Our World: The Paris fall

The firebombers and marauders do not feel any significant commonality with who they are rioting against.

By CAROLINE GLICK
November 7, 2005 19:42
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JPost talkback add. (photo credit: )

The French are in serious trouble. They have a home-grown insurrection on their hands. In some ways - mainly in the intensity of the violence - the current insurrection recalls the 1968 student rebellion. But there is a major difference between the spring of 1968 and the autumn of 2005. In 1968 the rioting students - at least those who weren't receiving their orders from the Soviets - felt they had a stake in France and its future. The firebombers and marauders in today's riots do not feel any significant commonality with the people they are rioting against. As Theodore Dalrymple explained in his Autumn 2002 City Journal essay, The Barbarians at the Gates of Paris, the Muslim youth rioting today feel nothing but nihilistic or Islamic hatred and alienation from their country and their countrymen. In his words, "They are of France, but not French." Dalrymple explained that the bloated French welfare state houses, clothes, feeds and pays its unassimilated immigrant communities in a manner that enables disaffected youth to "enjoy a far higher standard of living (or consumption) than they would in countries of their parents' or grandparents' origin, even if they labored there 14 hours a day to the maximum of their capacity." At the same time, he observed that in the ghetto housing projects that ring the major cities of France where these rioting young men live, "The state, while concerning itself with the details of their housing, their education, their medical care, and the payment of subsidies for them to do nothing, abrogates its responsibility completely in the one area in which the state's responsibility is absolutely inalienable: law and order." Today both the absence of law and order and the total alienation of the burgeoning Muslim immigrant population of France have coalesced in a manner and an intensity that has motivated some observers to write of the violence of the past week and a half as "the fall of France." France has fallen, these mordant observers tell us, because the multicultural overlords of the French chattering and governing classes are unable to muster the will to contend with either the problem of violence or with the problem of social alienation. News reports of the violence quote police commanders who define the insurrection as "a state of war." On Saturday night, as the firebombers and violent mobs spread to Normandy, Philippe Jofres, a deputy fire commissioner from the area, told France 2 television, "Rioters attacked us with baseball bats. We were attacked with pickaxes. It was war." Some fire chiefs and policemen are asking for the army to be brought in to quell the violence. Law enforcement officials and French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy have noted that there is coordination among the militants. People have been seen passing out petrol bombs and other ordnance from their cars to militants on the streets. Instructions are given by cellular telephones and Internet sites. French Prosecutor- General Yves Bot told Europe 1 he could see "organized actions, a strategy" informing the militants in the streets. For their part, law enforcement commanders seem not to have any strategy to speak of. Their actions to date call to mind the image of feckless cat herders. The militants - at least those who are found - are chased from place to place with uninspiring results. On Saturday night, when some 1,300 cars were torched and businesses, schools and stores were ignited throughout the country, only 200 arrests were made. In light of the constant increase in the scope and volume of attacks, one can assume that those arrested were expendable foot soldiers. It would seem that the French authorities need a two-pronged approach to dealing with their mini civil war. First they need to take control of the violence. In order to do so, they have to stop chasing the rioters and have the rioters come to them. This is necessary in order for them to gain a basic understanding of the command structure of the rival they face. There are people giving orders. There are people deciding where and what to attack. These people need to be arrested and either sent to prison or deported. Were the police to choose tactically significant locations within the ghettos where these militants live and simply take them over, they would force the militants to confront them in an area they can control. The locations they choose should afford them geographical control over a discrete area - say one square block. As the militants attack them, reinforcements can enter the area from pre-planned routes and easily take control of the area. In the arrests that will ensue, the police will be able to see, after confiscating the militants' cellular phones, where their orders are coming from, and move swiftly to arrest the lieutenants, who will lead them up the feeding chain. In acting in such a manner, the authorities will induce systemic shock on the militants, who will