This past Shabbat (Saturday, July 19th 2014), Paris, France was probably not the best place to be practicing the Jewish faith. If you were a Jew in Paris this week, then you were probably advised -not to go to synagogue, -not to walk in the streets alone, and certainly not to go about your business with a Kippah on your head; but to just remain quiet and indoors -like your grandparents did on Kristallnacht in 1938.
The democratic republic founded on the principles of: Liberté (liberty/freedom), égalité (Equality), fraternité (fraternity/ brotherhood) and laïcité (separation of church and state) was nowhere to be found. The 5th republic’s cities were up in flames in what amounted to a scene straight out of the violent protests in the middle-east during the Arab Spring in the location of your choice (Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia etc.) -but with a heavy dash of good old Jew-hatred.
But just in case your local media outlet was busy reporting on the ‘atrocities in Gaza’ and failed to include the violent, savage and anti-semitic attacks masked as ‘‘pro-Palestinian demonstrations, that were banned but went ahead unabated anyways in the streets of Paris and Sarcelle; Here is a video that will show you Paris, the capital of “La Republique Française” in all of its glory.
If you want a preview of Sarcelles, you can see it here.
In the last eight days alone Eight synagogues have been firebombed/attacked. Additional violent protests were held in Sarcelles (which you can see here) and where the streets looked like the aftermath of a war zone. These incidents were not exactly the peaceful protest advocating the human rights one would expect, but rather a Muslim brotherhood protest reminiscent of the Morsi days in Egypt in May 2012. If you are to watch the French media reports from TF1 or iTele and other French news outlets you would think that the Jews are responsible for the violence in both Gaza and France.
An interviewer, speaking after last week’s synagogue attack in Paris, asks CRIF’s representative Joel Mergui if perhaps the JDL/LDJ (Jewish Defense League) [who only got involved at then end, after things got violent and in fact stayed near Jewish areas and businesses to do the job the police so miserably failed to do] bear some responsibility for the protests turning violent. He was Insinuating that the thousands of anti-semitic youths demonstrating violently, were doing so, because of Jewish aggression, rather than Jewish self-defense.
The narrative in the French press and its’ “media experts” is that “a few, lone, north-African youths are causing trouble” or an “Isolated case of anti-semitism” and that it is “regrettable” and will be “punished”. The same passionate speeches were made after the brutal kidnapping, torture and cold-blooded murder of Ilan Halimi in Paris; as they were after the savage shooting of schoolchildren in Toulouse, by Mohammed Merah. Just imagine the horror the parents of Miriam Monsonego are living in a country where thousands are shouting in its capital “We are all Mohamed Merah’s”.
What Paris effectively transformed itself into this past Saturday, is nothing short of a modern version of “Kristallnacht”, a Jew-hating pogrom on French soil proper -fit for Benghazi and Baghdad. What else do you call thousands of people charging down the streets in front of the countless, helpless, law-enforcement officers and riot/swat personnel, (unable to stop the violence and barely able to protect themselves even inside their secured vehicles,) shouting “Allahu Akbar”(G-d is great), “Morts aux Juifs” (Death to Jews), “Juifs hors de France” (Jews, out of France) or even the more distasteful “Nous sommes tous des Merah” (we are all Mohammed Merahs, the Toulouse schoolchildren murdered)?
To see this level of savagery and hate against Jews in the streets of Paris, one of the largest concentration of Jews in Europe, is appalling, but unfortunately isn’t surprising anymore. Moreover, French Jews ought to seriously re-evaluate whether being a French Jew -safely- is even possible anymore. In fact, French Jews are feeling the hate and reacting in record numbers. In the first three months of 2014 more Jews made Aliya than at any other time since the state was founded in 1948. While I was born a French Jew, the French portion of that title -it is one I am no longer willing to wear -much less so with any pride.