A former French foreign ministry employee has been filmed tearing down posters of children kidnapped by Hamas, including several French citizens.
Sophie Pommier, who was cultural counsellor for the French Embassy in Cairo from 2017 to 2020, was recorded shouting “Israel assassin” as she removed the posters, to the dismay of onlookers.
In the recording, a person speaking English says to Pommier: “What a shame! You should be ashamed! These are children who have been kidnapped!”
Pommier replies to the English speaker: “They are murderers!”
“Do you know how many people have been killed in Gaza?” she says, adding “Israel-assassin!” and “Long live Palestine!”
Admitting Pommier was a former employee, France’s foreign ministry said “these actions likely fall within the definition of antisemitism adopted by the International Alliance for the Memory of the Holocaust, endorsed by France in February 2019.”
The video shows “an attitude, behaviour, and statements that are completely unworthy, disqualifying this individual entirely from maintaining any working relationship with the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs,” added the foreign ministry.
Meyer Habib, a member of France’s national assembly who holds French-Israeli dual citizenship, shared the footage showing Pommier, to the dismay of onlookers, hastily removing posters of children kidnapped by Hamas.
It will be “up to the justice system to determine if Pommier also warrants penal charges”, the foreign ministry says.
“Anti-Semitism, hatred of Israel and apologising for terrorism unfortunately sometimes nestle at the heart of the Agence France-Presse, the public service and now even within French diplomacy!” Habib tweeted afterwards.
Sophie Pommier, conseillère en formation sur le Proche-Orient au ministère des Affaires étrangères, arrache des photos d’otages du Hamas, dont des enfants, des femmes, des bébés et huit Français en criant « Israël assassin » !
L’antisémitisme, la haine d’Israël et l’apologie du… pic.twitter.com/VZ9L7NFGHp
— Meyer Habib (@Meyer_Habib) November 7, 2023
Pommier previously worked at the Paris Institute of Political Studies as an external consultant for the Near and Middle East, employed by France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
She also worked in Cairo, from September 2017 to March 2020, as deputy director of the French Institute and cultural counsellor for France’s Embassy. She is a member of the editorial board and editorial committee for the online journal Orient XXI.
The Quai d’Orsay will conduct an administrative enquiry into the circumstances of Pommier’s recruitment, on the request of foreign minister Catherine Colonna, it says in a statement .