suddenly be forced to contend with a previously unfamiliar situation - French government control over "their" territory. By thus gaining the initiative, the authorities will be able to eventually achieve control over the violence. One of the notable aspects of the violence thus far is the absence of murder. The militants have apparently decided to limit their campaign to property damage. No doubt this is because their objective is political, not military. As some Muslim leaders have explained, what they want is autonomy in their ghettos. They seek to receive extraterritorial status from the French government, meaning that they will set their own rules based, one can assume, on Sharia law. If the militants are able to achieve this goal, even on an informal basis, then those declaring that France has fallen will be proven right. The only way for France to save itself is to prevent such a reality from occurring. If the French government accepts the notion of communal autonomy, France will cease to be a functioning state. As Francis Fukayama argued in The Wall Street Journal last week, the French government must embrace the American notion of the immigrant "melting pot." As Samuel Huntington, quoting Hector St. John de Crevecoeur explained the term in his book Who are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity, the product of the melting pot leaves behind him "all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank he holds." In his previous stint as interior minister, Sarkozy attempted to bring the Muslim immigrants into the mainstream French national culture by forming official French Muslim bodies. Once the violence has been quelled and the leaders of the insurgency imprisoned or deported, the leaders of these official bodies - or alternative leaders - must be vested with the ability to bring French Muslims into French society. These efforts may involve ending the French welfare system as it is presently constituted and shifting subsidies from government handouts to job training. It must certainly involve consistently asserting law and order in the immigrant enclaves. One could ask why Israel should care what happens in France. Given France's traditional and rather obscene hostility towards Israel, a certain level of good old-fashioned schadenfreude would seem justified. But the fact of the matter is that Israel has two reasons to care about the future of France. First, five years into this global jihad we see that while Muslim terrorists or militants in Ramallah, Paris, Jakarta, New York, New Dehli, Tikrit, Amsterdam, London, Teheran, Umm el-Fahm and Beslan may not speak to each other directly, they are certainly aware of one another's actions and successes. And were France to fall, all of us would feel the aftershocks. Secondly, if France begins to assert its authority and responsibility for unassimilated Arabs and Muslims in France, perhaps Israel will be inspired to do the same for our Arab minority in Israel and Judea and Samaria, and thus move our country from a position of policy paralysis and defeatism to one of movement and strength.


Send us your comments >> Albert Reingewirtz, Carlsbad, CA, USA: France rails against Israel's fence to protect it's citizens from Arab terror and spoke of Palestinians losing their work place in Israel. The Arabs from past French colonies can't even get jobs in France. France colonial past came back to haunt it in a well-deserved explosion of hate at home. Speaking down to others while being brutal against a minority at home is very French. I know, I learned as a child France's slogan "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," but France also arrested my parents who never came back from Auschwitz. I was too young and too brain washed to burn French cars then. "The more it changes, the more it is the same." (French proverb) Leon, Israel: Fourty to 50 million Muslims is the figure forecast for Europe in 2025. Goodbye to all that European culture and democracy. The follower of Islam does not modify his customs or traditions. He merely does everything he can to destroy everything that doesn't conform to him. Farewell dear old Europe- there is nothing you can do. Who's next? The USA, or Australia, or non-Muslim Asia? John, Akron, Ohio, USA: When Islam is allowed to take over, which many ignorant and naive P.C. Europeans fail to believe will happen and therefore are allowing to happen, then Europe can say goodbye to its great art works which must be destroyed, its great old churches(and synagogues -- well, all Jews for that matter), any non-muslim symbols, wine/beer (or any alcohol), women's freedoms (well, freedom of thought and action in general), etc., etc. Islam is the most intolerant religion, and is the basis for any Arab dominated governments (local or national). Can Europe not see the writing on the wall? Yet, they vote in these liberal socialist leaders who let the bleeding continue. My God, why? Where is a Charles "the Hammer" Martel when you need one?! Tina, USA: Just what did you French think? That the Arab Muslim ("militants"), Islamofacists, would only attack the Jews? So did many Europeans err historically about Hitler. David T, USA: Secondly, if France