France took to the streets today in a rally to protest attacks on free speech and to show solidarity with the victims of last week’s Islamic terror attacks against Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine, and the Jewish victims murdered by a Muslim terrorist in a kosher supermarket.
1.5 million people are estimated to have taken part in the most impressive rally which was also attended by world leaders and other personalities.
However behind the scenes, all was not as peaceful and friendly as it appeared on the surface.
According to Channel 2 TV, France told Netanyahu that if he attended the rally they would invite Mahmoud Abbas too. And they did!
Channel 2 reported Sunday that there was some ugly international wrangling behind the scenes of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s changing plans for attending the rally in Paris Sunday.
Netanyahu’s bureau said Saturday evening that the prime minister would not be attending the anti-terror rally. A short time later, however, it turned out that he would indeed be going.
According to the report, Jerusalem and Paris exchanged diplomatic blows over the matter. Netanyahu contacted a “senior French official” and asked to attend the rally, but France said it did not want him there, because his presence would create “difficulty in arranging the rally.”
Netanyahu agreed and said he would not fly, but changed his mind when he learned that ministers Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Liberman intend to attend the rally.
He informed the French of the decision, and in response the French said that if Netanyahu attends, they would invite Mahmoud Abbas as well.
The French embassy in Israel refused to comment on the report, said Channel 2.
Just the thought of a man who promotes terrorism and glorifies murderers of Jews marching in a pretense of solidarity with victims of the same Muslim terrorism makes me feel physically sick. This is the leader of the Palestinian Authority which arrests, tortures and imprisons journalists if they are critical of the PA or don’t toe the party line.
Naftali Bennet asked the question we are all thinking: How can you invite a terrorist to an anti-terror rally?
The last person who should have been invited to the million-plus rally in Paris Sunday, said Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, was Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas. “If we want to fight terror, we have to call it by name. Both Abbas and the Emir of Qatar, who was also invited to the rally, have their hands full of the blood of terror. How can the West fight terror if it is willing to live with terror?”
And if the French are too politically correct to see the problem with inviting a terrorist leader like Mahmoud Abbas to attend an anti-terror march just to “get even” with Israel, then they deserve every terrorist attack that happens. I just feel sorry for the innocent French civilians, but they should address their complaints to their own government.
On the same theme, that bastion of free speech, Hamas, condemned the Charlie Hebdo killings though made no mention of the attack on the kosher supermarket. This is the same Hamas that imprisons and tortures journalists whose reports they don’t like.
Here are some more absurd anomalies along the same lines:
Following are some more relevant or interesting tweets:
Avi Mayer had a lot to say about antisemitism in France:
Solidarity rallies also took place all in several countries around the world. In Jerusalem, 1,000 people attended a solidarity rally, some holding signs saying “Charlie is Israel” – since the Hebrew letters comprising the words are identical, simply rearranged.
After the rally Binyamin Netanyahu and French President Hollande attended a memorial service at the Paris Grand Synagogue, which had been closed on Friday night due to security concerns for the first time since WWII. Both leaders were greeted very warmly by the huge crowds:
PARIS — Just as Israel stands with France against terror, so France must stand with Israel against terrorism, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday evening in a central Paris synagogue at the end of a day in which he walked with 60 world leaders to denounce terrorism.
“Today I walked the streets of Paris with the leaders of the world, to say enough terror; the time has come to fight terror,” Netanyahu said to the crowd of hundreds of French Jews.
Before he spoke, numerous senior political figures from French President Francois Hollande to Prime Minister Manuel Valls and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, came to the ceremony.
They were there when members of the community lit 17 candles for the victims, both Jewish and non-Jewish, of last week’s terror attacks.
When Netanyahu took the podium, the cavernous sanctuary resonated with shouts of his nickname “Bibi, Bibi.”
The prime minister repeated what he has said numerous time in recent days that the world, not only Israel, is facing the threat of Islamic extremism and must battle it together.
“The truth and righteousness are with us, our common enemy is extreme Islam, not Islam, not regular extremists, but extreme Islam,” he stated.
Netanyahu said extreme Islam doesn’t hate the West because of Israel, but hates Israel because it is an organic part of the West.
Although much of his speech was punctuated with applause, the loudest cheering came when he said that Jews today have the privilege to live in Israel.
Netanyahu, careful not to overtly call for immediate immigration, said, ” I want to say to you what I say to all our Jewish brothers, that you have a full right to live secure and peaceful lives with equal rights wherever you desire, including here in France.”
Then he added, “these days we are blessed with another privilege, a privilege that didn’t exists for generations of Jews: the privilege to join their brothers and sisters in their historic homeland of Israel.”
The crowd erupted in cheers and chants of “Am Israel Chai.”
At the end of the day, after the rallies and demonstrations and protests and letters to the editor have died down, what will be left? Will this march have changed anything? Will the massacres really form a watershed not only for France but for Europe and the West as a whole? I have my doubts. Here’s Vic Rosenthal, who blogs at Abu Yehuda, whose thoughts echo my own:
On the Charlie Hebdo massacre:
But whatever they say won’t count for much unless there is effective action taken against the sources of incitement. Just as one can’t draw a cartoon that, according to their definition, insults Islam, we, the civilized world, should define language that we will not permit. Close the mosques, deport or imprison the instigators, kill the terrorists. They claim that they are oppressed? Show them what real oppression looks like. Give them terror for terror.
And although I don’t want to inject my own concerns into this too much, perhaps they could support us in Israel who are facing the same — identical — barbarian horde, instead of falling over themselves to create a new nest of terrorists next door to us.
Unfortunately, I do not have a fresh take on this. I don’t have any original ideas. I think, though, that ‘modern’ approaches fail when you are dealing with this kind of subhuman behavior.
“But that will make us like them,” is the response. Possibly, but if we allow them to overrun us, what’s the difference?
In “what it will take to preserve civilization” he suggests facing harsh reality:
What we, the civilized world, needs to do is to focus. To learn to understand the nature of the beast that we are confronting. To chart the organizations that support it, name the leaders, determine the governments and factions that provide its nourishment. And then we have to crush those organizations, kill the leaders and elites, and overthrow those governments.
This would require an allocation of resources up front, in the intelligence phase. There would have to be unprecedented agreement between the targets of the jihad, an ability to work together despite their differences (think of the Allies in WWII). There would have to be a unity of purpose, an understanding of what has to be done and why.
He is pessimistic about the West having the guts or the leadership to face this threat head-on, but there really is no other choice if we are to survive.