Daily Management Review

Israel's Ministry of Culture Called on Paris to Dismiss the Head of the Orange


06/04/2015


The Minister of Culture of Israel Miri Regev urged France, which owns a large stake in telecom giant Orange, to dismiss the chairman of the company Stefane Richard, after he spoke about the partnership with Israel in a negative way.



getty images
getty images
Regev was outraged by Richard’s statement that Orange has to cease cooperation with the Israeli partner, because it provides communication services in the occupied territories on the West Bank.

Israeli minister considered it anti-Semitic statement and said that France should show "zero tolerance" to anti-Semitism.

Orange’s Chairman of the Board denies that his remarks are anti-Semitic, and stresses that his words were taken out of context.

Orange’s CEO Stephane Richard, during a press conference in Cairo, told that his company plans to leave Israel "as quickly as possible." Richard said: "Orange is ready to leave Israel tomorrow morning." At the same time, Richard said that he still need some time to leave Israel, because he is afraid of serious penalties from the Israeli partners’ side.

Richard statements have triggered a boycott campaign in Egypt Orange, which is seen as "collaborators with the Israeli occupation." The organizers of the boycott argue that Orange "support the IDF." Richard said: "I understand that this is a sensitive issue forEgypt, and not only there. We want to be real partners for all Arab countries."

Economy Minister Aryeh Deri said: "I condemn the statement of the Orange. Boycott of Israel will not be able to force anything. The only way to dialogue is negotiations. I will contact Partner’s director and offer him any help to combat boycotts."

Haim Sabon, co-owner of Partner and one of the businessmen who challenged the "movement of boycott," said: "I am proud that I am the owner of Partner’s controlling interest - Israeli company, having rent the brand of Orange. Threats do not scare me, I will continue to work in Israel and lead the global fight for Israel. "

Haim Romano, Director of Partner, said: "I hope it is not true, but if he really said that - we are very sorry. It's a disgusting statement and those words were not to be spoken. I remind you that Partner is a Joint-Stock Company, Haim Sabon has the controlling package, and the brand is our only connection with Orange. I hope that the public remembers about these differences. If Richard wants to leave Israel – then it’s his lookout, it will not affect our operations, but will cost him a lot. "

Yesh Atid’s leader Yair Lapid said: "This is the rudeness and hypocrisy of the highest level. I do not remember that he had a problem with earning here and milking money from the Israeli consumer. The State of Israel - an island of sanity in a difficult environment, and we are not prepared to accept Europeans moralizing. I call on the French government, which owns a significant stake in the company, to distance themselves from such statements"

source: bbc.co.uk






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