begins to assert its authority and responsibility for unassimilated Arabs and Muslims in France, perhaps Israel will be inspired to do the same for our Arab minority in Israel and Judea and Samaria, and thus move our country from a position of policy paralysis and defeatism to one of movement and strength. Quite a jump for you, Ms. Glick. Are you actually suggesting that Israel turn itself into a bi-national state? Were you forced to end your piece in this manner due to the ownership of this media/paper? Or have you personally lost faith? Please remain true to Israel. You can always get another job - you have an enormous following beyond the limitations imposed by your boss. Barbara, Fort Worth, Texas: Vive le Jihad, baby. You've got it coming. Asad, Liverpool, UK: It was interesting to read a Jewish perspective on riots in France which were amusing to say the least. The ground reality is that the rioters are not just Arab Muslims as Czechs and other eastern European immigrants are involved in it as well. This however does not take away from the fact that disparity in income between two social groups and lack of integration are the roots of this problem. The blame for the riots eventually lies at the foot of liberal French governments who do not have a viable opposition other than the extreme right of Le Pen's National Front. Islamic radicalism is a problem for the world but the riots in France cannot be attributed to it. The harsh reality of life is multiculturalism does not work. Al Ramey, USA: Very well written overview. Readers should remember that not too long ago in an unguarded moment, France's ambassador to the United Kingdom - a guest at a private dinner - called Israel 'that shitty little country'. He was so out of it, that he did not have a clue that his hostess was a prominent London Jewish socialite. Unconstrained by diplomatic or journalistic ethics (her husband is a well known publisher) she let it be known. As far as he and his associates are concerned, if only Israel did not exists all problems in the region could be solved. (Readers can refer to a recent take eloquently assembled by David Price Jones, a contributor to Benador and Associates, free, on the web, who extensively wrote about the problem of French attitude towards Israel and the Jews.) After so many billions of dollars in property damage went in smoke, who would this Mr. Francois blame now? Did the sons of Algerian immigrants burn the Kasbah because of France's friendly attitude towards that 'shitty country'? The embargo began the day after the 1967 victory! This defeatist mentality, with penchant to criticize everybody did not serve France well. A little dose of reality is in order. Maybe the lessons of that 'shitty' country are long due. It is difficult to appease the crocodile. Todd Foster, Cathedral City, California, USA: France is facing a terrible tragedy. I believe it is best to support them in their hour of need, however we can, if it's only moral support. The causes are not material to the destruction that continues. No French citizen deserves riots, uprisings, certainly not civil war, should it come to that. Further, it is their country and we should respect their methods of response. There is hope that these riots will remain only riots, and not extend into terrorist suicide bombings. That may happen. Meanwhile, I suggest reserve and consideration for the nightmare that France is now enduring. David J. Crook, Coatesville, Pa., USA: All over the world, at the borders of Muslim nations and non-Muslim nations, there are wars, low-intensity conflicts or chronic severe tensions. Arab Muslims versus black Sudanese and Ethiopian Animists; Arab Muslims versus Israel; even within Lebanon, Muslims versus non-Muslim fellow Lebanese. In Asia there's Chechnya, Pakistan versus India; Malaysia has Muslim versus non-Muslim Malaysians; China has militant Muslims in western China; Indonesia has the majority Muslims at war with non-Muslim Indonesians. The Philippines has a chronic terrorism problem within its Muslim minority with its local al-Qaida terrorists. And the western democracies now have this Islamist war from within from many of the radicalized Muslims whom they were generous enough to take in. Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists; African Animists, secular Europeans, whites, blacks, Asians. Whatever race or religion of their neighbors, radicalized Muslims are in conflict with all of them. Yet we're supposed to believe Muslims are being picked on everywhere and that Islam is the "religion of peace"? Scott, USA: Oh, the poor French ! Pity the vanguard of decency, the French. Where as their interests are not compromised, discrimination against Jewish people is fine. But now it is a problem? Fran Waldman Thousand Oaks, CA, USA: Chirac and his government make Bush and our government look like angels with all the answers (Katrina). The French need to take their heads out of the sand: they have done nothing to integrate people who lack Judeo-Christian values into their society. Enough give-aways. If they don't like it... offer to fly them back to their country of origin.... Storm Heter, United States: Good for the JPost for seeing