Society & Culture

Simon Weil Prize Withdrawn from French Writer Denounced Israel’s Crimes

Agencies – Sudan Events

Valérie Pécresse, President of the Ile-de-France region (northern France), announced the withdrawal of the Simone Weil Prize from the French writer of Moroccan origins, Zainab Al-Ghazoui, due to her recent stance denouncing the crimes of the Israeli occupation in the Gaza Strip.
Pécresse published a blog post on her Facebook account, in which she said, “Zeinab Al-Ghazwi’s courage and her fight against Islamism led the Ile-de-France region to propose in 2019 that the French vote on her name – among 4 other names – to award her the Simone Weil Prize.”
“The award is given every year by the Ile-de-France region to a particularly deserving French woman, who embodies Simone Weil’s legacy. But Zeinab’s recent statements about the tragic events that have taken place in Israel and the Palestinian territories since October 7 are outrageous and shocking,” she added.
She continued: “It has terribly wounded the feelings of our citizens, those who suffered from the barbarity of the Holocaust.
It does not seem to us that it is completely consistent with the message of peace that Simone Veil carried throughout her life, and who played an essential role in reconciliation between the Franco-Germans, especially in the European Parliament.”
Therefore, I have decided, in agreement with the rights holders of Simon Vale, to withdraw this award from it on behalf of the Ile-de-France region.”
Valerie Pécresse’s move came one day after Aurelien Weil, the grandson of Simon Weil, wrote a blog post in which he called on the president of the Ile-de-France region to take a strong step against Zeinab El Ghazoui because of her recent stance.
After the award was withdrawn, Zainab Al-Ghazawi wrote on her account on the “X” platform, saying: “4 years ago, I had the honor of receiving the Simone Weil Award, an award from the public who voted overwhelmingly in favor of awarding it to me. For me, Simone Weil’s teachings give humanity primacy.” Always based on clan or politics.”
She added: “Weil’s legacy, in my view, is that human beings, regardless of their color, creed, language or gender, cannot be deprived of their right to live and freedom, including Palestinians, because Palestinians are human beings like you and me, sir.”
She continued: “For me, honoring Simone Veil means rebelling against all civilian deaths, whatever their nationality or religion, and whatever the ideology of the killer. “If the Simon Feil Award means only being angry at the innocent victims of October 7th, and not the victims of October 8th, October 9th, October 10th, October 11th… to this day, well, I don’t want that.”
She added: “If the Simone Weil Prize remains silent in the face of the internationally condemned criminal actions of Netanyahu’s far-right government, I will be very happy to return it.”On the other hand, if the Simone Weil Prize means, as I believe it is, defending human beings against the collective crime committed by any fanatical regime, then I call on you to add your voice to mine in defense of the right of Palestinians to live in peace. Free from any occupation, colonialism or tyranny.”
Zainab concluded her post by saying: “I also call on you, in the name of your grandmother and in honor of her legacy, to strongly condemn the Israeli government’s crimes against thousands of Palestinian civilians, including more than 8,000 children who have been killed so far.
Zainab Al-Ghazawi is a journalist and human rights activist. She was born on January 19, 1982 in Casablanca and obtained French citizenship.

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