Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Deputy Religious Services Minister Eli Ben-Dahan spoke out strongly on Thursday against US President Barack Obama for his comments that the terror attack on the kosher supermarket in Paris was chosen randomly, accusing him of ignoring the reality of Islamist terrorism.
During an interview on Tuesday, Obama said, “It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you have a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris,” comments which caused a storm for failing to acknowledge that the target was chosen to attack Jews.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, Ben-Dahan of the Bayit Yehudi party said it was impossible that the Islamist terrorist who attacked the kosher supermarket, Amedy Coulibaly, chose the target at random, given the details of the case released by the French police.
Coulibaly himself told BFMTV, a French radio station he called while he was holding the customers in the store hostage, that he had chosen the shop because he was targeting Jews.
“If you close your eyes and pretend that anti-Semitism and Islamist terrorism doesn’t exist it just leads to more tragedies.
“We’re in a very grave situation when the leader of the US, who is meant to be the leader of the democratic world, ignores reality and does not see with open eyes Islamic terror as it really is and how it appears in many places around the world.”
Ben-Dahan went on to criticize Obama’s general Middle East policy, saying he had made several mistakes including his Cairo speech in 2009, allowing the regime of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to fall, and for failing to address the Syrian civil war in which the deputy minister noted “more than 200,000 civilians have been killed.”
“This is why I think Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is right in going to the US Congress to speak about this issue, so that the whole world will hear and listen to him about the danger of Islamic terrorism and the threat to the entire Middle East that Iran will pose if it acquires nuclear weapons,” he said.