that the riots in France are, in part, a homegrown reaction to very serious social problems, most basically the social, economic and political alienation of Muslims in France. Sarkozy's reductionist attitude misses the point. Yes, those who murder and steal are vicious; but let us look at the social realities that explain the creation of a generation of youth who believe that throwing a molotov is a more effective expression of interest than a vote or a letter to a representative or a peaceful march in the street. To give a social structural explanation does not exculpate those who are vicious; but to take an individualistic reading and say that riots are merely the acts of a few angry thugs is indeed to paper over the real problem and miss the point completely. France is failing, as is the US and as is Israel, to live up to its promise to grant civil, social and political equality to all of its citizens. These three nations have very different approaches to the question of "difference" (France--radical secularism and assimilation; USA--state neutrality with tolerance for religious and cultural difference; Israel--assimilation and liberal nationalism). None of these approaches, however, can afford to dismiss the facts of systemic suffering, alienation and discrimination. Robin Rathert, New York, NY: I found the article "Our World: The Paris Fall" to be one of the best on the Internet. What else would you expect from The Jerusalem Post. Steve Brody, Orange, CA, USA: Maybe now we will find out how many Frenchmen it takes to defend Paris, but on the other hand history has a tendency to repeat itself for many people. Menachem Litenatsky, Los Angeles, CA: If those who are holding a country hostage continue to receive "victim" status from their own government and the world mainstream media then the war on terror is not only far from being won but it is not even being waged. If I follow the logic of what is being reported, then when ever I am angry or really want something all I have to do is get a lot of friends together and start killing, burning and stealing things with threats of more violence if I am not rewarded with even more handouts. The world may wish to look away or hide the truth but eventually it comes to the surface. The "Jihad" is global and coming to a neighborhood near you very soon. So call it by another name - "disenfranchised youth" or "freedom fighters" - or stay silent, but either way you will end up having to deal with the problem. Having talks and making concessions with the enemy is as far as the world can comfortably go at the moment. That has not worked out to well so far, has it? What is even more shocking is this is not the greatest problem we face. It is not the root of the problem either. The real threat comes from within. It comes from all the governments who have been overtaken by those who are self-hating. These liberals/socialists/communists want not only to deny the problem but make us feel as if it is our fault and we are repeating the lies everyday on television and in newspapers. Time to make a decision and choose a side. If you do not then the time is near that someone else will decide for you and by then it will be to late. You will no longer have a voice or be able to affect the outcome. If you do not support lawlessness and terror then say so clearly and often! Go to rallies, write to your government representatives, vote in the next election, donate your time and money, and pray for good to triumph over evil. Most important remember who you are and be proud of it. Moshe Levy, Montreal, Canada: First, let me express my sincere admiration for Caroline Glick. She writes in the name of Klal Israel (the Jewish people), to whose ideology the so-called Israelis owe their newfound country while rejecting Jewish traditional values and aspirations. Make no mistake, Paris is only the tip of the iceberg. Islam is a conquering religion and ideology, tolerant at times and perfectly fit for those who unconsciously embrace the Darwinian theory: survival of the fittest. This is how Islam has succeeded in creating a vast empire comprising over 1.2 billion people in more than 60 countries all over the world. Islam deserves our admiration. Western Christian Europe is doomed. The hypocrisy of the Europeans brought upon themselves this Euro-intifada. It has nothing to do with jobs or integration. In time, the only solution will be a change in the nature of Europe. No more a Christian stronghold, but at best a territory shared with Islam, until such time when demographics makes the entirety of Europe Islamic. What is the position of the Jews within this context? I am not a prophet. Unless we come to some sort of accommodation with our Arab cousins, we would be swallowed in time by simple and pure demographics, the same phenomenon affecting Europe. France, and for that matter the rest of Europe, could create as many jobs as they want. It won't change anything. This phenomenon is existential. Even if authorities succeed in calming the spirits momentarily, this phenomenon will reoccur, because that's the way the world is evolving. Agree or disagree with me. I don't care. The situation in the field is the only thing that