French Court Strikes Down Ban on Israeli Companies at Weapons Show

“We’re very happy about the ruling because it sends a message to every country that thinks along those lines, saying boycotts are not the way to go,” said Assaf Roet, the chairman and owner of Draco Group, an Israeli company that was supposed to attend Eurosatory.

But Mr. Roet, whose company took part in the legal case brought by the France-Israel Chamber of Commerce, said it was too late to send a delegation back to the show.

Other lawsuits over France’s decision to exclude Israeli companies from the show are still being heard.

Several pro-Palestinian groups filed a suit alleging that COGES Events needed to take further steps to comply with the ban, arguing that some of the Israeli companies might be supplying Israeli forces fighting in Gaza. A court in Bobigny, a suburb north of Paris, agreed, ruling last week that the organizers of the weapons show had to bar not only Israeli companies, but anyone acting as an intermediary or representative for an Israeli company, and had to ensure that any exhibitors did not receive, sell or promote Israeli weapons.

Association France Palestine Solidarité, one of the organizations that had filed the suit, welcomed the ruling, saying in a statement that “it is the responsibility of all players, political and economic, to do their utmost to put an end to the ongoing genocide committed by the state of Israel against the Palestinian population.”

COGES Events, with support from the French authorities, appealed that ruling, arguing that it went far beyond what the government had initially requested. That appeal was being examined on Tuesday by the Paris Appeals Court.

Ron Tomer, the president of the Manufacturers’ Association of Israel, one of the main Israeli groups that exerted pressure on France to revoke its ban, told Kan Radio on Tuesday that the incident “casts a heavy shadow on the Israel-France relationship.” The Israeli defense industry is robust but the ban has damaged Israel’s image, he said.

“The resonance this has beyond the defense sector is much larger,” Mr. Tomer said.

Johnatan Reiss contributed reporting.

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