Je Suis Charlie, Je Suis Ahmed, Je Suis???
By Dr. Ron Weiser AM
I was waiting for another Je Suis to spontaneously erupt from the good people of France.
But it did not come, maybe tomorrow, maybe not………..not the French word for Jewish or the names of even one of the innocent people going about their erev Shabbat shopping in a kosher store in France.
And no, the real problem is not the Moslem population of France, nor even the Jihadist element of that population.
Blaming them allows the French an excuse.
The real problem is France.
Even before this latest atrocity French Jews were making aliyah in record numbers.
Thousands and thousands – 8,000, 9,000 in 2014 alone.
For the first time in the history of the modern state of Israel, more Jews are coming on aliyah by choice from a democratic country than from your typical country of distress.
Is this because French Jewry is more Zionistic than say the Jews of Australia?
Is this because the aliyah shaliach in France is so effective?
It is because something is so broken within French society – the non Moslem 90% of the population – and within the leadership of France, that Jews are fleeing for their lives – literally.
A France that is rotten to the core.
A hypocritical country that thinks that mouthing slogans of liberty and equality make it so.
A country that snobbishly looks down on the State of Israel and waves its wand of moral equivalence over her. Where an Israeli Arab is safer walking any street in Israel dressed in any religious garments he or she chooses, than a Jew in France walking around in a kippa.
A France that only a few days ago voted in the UN Security Council for a Palestinian State without any safeguards or guarantees at all that a Jewish State alongside it would be part of the deal.
A France whose actions do not immunise it from the Jihadists in any case.
Thank G-d for Australia.
And what a delicious and fitting irony.
That of all people, of all people, Bob Carr must be kicking himself for pushing so heavily for Australia to have a seat on the UN Security Council and then for that seat to be used by Australia to demonstrate the moral clarity Prime Minister Abbott and Foreign Minister Bishop did with that magnificent vote, the final vote of Australia’s term as a Security Council member.
I wrote in an earlier piece of my disbelief when during a debate I heard in Israel last year on the situation of French Jewry which included one of their leading representatives, he stated that there was no anti-Semitism in France.
I was equally shocked two years earlier when another leader of French Jewry publically blamed Israel for causing French Jewry’s problems (the problems they claim they do not have), more or less along the same lines as a so called leading light of British Jewry.
There are many lessons to be learnt.
Not the least of which is to recognise a problem when it exists.
And to not excuse an act of fundamentalist terrorism as that of a crazy criminal.
U.S. President Barack Obama said he wants the people of France to know that the United States “stands with you today, stands with you tomorrow” after this week’s terror. He told a crowd in Tennessee that “we stand for freedom and hope and dignity of all human beings, (and) that’s what Paris stands for.”
He is wrong – that is not what Paris stands for at all.
The kidnapping and torture of Ilan Halimi in 2006; the terrorist murders of Jews in Toulouse in 2012; and the attack in May at the Jewish Museum of Belgium, in which four people were murdered and for which a man with French and Algerian citizenship was arrested tested Paris.
What did Paris stand for then?
A few nice words.
Does French Jewry feel safer today?
French President Hollande summed it all up so so terribly wrong.
He called the attack on the Hyper Cacher supermarket an act of anti-Semitism.
Of course it was, but in French terms that is not so horrible after all and has happened before.
Until the French leadership and the French people regard the attack on the kosher deli just as they regard the attack on Charlie Hebdo AND use the same terms – an attack on French values, on the French way of life and on France itself – we should call them out on their moral failings.
And until then, goodbye France.
Dr Ron Weiser AM
There was indeed a very impressive march in Paris yesterday.
And it was heartening to see.
What was noticeable however was the fact that Je Suis Juis was not really a feature, nor was the specific battle against anti-Semitism apparent.
It is not Jewish sensitivities that should demand that the battle against anti-Semitism be front and centre, but an understanding of what is going on that should inform France and Europe at large that the Jews are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine.
Most endangered and on the front lines, but as well, the signpost of things to come for Europe generally if meaningful inaction continues.
You only need to ask yourself one question – if the kosher deli attack occurred but the Charlie Hebdo one did not, would such a march have taken place in Paris yesterday?
The answer seems obvious.