counts. Ben Michelson, Rehovot, Israel: Eve Torjman quotes Yves Azeroual as saying that rioting French Muslims' violence may "remind us of the intifada," but anti-Semitism does not appear to be playing a key part in the current riots. Why does he think that anti-Semitism has anything to do with intifada in the first place? Daisy, New York, USA: Ms. Glick: I enjoyed reading your piece in the Jerusalem Post. You are correct in your estimation that the French are in serious trouble. I don't think you go far enough into reality when you ignore this fact: War has been declared on the West by Islam. It is not only to Israel's detriment, but to the world at large, to entertain the notion that there is any such thing as a "political" concern on the part of Muslims. We must be real here, Ms. Glick - Islam has no polis, therefore, Islam has no political agenda. Islam has, from its inception, had a military agenda - to spread Islam by the sword. To pretend anything other than that is simply fatal. You point out that "In his previous stint as interior minister, Sarkozy attempted to bring the Muslim immigrants into the mainstream French national culture by forming official French Muslim bodies." and since you point that out, you are under obligation to truth to say that Sarkozy did more than attempt, he succeeded. Problem is, the Muslims he brought into the mainstream still hate everyone else and think only in terms of Sharia law. I'll be very direct. I don't believe it's at all helpful for Jewish people, who have historically remained separate from the mainstream culture, (notably, this social strategy has failed wonderfully in the USA ..) to become overly identified (which, I respectfully submit, I think you might be, Ms. Glick) with separatist Muslims. While Jews had valid reason to fear the greater culture surrounding them (and Muslims, mainly, do not) Jews have never systematically cultivated that fear into hatred. Muslims have done exactly that: hate has been taught - horribly and successfully so. The religions are different. One has a sustainable moral code and one does not. Please stop and consider what I have to say. The rest of the world is in a much better position to see just what Israel is up against. Israel has not had war declared against it becuase you've treated Muslims badly. Muslims treat Muslims (and everyone else) badly. You are simply there, is all. Richard, New York City: Let France burn. If suicide bombers hit the cities of France every week for 5 years, how will the French handle the siege? We can sit and watch. It should be very instructive. Jonaitis, NW Kansas, USA: France long ago let the fox into the chicken coop and is still trying to placate the fox? What about protecting the citizens of the coop? Moshe Levy, Montreal, Canada: First, let me express my sincere admiration for Caroline Glick. She writes in the name of Klal Israel (the Jewish people), to whose ideology the so-called Israelis owe their newfound country while rejecting Jewish traditional values and aspirations. Make no mistake, Paris is only the tip of the iceberg. Islam is a conquering religion and ideology, tolerant at times and perfectly fit for those who unconsciously embrace the Darwinian theory: survival of the fittest. This is how Islam has succeeded in creating a vast empire comprising over 1.2 billion people in more than 60 countries all over the world. Islam deserves our admiration. Western Christian Europe is doomed. The hypocrisy of the Europeans brought upon themselves this Euro-intifada. It has nothing to do with jobs or integration. In time, the only solution will be a change in the nature of Europe. No more a Christian stronghold, but at best a territory shared with Islam, until such time when demographics makes the entirety of Europe Islamic. What is the position of the Jews within this context? I am not a prophet. Unless we come to some sort of accommodation with our Arab cousins, we would be swallowed in time by simple and pure demographics, the same phenomenon affecting Europe. France, and for that matter the rest of Europe, could create as many jobs as they want. It won't change anything. This phenomenon is existential. Even if authorities succeed in calming the spirits momentarily, this phenomenon will reoccur, because that's the way the world is evolving. Agree or disagree with me. I don't care. The situation in the field is the only thing that counts. Remy Rommel, Berlin: L' Intifada Fran ais has been a long time coming but it was inevitable. It shows the hypocrisy of the French regarding Israel, which France always criticized while they coddled terrorists like Arafat. Now Chirac and de Villepin have their own private Palestine. These scenes will soon be repeated in The Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, and all over Eurabia. Sam, New York: What goes around comes around. As France is one of the most "hostile" anti Israeli countries and anti-Semitic to boot, there is somewhat some "shadenfreunde." However, in the long run a victory by these Islamic fascist fanatics is bad news for "all of us." The French Government has to stop living in "lalaland" and face the music. They should: 1. Build sports clubs in the suburbs to occupy the youth. That way they will stop being influenced by the fanatic imams. 