Op-Ed: How France Fuels the Palestinian Arab Cultural Intifada
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. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He has just prblished a book about the Vatican and Israel titled "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books.
On October 17 in Ramallah, the Consul General of France in Jerusalem, Frédéric Desagneaux, signed, together with Mahmoud Abbas’s advisers, a budgetary grant under which France will contribute €200,000 to the restoration of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
The French Consul General praised French archaeologists for “helping to discover Palestine”. An approved copy of his speech mentions the Qumran Caves, where archaeologists discovered the collection of biblical texts knows as the Dead Sea Scrolls. But the text does not contain the word “Jewish” and Israel appears only in a sentence about the “Israel-Palestinian conflict”.
According to Hamdan Taha, the Palestinian Authority minister who deals with antiquities and culture, the Dead Sea Scrolls were in fact “stolen” from Palestinian Arabs and the Bible is a “mythological narrative".
“We have seen how important these heritage sites are to international recognition of Palestine, and France intends to continue to lead the movement to recognize the Palestinian's management of these sites”, Desagneaux said, acting as trigger for new Palestinian violent propaganda.
Supported by the French government, the Palestinian Arabs are trying to erase any trace of Jewish history in Judea. According to the French-Palestinian Authority joint venture, the entire Eretz Yisrael is a myth, a colonialist construct, a Jewish plot.
By funding the Church of Nativity and other projects, France is helping the Palestinian Arabs to register the holy sites at UNESCO under their name. The goal is clear.
“Jews will not be permitted to pray at the tombs of Biblical Patriarchs once the sites come under Palestinian control”, proclaimed the late Palestinian Authority Religious Affairs Minister Hassan Tahboub in 1995, referring to the Machpelah Cave in Hevron, Rachel’s Tomb and Joseph’s Tomb.
It was France that helped the Palestinians to get the UNESCO seat. A few weeks later, the Palestinian Rehabilitation Committee raised the UNESCO flag next to the national "Palestinian Arab" flag in front of the Tomb of the Patriarchs. The decision is part of UNESCO's strategy to erase the Jewish character of the holy sites and city.
The French government is a pillar of the Palestinian Authority ideological machine, with the French Cultural Centre in Jerusalem, created in 1987, with branches in Ramallah, Gaza, and Nablus; the Alliance Française in Bethlehem and the Hevron-France Association for Cultural Exchange.
The Paris-funded French Cultural Center, for example, petitioned Israeli authorities and organized permits for the Palestinian Arabs. These institutions host cultural events in favour of the Nakba's lies.
Arab historian Elias Sanbar, Ambassador for 'Palestine' at UNESCO, was recently awarded the Commander of Arts and Letters by French culture ministry. In the same period, the French consulate in Jerusalem did not allow a French retired couple living in the Emek Refaim vicinity in the pre-1967 sector to say in a request that their home was located in "Israel".
Then the town of Mevaseret Zion, west of Jerusalem on the road to Tel Aviv, was not registered on a birth certificate as belonging to Israel.
A few days after the Bethlehem deal, Ile-de-France, the district of France that includes Paris, signed a cooperation agreement with the Palestinian Authority, which will send 300,000 euros for" educational and social welfare programs to east Jerusalem".
French foreign aid fuels Palestinian Arab violence.
The French parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee recently published an unprecedented and mendacious report accusing Israel of implementing “apartheid” in its allocation of water in Judea and Samaria. The report said that water has become “a weapon serving the new apartheid".
The French report, authored by Socialist Party MP Jean Glavany, who served as cabinet secretary for President Francois Mitterrand, is a blood libel against the Jews, because it establishes the false comparison between Palestinian Arabs and South Africa’s blacks, who were obliged to use separate and neglected water fountains.
Here is the truth: When Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria between 1948 and 1967, some 80% of the Arab population was not connected to a water network. Israel, once in charge, then supplied almost all Arab communities in Judea and Samaria with water pipes, bringing the number of homes with indoor plumbing to 90%.
Even though the water quota was agreed upon in the Oslo Accords, the Palestinians are now claiming that they own "all the water that falls on the hills."
Israel’s argument that the water settles primarily on its side of the so-called Green Line [pre-1967 war borders, ed.] has not affected the Arabs, nor are they concerned that Israel is dependent on this water. Supported by French propaganda, Palestinians see this as “a theft” of Arab water, going so far as to demand compensation for water pumped since 1948. It's the same process with the historic sites in Judea and Samaria.
France, as "une puissance musulmane" with its historic politique arabe, the country which gave the world the Mohammed al Dura blood libel, now fuels a cultural Intifada which is no less dangerous than rockets and shootings. Based on anti-Semitic lies, it creates the atmosphere for continuing conflict.