Reprinted from Gush Shalom
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to ruffle a few feathers while Out of Step with French Leaders at Paris Rally
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By committing two attacks (quite ordinary ones by Israeli standards) they spread panic throughout France, brought millions of people onto the streets, gathered more than 40 heads of states in Paris. They changed the landscape of the French capital and other French cities by mobilizing thousands of soldiers and police officers to guard Jewish and other potential targets. For several days they dominated the news throughout the world.
Three terrorists, probably acting alone. Three!!!
FOR OTHER potential Islamic terrorists throughout Europe and America, this must look like a huge achievement. It is an invitation for individuals and tiny groups to do the same again, everywhere.
Terrorism means striking fear. The three in Paris certainly succeeded in doing that. They terrorized the French population. And if three youngsters without any qualifications can do that, imagine what 30 could do, or 300!
Frankly, I did not like the huge demonstration. I have been in many demonstrations in my time, maybe more than 500, but always against the powers that be. I have never participated in a demonstration called by the government, even when the purpose was good. They remind me too much of the late Soviet Union, Fascist Italy and worse. Not for me, thank you.
But this particular demonstration was also counterproductive. Not only did it prove that terrorism is effective; not only did it invite copycat attacks, but it also hurt the real fight against the fanatics.
To conduct an effective fight, one has to put oneself first into the shoes of the fanatics and try to understand the dynamic that pushes young local-born Muslims to commit such acts. Who are they? What do they think? What are their feelings? In what circumstances did they grow up? What can be done to change them?
After decades of neglect, that is hard work. It takes time and effort, with results uncertain. Much easier for politicians to march in the street in front of the cameras.
AND WHO marched in the first row, beaming like a victor?
Our own and only Bibi.
How did he get there? The facts came out within record time. Seems he was not invited at all. On the contrary, President Francois Hollande sent explicit messages: please, please don't come. It would turn the demo into a show of solidarity with the Jews, instead of a public outcry for the freedom of the press and other "republican values." Netanyahu came nevertheless, with two extreme rightist ministers in tow.
Placed in the second row, he did what Israelis do: he shoved aside a black African president in front of him and placed himself in the front row.
Once there, he began waving to the people on the balconies along the way. He was beaming, like a Roman general in his triumphal parade. One can only guess the feelings of Hollande and the other heads of state -- who tried to look appropriately solemn and mournful -- at this display of Chutzpah.
Netanyahu went to Paris as part of his election campaign. As a veteran campaigner, he knew that three days in Paris, visiting synagogues and making proud Jewish speeches, were worth more than three weeks at home, slinging mud.
THE BLOOD of the four Jews murdered in the kosher supermarket was not yet dry, when Israeli leaders called upon the Jews in France to pack up and come to Israel. Israel, as everybody knows, is the safest place on earth.