2. Get job training. 3. Institute some affirmative job actions to offset discrimionation in the job market Rich, London: Quelle fromage! We could not have been more obsequious. We had a pro-Arab anti-Israel foreign policy, we ignored all Arab violations of human rights, we criticized Israel whenever possible.... we also worked hard against the USA everywhere we could.... we invited 5 million to live in our country and still the Arabs do not love us. What do we need to do to be loved by the Arabs? Answer from London = Convert to Islam. Irwin Ruff, Rockville, MD, USA: While more of a "melting pot" approach may be necessary for the Muslims, is unrestricted melting really what we want for the Jews? In the US the melting pot has been so successful that the Jews are largely totally assimilated, and are disappearing through intermarriage, etc. The Jews who have most preserved their Jewish culture and values are those who have held aloof from assimilation into the majority culture - the haredim. The difference, of course, is that the Jews do not act violently or try to take over the country. But to preserve the Jew's separateness while imposing some degree of assimilation on the Muslims may be a very difficult task. This is illustrated by the recent change of laws in a Canadian city, where in order to prevent Muslim arbitration under Sharia, Jewish arbitration by Beit Din was also outlawed. Josh, New York, USA: This cycle of violence is deplorable. The French authorities must at once lift the curfew on these poor, oppressed people and initiate dialogue with them to find a just solution. There can be no peace as long as the French authorities undermine negotiations with strong-arm tactics. Hmmmmm....One word here: schadenfreude :) Now, having gotten that out of my system, I really hope that France and the rest of Europe finds a way to successfully deal with this long festering problem. Part of the problem is institutional discrimination that must be acknowledged and confronted head-on. But the other part is this group's seeming unwillingness to accept and integrate into the rule of law and societal norms that govern their adopted countries. It's this latter part that I fear will ultimately prove more insidious and difficult to overcome. Kenneth S. Besig, Kiryat Arba, Israel: I cannot claim to know what the largely Islamic rioters in France are thinking, nor what their motives are or even what they hope to achieve. What I can see are tens of thousands of young healthy men, raised in an isolated Islamic culture which glorifies violence and hatred, encouraged by the local and international media, and even supported by some of France's leading intellectuals and scholars, burning and destroying everything they can. What I can say, beyond any doubt, is that the French security authorities have been entirely ineffective in their response to the violence, indeed allowing a series of local civil disturbances to develop into a full-scale civil uprising. Of course, the security institutions in France are subservient to their political masters, and the French political echelon seems to believe that if they wait long enough, talk long enough, and dither long enough, that the rioters will eventually tire, and cease their violence. This by the way, is precisely the manner in which the Israeli Barak government initially dealt with the Palestinian uprising which began in September 2000 and goes a long way towards explaining why that violence worsened and lasted five years. Eventually, if the violence does not abate, and soon, the French authorities will be forced, much like Israel was, to use real violence itself against the rioters. Quite soon, the French public will tire of the violence, and the security forces, already stretched to their limit, will demand shoot to kill orders against arsonists and those who attack police officers, soldiers, firefighters, or medical assistance teams, whether they use firearms or not. Rich, London: Quelle fromage! We could not have been more obsequious. We had a pro-Arab anti-Israel foreign policy, we ignored all Arab violations of human rights, we criticized Israel whenever possible.... we also worked hard against the USA everywhere we could.... we invited 5 million to live in our country and still the Arabs do not love us. What do we need to do to be loved by the Arabs? Answer from London = Convert to Islam. Reginald, Great Britain: The recent intifida in France is a radical ideological Islam seeking world domination and subjugation of other contrary views. It is not because they are discriminated against, and alienated from economics and political life of the society which granted them the privilege to come and settle in the heart of Europe, but a surreptitious and subtle attempt to Islamasize the entire western society. If western Europe ignores this and continues with their appeasement policy rather than a radical policy of decapitating this monstrous monster threatening to swallow Europe, and in particular beginning with France, if they ignore this by acting like the Ostrich, they would ultimately discover to their astonishment they have no country they could call their own. Mark, New York, NY: The acts of fathers are a sign for the sons. Look at how the Patriarch of the Arab nation is described in the bible. "He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward [a] all his brothers."