“The French government firmly condemns boycotts of Israel,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls said, warning against the phenomenon of organizations criticizing Israeli policies turning to anti-Semitic activities. “Let me say this as clearly as possible: We condemn any campaign of boycotts against Israeli products.” Valls said the French government is against boycotts and will fight them with the necessary means, while pressing for dialogue toward a two-state solution. “Unfortunately, there are too many initiatives that intentionally mix legitimate criticism of Israeli policies with anti-Zionism that turns into anti-Semitism,” the French prime minister added. “I am warning anyone who takes part in such activities. “Behind the scenes, they are taking part in activities that are not criticism of one policy or another, but a condemnation of Zionism, which has truly become anti-Semitism,” Valls said. [jpost.com]
Manuel Valls, 51, was born in Barcelona, Spain, the son of a Catalan painter and a Swiss Italian mother. He joined the Socialist party at 17 and took French nationality three years later. He speaks four languages and has four children by his first wife. In 2010, he married violinist Anne Gravoin. He was a rival of Hollande for the Socialist party’s presidential nomination in 2011 but later become the president’s campaign spokesman. Valls Galfetti has been the Prime Minister of France since 31 March 2014. He is an advocate of social democracy in the style of Germany and Scandinavia. In the past he has described himself as a “Blairiste” (after Tony Blair) and a “Clintonian” (after Bill Clinton) and talks of “economic realism” and “individual responsibility”.
Manuel Valls, is a tough-talking prime minister who has orchestrated France’s hardline security response to the Paris terrorist attacks. He believes that the country’s war on terror would last a long time amid a “permanent” threat of more attacks. The straight-talking “strongman” Valls has crafted and pushed tough security measures at home and set about explaining them to a fearful and grieving nation. Valls has spearheaded the nationwide state of emergency that will last at least three months, giving special powers to police to act without judicial oversight, and he has gone further than Hollande in his heightened language warning of the risk of a chemical attack. [theguardian.com]