Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter and of "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books.. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary.
In France almost every week synagogues are firebombed, kosher butchers are attacked, Jewish men are assaulted by youths taunting “Palestine kills the Jews”, Jewish schoolgirls are beaten by criminals jeering “Jews must die”, Jews are stoned leaving Sabbath worship and Molotov cocktails are hurled at Jewish cultural centers. Sometimes Jews are also gunned down in broad daylight.
How is it that this inhuman hatred has been able to contaminate the country that gave Europe freedom, equality and brotherhood?
In the French mosques, the Jews are often described as sub-humans by expressions like “pig”, “cancer,” “filth”, “microbes” or “vermin”; hate material such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion or school maps without Israel are being disseminated by the Islamic centers; the Jewish right to self-determination is denied by the French politicians who claim that Israel’s existence is “apartheid”; comparisons are drawn between Israeli policy and the Nazis in the French press; world Jewry is being held responsible collectively for the actions of Israel - always villified - by ordinary citizens.
Evil has won in France as it has in the Palestinian Arab areas of Israel.
A few weeks after the killing spree in Toulouse, when four Jews had been killed out of school, on a wall in the French village of Tarbes someone left a graffiti to honor the murderer, Mohammed Merah: “You are a true Knight for Islam. You fought zionist *** and false muslims. You died with guns in your hands. I salute you Mohamed my brother, my friend. Rest in peace”.
Contrary to what our Western and French bien pensants believe, Toulouse’s Nazi-style pogrom gave rise to emulation, while his victims, Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, his sons Aryeh and Gavriel, and the wonderful Miriam Monsonego, have already been forgotten. Who talks any more about them in mainstream France? The Jews are not a cause célèbre in France. More people took the streets for the uxoricide singer Bertrand Cantant or the Italian terrorist Cesare Battisti than for little Miriam Monsonego.
Old Führer, new furors.
To quote Pierre-Andre Taguieff, they "dissolve the anti-Jewish acts in a rising tide of delinquency".
One of worst anti-Jewish attacks in Europe since the Second World War created empathy in the Muslim community. The 11 suspects arrested a few days ago were described in various news reports as “admirers of Merah” and some of them even talked about emulating “the battle of Toulouse”. Al Qaeda distributed on the web a document titled “Considérations sur la bataille de Toulouse”.
According with Le Figaro, the terrorists are all converts to Islam who were ready to die as “martyrs” (one of them, killed by the police, had already shaved his beard, “martyr-style”). A Facebook page has been created to bless Toulouse’s terrorist, titled “Hommage a Mohammed Merah”. An English teacher at a French school asked the students to observe a “minute’s silence” for Merah.
More important is that French mainstream is also guilty for what is happening to the Jews. Palestinian terrorists are daily called “militants” and Flotilla jihadists are turned into “humanitarians” by the intellectuals, while the tribunals easily pardon the Jew-killers, who are always labelled as “youths”. To quote Pierre-Andre Taguieff, they "dissolve the anti-Jewish acts in a rising tide of delinquency".
What happened to the assassins of Ilan Halimi, the young Jew kidnapped, tortured and executed by a gang of Muslims in 2006? Youssouf Fofana, the leader of the gang who burned Halimi, was defended in court by Emmanuel Ludot, the lawyer of Saddam Hussein, and Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, the wife of “Carlos the Jackal”, who masterminded some of the most horrible terrorist attacks in recent history against Jewish targets.
According to the two lawyers, Foufana and the others have been “victims of a me diatic system” and “scapeagoats” of a “lobby” - the Jewish one. Except for Foufana, the rest have been all condemned to very lenient sentences.
That was the green light for future massacres - like Toulouse.
France preaches the same Palestinian glorification of terrorism, which bears no resemblance to other forms of terror violence because it praises both the dismemberment of individual Jews and the total annihilation of the Jewish State.
In France, like in the Palestinian Arab areas, the act of murdering Jews is glorified as the very highest form of political engagement.
Look at France's murales, signs on the walls of Palestinian Arab kindergartens proclaim their students as “the shaheeds (martyrs) of tomorrow”. May we remind ourselves that French Foreign Minister Jean Sauvagnargues was the first Western official who met Yasser Arafat in Beirut, in 1974? Or that a year later, the PLO opened its first European office in Paris, with a charter calling for the elimination of Israel?
Last year Ilan Halimi’s mother, Ruth, published “24 giorni”, a beautiful memoir by a modern Rachel on the horrible days during which her son was tortured to death. The brave publisher, Guido Guastalla, asked me to write a few lines of introduction to the book along with those of Bernard-Henri Lévy.
?The 11th of October should have been Ilan’s thirtieth birthday. This is the story of a young Jew who lived in the capital of what remains of European Jewry after the Shoah- Paris, the city of Dreyfus and the Enlightenment.
Ilan was not wearing a long black caftan nor he was wearing a kippa. Ilan had only a Hebrew name, but it was enough to make him prey. If the victim was a non-Jew, it would have been much easier to understand how deep and monstrous is Europe’s new anti-Semitism. The kidnappers thought that all Jews were rich and that the family would pay the ransom. They did not know that Ilan’s parents were not rich at all.
Neighbors heard Halimi’s screams, but didn’t say a word. Ilan was found near a squalid station. Half-naked, with cigarette burns on his innocent flesh, Ilan died in the ambulance. But his death didn’t merit any expressions of shock and anger by a public opinion always ready to plead for dialogue and tolerance.
The barbarism of the XX century, its transformation into the slaughterhouse of hundred millions of human beings, among them 6 million Jews, began with the cry of Spanish Phalangists and SS Death Heads: “Viva la muerte”. Today the same cry resounds in Europe as in the Judea and Samaria areas under Oslo-caused Arab control.
There is a photograph of Ilan Halimi, he has short hair and a T-shirt, he’s happy and smiles to life. Ilan’s generous smile should forever torment Europe’s bad conscience.