…Even Hagar, his own mother, displays her fear of her son the archer when she abandons him and goes "…several bowshots away…" to wait for him to die. And please note, that whereas the Hebrew word for the "dwelling" that Jews do among the nations is "Gar" indicating that we will remain separate, strangers (Ger) the word used to describe the "dwelling" of the Arab nations is "Nephal" - implying - "falling among" like a panther falls on its unsuspecting prey. Helen Bar-Lev, Jerusalem, Israel: O sweet peace loving French moralistic to the core of your essence how you love to preach to us for our infamous intolerance of terrorism for our suspicion of our cousin nations their innocent outbursts justified in violence victims of cruel circumstance You have become a bit obnoxious in your self-righteousness assuring us of their noble intentions providing the best of medical attention to the emissary of the devil who was the cause of it all And so in exchange for your hospitality and with a flourish of Middle Eastern gratitude your cities today are enflamed World War II enemy plans at long last fulfilled "Is Paris Burning" is no longer a question no longer lives in the imagination of a terrible enemy is now an historical novel begging to be rewritten You, historical defender of liberty, brotherhood and equality of all the world's multitudes except the Jews (of course if we take a longer look these three graces do not seem to have lived up to certain demanded international standards) even though you grimace in disgust every time we defend our existence Is it possible that you might now take a clue from the rioters' countries of origin who would, under similar circumstances without introspection or time-consuming hesitation without the inconvenience of missing a dinner with suave savoir-faire by a few unfortunate heads staked in the square restore order in a few ordinary moments So now all eyes on you France the tolerant whatever you choose to do however long it takes you to continue to brew in your flaming stew debating proper solutions over fresh baguettes wonderful wine and camembert cheese Please next time we stop a supposed-innocent at a roadblock or a department store or a market do attempt to be nonjudgmental try to avert your criticizing eyes divert them inward where they have more important matters to attend Nantio, Leiden, Netherlands: France should immediately start negotiations with the Paristinians and keep the peace-process going by offering them a state, Paristine, with Paris becoming the capital of both France and Paristine, of course under international supervision. Cathie Williamson, UK: France is reaping all it has sown, by turning away from the word of God it has ignored the warnings in Genesis 12 and is now standing or maybe kneeling under the curse. Ami Lapidot, Sydney, Australia: Good on you France - now you're getting a "an outstanding return on your investment". Perhaps now, you "poor" French will stop preaching what you were never fit to preach. Maurice Picow, Netanya, Israel: Your editorial article concerning the rioting going on in France is something that the government of that country had better take very seriously. France, like the editorial noted, has been too liberal toward its minority populations; and this is DESPITE it's official secular policy in respect to public education. Muslims and other religious groups simply set up their own religious, cultural, and educational institutions there, countering the official government policies. Muslim neighborhoods, in particular, are almost completely cut off from the mainstream of French society, and many residents of these enclaves don't even speak French. Israel should study the events going on there as the Israeli Arab populations are beginning to become a bit 'restless' themselves - especially in "enclaves" such as the "Triangle" area which includes Umm el Faham - a known hotbed for radical Islamic, and even terrorist activity. One bright spot, however, is a rapidly increasing number of French Olim to Israel, which will undoubtedly pick up due to present goings on in France. Since France has Europe's largest concentration of Jews, these events could herald a new wave of Aliyah from all over Europe. So, every cloud has a silver lining... Zvi Bart, Melbourne, Australia: Nero fiddled as Rome burned. Chirac was even worse by giving Arafat a State funeral. Did it help? No. Moira, Jerusalem:... I am happy to see the French "eat it"! Semsem, New York, USA: France consistently bashed Israel unfairly when it tried to defend itself against the Palestinian Intifida. Their problems are only the beginning. As they say...."what goes around comes around." Let's see how they plan to defend themselves? Susan, Portland, Oregon: For five years now, the Chirac government has tolerated the violence of young French Arabs, as long as it was limited to attacks on Jews. The failure to address these attacks, in the