Get the F*ck Out of France

It seems to me that the posts that do the best on Times of Israel involve either bashing the right or using profanity. As a right-winger, I guess what is left to me is only the profanity and today, at this moment, it comes easily to my mind.

For those who think, in the midst of the latest intifada, that appeasement will work borders on insanity. There is a point when rose-colored glasses can no longer be described as anything but the thickest of blinders. At some point, when you hear “it’s the occupation” yet again, the first words that come to mind are profanities. Why the hell do you think they’d accept now what they have systematically rejected every year for the last 68? There was no peace before the occupation and there sure as hell won’t be just because we withdraw, surrender, run from anything less than ALL.

There is a point, perhaps when you hear that one of the soldiers injured moments from my home, was a lone soldier who had entered the army just days before. J. entered the army just one day before my youngest son. Mine went into Givati; J went into Golani. They’ve never met and if the terrorist who rammed into J and broke his leg and then attempted to stab him and his friends had succeeded, they never would. There is nothing that I can say to his mother, who is living close to the worst nightmare I can imagine…she is there, so far away and she gets a call. In the next few hours, her plane will land and she will rush to her son’s bedside – forever grateful that it wasn’t worse.

There are profanities here as well. Why the ****** aren’t these soldiers better protected? How can you send new soldiers to stand in isolated bus stops? I know, there’s no solution here and still it kills me. I heard the sirens last Friday. I knew there’s been an attack. I heard that three soldiers were injured. I didn’t know J. was there.

I kept these profanities to myself until the last news item came across my phone. The police in France are telling Chabad not to light their huge menorahs in public this year. My first thought was that in a land where a menorah is not safe, most certainly, Jews are not either.

I could speak to the French people…they are Jews but they are French and it is your obligation to keep them safe, to make France a place where a menorah…and a Christmas tree can be lit with safety.

I could speak to the French police…it is your job to protect them. Bring in more police, put one on every menorah if you have to…in this case, the menorah is a symbol either of the freedom of Jews to live in France, or a symbol of your impotence.

But in truth, I have nothing to say to the French people and even less to say to the French police. I will speak only to the Jews of France. We here in Israel have begged you to come. Life is good here. As scary as the terror sounds, it is nothing compared to what you face there. Come home…but we’ve said that before, haven’t we? We’ve been saying it for years…and so what I am left with are profanities. Or at least one…

With regret, with apologies, with frustration and anger and pain, I say…get the f*ck out of France.

About the Author
Paula R. Stern is CEO of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company in Israel. Her personal blog, A Soldier's Mother, has been running for more than 5 years. She lives in Maale Adumim with her husband and children, a dog, too many birds, and a desire to write her thoughts and dream of a trip to Italy, Scotland, and beyond.