Second French MP waves Palestinian flag in National Assembly, gets sanctioned

Second French MP waves Palestinian flag in National Assembly, gets sanctioned
Rachel Keke said that the Palestinian flag should be waved in parliament on a weekly basis, in a bid to pressure the French government over its Gaza stance.
2 min read
05 June, 2024
Rachel Keke also wore clothes featuring the colours of the Palestinian flag [Getty/file photo]

Member of the French National Assembly Rachel Keke has waved the Palestinian flag in the country's parliament on Tuesday, one week after another MP also raised the banner.

Keke, a member of the left-wing La France Insoumise (LFI, France Unbowed) party, also wore an outfit made up of the colours of the Palestinian flag as she sat during a government questions session at the National Assembly.

The 50-year-old Ivorian-born politician brandished the flag at the start of the session, while left-wing MPs, including members of the French Communist and Green parties, donned outfits in black, red, white and green and positioned themselves in the chamber to create the design of the Palestinian flag when viewed from a distance.

Following the session, Keke told French broadcaster BFM that "she puts herself in the shoes of Palestinians, as though it was her child who was being bombed".

"We cannot stay silent on this. Therefore, I think that a Palestinian flag should be hoisted during government question sessions every Tuesday to break the government so they can take responsibility," she said in reference to the ongoing war in Gaza, and several European countries recognising the state of Palestine.

The brandishing of any national flag in the National Assembly is prohibited.

Fellow left-wing and LFI politician Sebastien Delogu was suspended last week for raising a Palestinian flag to protest France's reluctance to recognise the Palestinian state during a parliamentary debate following the Tel al-Sultan massacre in Rafah, which resulted in the killing of at least 45 Palestinians, many of whom were burned alive.

The horrifying incident triggered global outrage, including from French President Emmanuel Macron.

Delogu received a two-week suspension and had half of his allowance slashed for two months as a result.

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The National Assembly’s president, Yael Braun-Pivet also called for Keke's suspension who responded by saying the sanctions "don't scare her" and it's "part of the fight".

Israel has waged a brutal military onslaught in the enclave for almost eight months, killing at least 36,550 Palestinians, mostly women and children. Israel's atrocities in Gaza have been branded as a genocide by rights groups and others.

Ivory Coast-born Keke was elected into parliament in 2022, after running in the 7th constituency in the Val-De-Marne department.

A former hotel cleaner, the lawmaker previously worked as a trade union leader between 2019 and 2021 after leading a successful strike of housekeepers at a prominent Paris hotel.