The calls of Israeli politicians demanding on Thursday that the French government condemn French cellular phone company Orange's move to "dump" Israel, given that the government partially owns the company, were joined by those of a US Congressman.
Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL), co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, strongly denounced Orange's stated decision to cut ties with the Israeli company Partner which franchises Orange's brand name in Israel.
He wrote a letter to French President Francois Hollande urging him to make a firm stand against the move, which was made after months of pressure from the BDS movement urging a boycott against Israel.
"This outrageous move by Orange unfortunately represents a broader, insidious campaign within Europe and beyond to delegitimize and economically isolate Israel," Roskam wrote in a statement seen by Arutz Sheva.
Orange CEO Stephane Richard said in Cairo on Wednesday that he wanted to "dump" Israel "tomorrow" if he could do so without taking a financial loss.
Roskam said that Richard's follow-up "claim that these actions are not ‘political’ is shamelessly flimsy. Cutting off economic ties with an Israeli company in political protest will only advance the cause of hatred and intolerance. It certainly won’t help achieve peace in the region, and it moves the global economy in a dangerous and unproductive direction."
"I urge the French Government to denounce this economic attack with haste," he said, calling for action.
"The United States will continue to stand with our ally Israel and oppose the growing global BDS campaign. Congress can help by quickly passing bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority legislation currently pending, which includes a critical negotiating objective for future trade agreements that would push our European partners to reject the BDS movement.”
Roskam authored bipartisan phrasing against the BDS movement in Europe as part of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which passed the Senate last month and is currently waiting for approval from the House of Representatives.