GIVAT SHMEUL, Israel January 13, 2015 —On Sunday, at the historic Paris Unity March, the “Blame the Jews” refrain could be heard yet again.
One would think that after the heinous massacres that took the lives of that took place last week in France at the hands of Islamist extremists, the French government and the international media would have more to deal with than slamming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Sadly, one would be very wrong.
Numerous reports, confirmed by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, reported that France did all it could to keep Benjamin Netanyahu from attending the rally. The French Government claimed that Netanyahu’s presence would be “divisive.”
Then, according to The Times of Israel, “When Netanyahu’s office told the Elysee Palace that he would be coming after all, France responded by highlighting that it was extending an invitation to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, according to the report. The French government also announced a planned meeting between Hollande and Abbas Saturday night.”
Then, as author and Senior Contributing Editor at the Jerusalem Post, Caroline Glick posted on Facebook on Monday, “the French tried to prevent Netanyahu from travelling in the same bus as the other world leaders and wanted to shove him into bus #2 with their hired help. He had none of it. So they made him wait outside the bus, exposed to assassin fire for long moments before they finally agreed to treat Israel’s leader with respect. Then they tried to force him into the cheap seats at the march, pushing him into the second row to hide him.”
The rest of the story is well documented, albeit from a skewed point of view. After Netanyahu pushed his way into the front row, the media chose to tell, as Glick writes, “a story of a pushy, impolite Israeli leader who forced himself on the poor French in contravention of diplomatic practice.”
To put it simply, who the hell is France to be telling Benjamin Netanyahu anything?! France, famous for baguettes and running away from battlefields, has no business lecturing Netanyahu on divisiveness, security and terror.
There is so much wrong with this narrative, it is maddening.
The first inexplicability of slamming Bibi for wanting to represent Israel in a march for peace and unity is a quick scan on others march participants.
Israel has been a beacon for peace and democracy in the Middle East. Under Israeli authority, everyone, including Arab women and homosexuals, enjoy rights never dreamed of in Gaza and neighboring Arab countries.
Yet, the presence on Mahmoud Abbas, a terror-inciting, Holocaust-denying hate-monger raised the ire of no one in Paris, while Netanyahu’s stoked the coals. As Israeli Knesset Member, Naftali Bennet, who also attended the march, put it, “it’s hypocritical of those same Qataris and Arabs who are financing terrorism to come and demonstrate as if against terrorism…When an Islamist murderer kills the Fogel family in Itamar, when Abu Mazen [Abbas] finances terrorists who afterwards go and blow themselves up in Tel Aviv, it’s no different from those same terrorists in Paris.”
According to The Algeminer, “Israeli watchdog Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) issued a reminder that Abbas himself continues to glorify acts of terror against Israelis. Just last week, five terrorists, who in total recently killed 10 Israelis, were included on a list of ‘Martyrs of 2014′ who ‘ascended’ to Heaven, published in the bi-weekly Al-Asima distributed with the official Palestinian Authority daily.”
The Algeminer also quoted a tweet by Middle East Forum president and historian Daniel Pipes that read, “the presence of the prime minister of Turkey, which actively backs Hamas, also didn’t pass unnoticed. ‘There they are, right in the first row in the march against terrorism, #MahmoudAbbas and #AhmetDavutoğlu. What a joke.”
What a joke indeed.
Secondly, France and the media failed to note how meaningful Netanyahu’s presence was to the Jews of France following the increasingly hostile environment Jews have found themselves in over the past few years there. Video footage of Netanyahu arriving at the Grande Synagogue in Paris shows Jews shouting “Bibi! We love you! Help us!” among other praise and cheer.
Keeping Netanyahu out of France at a time when its Jews are hurting the most would have meant the French government is doing a great disservice to a population it has continuously neglected.
As Ian Tuttle documented at National Review Online,
In 2013, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights polled Jews in eight EU member states about their “experiences and perceptions” of anti-Semitism. Of the nearly 6,000 respondents, 66 percent believe anti-Semitism is a problem where they live, and 76 percent say it has worsened in the past five years. Forty-six percent worry about becoming victims of harassment, one-third worry about becoming victims of violence, and nearly one-quarter avoid Jewish events or sites for reasons of safety.
The result is a new exodus…In 2013 France surpassed the United States to become the world’s second-largest source (behind Russia) of Jews emigrating to Israel — just under 3,300. That was a 72 percent increase from 2012. Israeli officials expected to absorb 5,000 French Jews in 2014, which would have constituted the largest emigration of French Jews to the Holy Land since the founding of Israel in 1948. In fact, they admitted 7,000.
Which bring us to the third, and perhaps most glaring, reason France and the media are so wrong about hammering Bibi. To put it simply, who the hell is France to be telling Benjamin Netanyahu anything?!
France, famous for baguettes and running away from battlefields, has no business lecturing Netanyahu on divisiveness, security and terror. This is the same country that has allowed the radicalization of its Muslim community without a single effective policy. Banning the wearing of Niqabs is not a successful anti-terror strategy. Allowing the situation to deteriorate so drastically that Jews must be walked into school by the French Army (as if they scare anyone) is a failure of the most basic functions of a government.
It is not Bibi who showed chutzpah by showing up in Paris, but Hollande and the feckless French who have failed to show up there for years. It takes an unprecedented amount of gall for a country that is so abysmal at protecting its people from Jihadist slaughter to lecture a Prime Minister whose own personal pre-leadership resume boasts more success in this regard then the entire Hollande government combined.
Not surprisingly, it is this insistence on shutting its eyes to its real enemies that has left France, and many other European communities, at the brink of a full-out Islamic takeover. Allowing radical Islam to run amok while simultaneously lashing out at the Jewish State is exactly why Europe is being dominated by Jihad.
If Europe somehow manages to fight off the Islamic threat, it will no doubt be with thanks to Israel in some regard. If it fails and becomes the first Western outpost of the new Caliphate, it will be due to its continued policy of shaming the victims and encouraging the enemy.
Yohan Cohen, 22, Philippe Braham, 45, François-Michel Saada, 64, and Yoav Hattab, 21, who died Jan. 9 at a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris.