates to participate in booths with collaborators as well.

Then the court went a step further and actually posted on the entrance doors that Israelis were not allowed in unless they passed a screening and signed a waiver stating they were not affiliated with the government or on official business from any company. The decision to screen only Israelis in a show in which over 150 nations are represented and over 60,000 people would attend was audacious. 

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The original ban on Israel having a booth was the first to be overturned; then, the secondary court order banning entrance to anyone working for or representing Israeli firms was also being reviewed Tuesday. It was expected to be overturned since it was based on the original ruling. Of course, the Palestinian group that requested the measure to begin with was disgruntled at the removal of it and, in true fashion, called for a protest.

AFPS on Monday called on Facebook for supporters to protest outside the Paris Court of Appeals to “keep up the pressure.”

If you've seen one pro-Hamas protest, you've seen them all. No thanks.

Some of the top Israeli companies weren't quick to forgive and make up. Rafael, the maker of the Iron Dome and the "Trophy" tank system on display at the event, and Elbit Systems which reportedly is used on Macron's plane, were not interested in rushing to France to set up a booth. 

A representative from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems told The Times of Israel that the court decision changed nothing for the company – it will not set up a booth or send representatives.

Elbit Systems declined to comment on its plans.

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Good for them. They don't need this exhibition — the exhibition needs them. Israeli defense systems are some of the most respected in the world. They won't hurt for anything over this disinvite. 

Still, this is a win against antisemitism. Perhaps it was that French officials came to their senses, or maybe it took respected allies speaking up. Whatever it was that caused the change in decision, it's a welcome win in a time where we are seeing antisemitism at levels not seen since the Holocaust. Whether or not Eurosatory can recover from this blunder is yet to be seen. But one thing's for sure: Israel's weapons manufacturers are not going to be put out by this embarrassing failure. 

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