Monday, March 26, 2012

French response to terrorism

Terror has come to the Toulouse. How did the French response to the massacre? In a way that reinforces the unfortunate stereotypes of French as great talkers.

A recap of the facts: a French national of Algerian descent, Mohamed Merah, murdered seven people in cold blood, including three Jewish children and a rabbi.

First of all, French have had many warnings of Merah's radicalism, as well as his criminal behavior. Merah has trained in al-Quada camps and was arrested in Afghanistan by the U.S. forces. The French authorities were aware that Merah distributed radical Islamist literature in Toulouse, after the mother of one of the teenagers Merah approached talked to the police. The police did nothing. Merah beat up the teenager and his younger sister, prompting the concerned mother to talk to the police again - to no avail.

As the mother of the teenager said, “All these people had to die before they finally arrest Mohamed Merah. What an enormous waste. The police knew this individual was dangerous and radicalized. I complained to the police twice about Mohamed Merah and tried to follow up several times.”

Melah's older brother Abdelkader told the police he was "proud" of his brother's actions, admitted helping him steal the scooter used in the murders, but claimed he was not aware of the deadly plot. The lawyer for Abdelkader girlfriend, Guy Debuissou, said that Abdelkader "celebrated" the death of his brother. The police have wised up and charged Abdelkader as an accomplice. Has justice been served? I wish the answer was "yes".

The French authorities are reluctant to admit the danger of rising antisemitism, and their attempts to whitewash the reality, reduce the likelihood any meaningful action is taken.

Consider the response of authorities in this case - they initially tried to pin the blame for the Toulouse massacre on Nazis, and when they reluctantly acknowledged Merah’s jihadist identity, they also provided his justification for murder. Speaking to reporters, French Interior Minister Claude Gueant said that Merah was associated with al-Qaida and he was upset about what he referred to as Israel’s “murder” of Palestinian children.

You can't help but be reminded of the fact that many Europeans view terrorism against Jews as justified by Israeli politics. After Anders Breivik's attack against his fellow Norwegians, including the government sponsored camp where young people terrorism role-played being Hamas, the Norwegian Ambassador Svein Sevje on Israel gave to an interview to Maariv, where he said "We Norwegians view the occupation as the reason for terror against Israel. Many Norwegians still see the occupation as the reason for attacks against Israel. Whoever thinks this way, will not change his mind as a result of the attack in Oslo."

Toulouse victims.
Imagine an ambassador to your country hypocritically tells it that terrorism against you is justified because you're bad (while terrorism against us makes no sense). How does he remain ambassador after that? As far as I'm concerned, Norway government is a sympathizer and an ally of Hamas. That's a damning statement, and by using ambassador's own logic the killing of Norway's children by Breivick is justified.

I've pointed out before that some parts of Europe are conducting a war by proxy against Israel. After the murders of Jewish children and a father of two of them, the EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton's moral obtuseness and evidence of anything but upright impartiality. Ashton compared the murder of three Jewish children in Toulouse on March 19 to the incident involving a crashed bus full of children and the suffering in Syria and Gaza. “Such disgraceful equation reflects an incredibly twisted value system coupled with total blindness in the face of global and Mideastern reality”, writes Ygal Walt in conservative daily Yediot Aharonot:
It is no wonder that Hamas rushed to praise Ashton for her statements, thereby highlighting Europe’s moral confusion. […] The European Union’s embarrassing “clarification,” which did not deny Ashton’s remarks but merely claimed she did not mean to compare Toulouse to Gaza, made no difference. If anything, it further demonstrated Europe’s spinelessness and the tendency to shift positions and appease different groups, without adhering to a credible, enduring moral compass.
All that remains now is to watch the deterioration of the “old continent” into a new, murky horizon. On the one hand, Islamization trends are expected to grow, while on the other hand, radical nationalistic parties will continue to gain strength. Europe of the late 20th Century, which vowed to uphold the banner of tolerance and liberalism, will slowly turn into a chaotic, angry region where various groups are fighting each other while shunning genuine moral values. In any case, Ms. Ashton need not apologize for or clarify her remarks. After all, her words accurately reflected the mood of her decayed, dying continent.

Clearly, Ashton's speech is at a minimum a proof of “Europe’s spinelessness”, if not moral complicity, although some apologists for its behavior argue that Israel is "playing victim".

There are about 6 million Muslims living in France, or  about 10% of the population. This demographic reality has a lot to do with French impotence in dealing with Islamic terrorism. The other part, as I have argued before is a culturally-ingrained, reflexive antisemitism.

Consider the horrific case from 2006 when a Muslim gang in led by Youssef Fofana kidnapped and tortured Ilan Halimi to death. They also took pictures of their handiwork that were clearly imitations of the photos that Daniel Pearl’s killers took of him before they chopped his head off. In the case of Halimi’s murder Paris police refused to view his abduction as a hate crime, despite the fact that Fofana and his followers called Halimi’s family and recited Koranic verses while Ilan screamed out in agony in the background.

France 2 TV channel gave French this century’s first anti-Semitic blood libel with its October 2000 tale of Muhammad al-Dura’s alleged death at the hands of IDF soldier. When Philippe Karsenty wrote on his personal website that the al-Dura story was a hoax, he was charged with libel. An appellate court in Paris in overturned a lower court’s libel ruling against the Internet activist in 2008. Last month, France’s Supreme Court overturned the appellate court’s ruling and ordered it to retry the case.

As far as the Supreme Court of France is concerned, the appellate court had no right to ask France 2 to provide evidence that its story was true. According to the court, the unedited footage which proved the story was a blood libel should never have been admitted as evidence. The truth should never have been permitted to come to light.

Yes, it's that bad. So, I repeat my charge - these examples demonstrate nothing short of a propaganda and proxy war against Jews and Israel. Although I consider the continent to be a lost cause - it is largely bankrupt morally and economically - it is important to shame the EU for it's outrageous stance, and not merely let it slide.

Unfortunately, Europe is not alone in it's hatred of the Jews. Similar to Ashton and other moral equivocators, the U.S.President Barack Obama engaged in outrageous libels when during his speech to the Muslim world in June 2009 he compared the Holocaust with Israeli treatment of the Palestinians.

Barack Obama has called on the U.S. to do some "soul searching" when a punk teenager was gunned down. It is already emerging that the teenager was an aggressor, and the police have considered the shooting to be justified self-defense. Jesse Jackson opined that "blacks are under attack". The horrific race-based attack in Toulouse is cause for "soul searching" because "Jews are under attack" for being Jewish. Yet, Obama chose to defend a black teenager who may have been a perpetrator of an assault rather than innocent Jewish children.

The knee jerk defense of a black boy, and the relative indifference of the White House to the clear horror Toulouse shows that Obama is a racist-in-chief. So, in defense of French incompetence in fighting the rising antisemitism I can say that they are not alone - despite claims of egalitarianism in the West racial biases are still widespread.

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