schools and the streets, not only led the vast majority of French Jews to enroll their children in private day schools, but led the chief rabbi of France to direct observant Jews to cover their yarmulkes with baseball caps. The message has been clear: Violence is rewarded. Rather than criticizing the Islamic leadership for fomenting the violence, the French establishment blamed the Jewish community for "provoking" it. Nicolas Sarkozy is right. These are not the harmless tantrums of underserved youth. People who terrorize neighbors, torch property, and attack firemen are thugs, and criticizing Sarkozy for calling them "scum" is missing the point. One man has been beaten to death, several policemen have been shot, millions in property lay in ruins, and a handicapped woman was actually set on fire and horribly wounded. The words to describe people who do such things are far worse than the ones we heard Minister Sarkozy using, but they're not fit for print. Jason Pappas, New York, USA: Excellent points, Ms. Glick. I've had similar thoughts: Too many conservative venues have inadvertently exonerated the Islamic attacks in France by blaming the victim first. For years, conservatives have understood that savage acts are not the fault of society but of the vicious individuals who commit them. Today, we read about France's dysfunctional economy, its policy of appeasement, and its obstructionist foreign policy. These are all valid criticisms but they shouldn't be elevated above the fact that Islamic hostility to the West is independent of our action or inaction. ... It's appropriate to note the prudent measures that are required to fight the enemy but it should never replace the moral condemnation and intellectual identification of that which drives the enemy. Mike Titre, Germany: Who ever came up with the idea that these riots have anything to do with Islam? Or is it just wishful thinking and anti-Mohamedanism? Nobody claimed that the Rodney King Riots (50 dead), or the disgraceful events recently in New Orleans were an Afro manipulated takeover of the USA, did they? Of course - It would be convenient were Islam to be responsible for all evil on this globe, but sadly, things aren't as simple as that. They still are things such as poverty, depravation, drugs, negligence, poor housing, bad education, etc. Dan Friedman, NYC: "if France begins to assert its authority and responsibility for unassimilated Arabs and Muslims in France, perhaps Israel will be inspired to do the same for our Arab minority in Israel and Judea and Samaria," This is pitiful pop sociology from Caroline Glick, who tries so hard to appear smart & authoritative, but is often just wordy and lugubrious instead. C Goldstein, Michigan: Dear Ms.Glick, First, permit me to say, I have tremendous admiration for your work. Therefore, I would like to express my hope that you will be observing the James Baker-led delegation. In times of significant difficulty the Bush family enlists his 'services' and 'good offices'. In regards to Israel, it is difficult to forget the Gulf War betrayal by Bush number one and Baker. Of course, it is never mentioned that the US gave Lebanon to Syria to acquire its cooperation for that war during the build-up to that war on one of Baker's trips at that time. It is also difficult to understand the US stance and insistence along with the Quartet to proceed with a plan I remember exposed in Debka. It included Israel's borders manned with international troops. With the Europeans in the beginning throws of internal aggression by their Muslim communities, it would seem to be most imprudent. Egypt is completely unstable, untrustworthy, and underhanded, and the PA is a terrorist organization that is to have overall authority. Wolfensohn is inept in this situation, certainly. He, obviously, has no real knowledge, or understanding of the Arabs, The Muslims, their attitudes and history, nor of the terrorists. In other words, he has no sense of the realities of the PA territories, the imperative for Israel to exist, and its right to exist, or what that entails. There is no longer any excuse for a Jewish man, a survivor of Hitler's Germany, and someone who has traveled the world as President of the World Bank, to sustain this ignorance. Unfortunately, he is imperiling six million Jewish lives. He must have gleaned the necessity of an economy to be structured within a government of laws, which contract law is essential, that a system of accounting is in accordance with International Standards. In addition, there is no demand to dismantle the PA Covenant, the schoolbooks and curriculum changes, the media, disarm the terrorist groups, etc. and to unequivocally accept Israel's Right to Exist. Is there a true banking system up to standards? These are what should be concentrated on so investment is not just lost, and the Palestinians have their jobs secured. Why is it so important for the Palestinians to have the Rafah so open? Possibly, you could provide insights into the backroom negotiations and of what transpires during the Rabin celebration (besides the latest canard that their would be peace if he had lived.)


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