Orange: Just another company of French anti-Semites
I'm sure you'll all be shocked to hear that Orange, which just last week was railing about pulling out of Israel
because we 'occupy territory
' services just about every other occupied territory in the world
. This is Eugene Kontorovich.
To be sure major French companies, like Total,
are quite active in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara, with the apparent
approval of the French government. But it turns out that Orange itself directly
and openly operates in occupied territory. Orange provides cell phone
service in Nagorno-Karabakh, an area of Azerbaijan that has been
occupied by Armenia since seizing it in a bloody 1992-94 war. The U.N.,
along with the E.U. and U.S., considers the area occupied territory.
Nonetheless, Armenian settlers have moved into the occupied territory in in significant numbers, amid constant complaints from Baku and others.
is this Karabakh some long-forgotten frozen conflict. Fighting broke
out this year across the line of control, killing dozens, and a full
scale war over the occupied territory is looming.
In other words,
Orange, and the French government, is committing what a senior French
official just described as a war crime. Indeed, by the theoretical
international law standards applied to Israel, Orange’s behavior in
Armenia is particularly egregious. Having cell phone towers in the West
Bank (the purported crime of Orange’s Israeli licensee) does not involve
any recognition of Israeli sovereignty or any judgement about the
status of the territory.
On the other hand, Orange’s website
touting its Karabakh service refers to the territory as “NKR”, or the
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. This refers to the self-proclaimed, entirely
unrecognized state (akin to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus)
which is entirely controlled by Armenia. U.N. Resolutions have
specifically called for the “nonrecognition” of the NKR. Orange’s
Armenian website also calls the area “Artsakh,”
the ancient name for the region favored by Armenia nationalists. It
would be as if Orange, instead of complaining about, boasted of its
“service in Judea and Samaria.” Indeed, Orange cravenly calls NKR a
“country,” despite the clear admonition of its own government and UN
against recognition of what is universally regarded as Azerbaijani
territory. It would be as if Orange boasted of its service in the “Golan
Heights of Israel.”
Orange proudly advertises its Nagorno-Karabakh service on the homepage of its Armenia site. A press release announcing the
service said its goal is make things more “convenient” for Armenians
traveling into the occupied territory. And the service is done in
cooperation with a local telecom firm based entirely in, and dedicated
to primarily serving, the occupied territory.
In an even more amazing
twist, given the French attitude towards the West Bank, Orange supports fundraising for Armenian settlements in Karabakh.
its Israel service, which is operated by a local company that merely
licenses the trademark, Orange Armenia is directly run by the
French-based company, and headed by a French executive, Francis Gelibter.
Orange itself is quarter-owned by the French government. So France has,
just this year, begun participating in what its own senior foreign
ministry officials call a war crime when Israel does it.
Damned French anti-Semitic hypocrites. Read the whole thing
Labels: BDS, cell phone, feckless French, French anti-Semitism, hypocrisy, Orange