Confront the reality
Your editorial “French turmoil” (July 9) displays the worst of political correctness by failing to pinpoint the root of these riots, which undoubtedly is the fundamental shifts occurring in France and in Europe generally since the influx of Muslim immigrants. It is crucial for any person who values the preservation of European societal values to address these issues without succumbing to political correctness and to acknowledge the significant changes taking place within Europe.
The riots in France have brought to the forefront the challenges associated with the integration and assimilation of certain segments of the Muslim community. It is imperative that we honestly acknowledge the undeniable truth that Europe has undergone significant transformation since the arrival of Muslim immigrants. This transformation has resulted in cultural clashes, social tensions, and a dilution of the traditional values that have shaped European societies for centuries.
While it is essential to recognize the diversity within the Muslim population in Europe, it is equally important to acknowledge the role played by certain extremist ideologies and values that have taken root within this community. These ideologies have had a profound influence on the fabric of European societies, leading to a breakdown of social harmony and jeopardizing the liberal-minded values that were once the hallmark of many European countries.
France must confront the reality of the failure of some Muslim communities to fully integrate into their host countries, which has contributed to the rise of separatism, cultural enclaves, and social fragmentation. This poses a significant threat to the very essence of European societies. Paris must prioritize the preservation of its cultural heritage, values, and way of life, while ensuring that the principles of religious freedom and diversity are not misused or exploited to undermine the cohesive fabric of the European nations.
Education plays a pivotal role in facilitating integration and fostering a sense of belonging but most Muslim communities resist assimilation, leading to the creation of parallel societies that challenge the norms and values of the host countries.
These and the challenges posed by the influx of Muslim immigrants into Europe necessitate an honest and forthright assessment of the situation. France must not shy away from acknowledging the changes that have occurred and the potential threats to its societal values. France must protect and preserve its cultural integrity while addressing the obstacles to integration that certain Muslim communities face and, by so doing, it can seek a future that upholds the traditions, values, and liberties that define all European nations.
An abject failure
The article by Thomas Stern about the recent riots in France, “When is an antisemitic riot not antisemitic?” (July 7), misses the point of what is going on in France. The fact that many of the rioters probably hold antisemitic views is incidental to the riots. The rioters are filled with hatred for authority and society, and are bent on destroying and looting whatever they can.
French colonialism in Africa and the Middle East meant that tens of thousands of people living outside France had acquired French citizenship and were entitled to immigrate to France. Many of them were Muslim and had no cultural or religious affinity to French culture and history. Their children are now part of the masses that are rioting.
In line with EU policy on immigration, France has adopted a policy of multiculturalism and opened its doors to thousands of foreign refugees seeking a better life in Europe. The migrants were mainly economic migrants from Africa. Many of them have no skills or education. The idea behind welcoming them was a humanitarian decision. Shelter, medical treatment, educational and financial help was extended to them. The hope was that they would become good citizens and soon be gainfully employed.
The policy has been an abject failure in every sense. Many of the rioters are the same economic migrants who were previously welcomed into France. They live in areas that have become centers of crime and illegal drug distribution. They see the police as their enemy.
The riots that are taking place in France are the result of a policy decision to allow immigration into the country of people with an entirely different cultural, political, and religious outlook on life. The rioters have displayed nothing but hatred for French society. They have destroyed cars and property worth hundreds of millions of euros. The right to loot and steal has become endemic within this group. They are anarchists bent on destroying society.
Inevitably, there will be some form of blowback against the rioters. It seems plausible that the next French elections will be strongly influenced by the recent riots in Paris. The only winners of the riots will be the right-wing political parties in France. The likelihood of the next French government being right-wing has just increased significantly.
The editorial “Seek unity” (July 7) comes after major demonstrations which have blocked access to Ben-Gurion Airport and disrupted traffic on the major Ayalon Highway. Some people are unhappy with the turmoil and pain this creates and believe that the demonstrations should be quieter and less disruptive. They are missing the point.
It’s one thing to demonstrate against the price of cottage cheese; no immediate threat to society there. But when masses of people fear for the future of democracy, fear that dictatorial elements in society and the government are attempting to remake and control Israel’s future to their selfish betterment, and to the exclusion of the other half, the demonstrations must reflect the grave immediacy of the threat.
The more disruption the better, because there is an immediate existential danger. Otherwise the public will simply turn over in bed, go back to sleep, and wake up to a society in which they don’t want to live. They are fighting for their lives, and are heroes no less.
At a time when moves to unify the population are much needed, the person who was previously monikered as “the adult in the room” wastes no opportunity to betray that title. National Unity head Benny Gantz effectively absolves protesters seeking to do damage by blaming any ensuing bloodshed on Netanyahu (“Gantz: Bloodshed at protests will be PM’s responsibility,” July 7).
Gantz could have addressed consensus issues, such as combating unscrupulous banks exploiting rising interest rates at private citizen expense, or using his military experience to explain to the world how jihadists in Jenin abuse holy sites and human rights and are not condemned by the Palestinian leadership.
Instead Gantz uses the opportunity to engage in politics and blame others for a situation that he could potentially help defuse. This is certainly not the behavior desired from someone looking to lead the country.
Why should we, the public who do not agree with these protests, be held to ransom every time they decide to disrupt our lives? Demonstrations yes, but blocking roads and disrupting flights should be forbidden. The media are very forgiving, but nobody has been accused of unfair elections. Let our elected government do their job.
Regarding “The great challenge” (July 6): For me, the great challenge was being able to wade through the numerous questions raised once again by Gershon Baskin as he attempts to conjure up solutions toward having peace break out between Israel and the Palestinians. Among his many metaphorical head-scratchings, he states that he would like to hear from the various parties involved, of which he includes Fatah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
I can advise him to not hold his breath regarding even an utterance from Fatah as its leader (into his 17th year of his four-year term) is as moribund as his party’s relevance in the areas they purport to govern. As far as Hamas and PIJ are concerned, whatever concessions or agreements they would propose would simply be a smokescreen.
As their raison d’être is the elimination of the Jewish state, we have in fact heard too much from them in the form of their heinous killings and a desire to continue in the same vein. The challenge to obtain peace is certainly great, but it is even greater when one side is megaphoning hatred and unfortunately has too many willing listeners.
Omar and Tlaib
This is the new Jerusalem Post, with a Zionist bent? Having a J Street op-ed article (“The legal overhaul’s ripple effect,” July 6) on the front page of the section, above the fold, is no different than having an opinion piece from Ilhan Omar or Rashida Tlaib, and, on the same day as you publish Gershon Baskin?
Shame on you; oh, for the days of Conrad Black.
Moshe Dann writes a superb article (“What ‘end the occupation’ means,” July 6), which is the first to expose the myth of “end the occupation” in clear and unequivocal terms. I would only add the need to emphasize that there is no need for a second Palestinian state as Jordan was established and exists to this day for that purpose.
No desire for democracy
Regarding “‘Day of Resistance’ set for Tuesday if reasonableness bill advances” (July 9): I’m tired of reading about “resistance” and protests. I’m tired of seeing so-called peaceful protesters blocking highways and disrupting our airport and breaking the law in the name of “democracy.”
Many years ago, when I joined in protests against the Soviet Union’s policy of not allowing Jews to emigrate, I remember how particular the organizers of the protest were to ensure that we walked only on the sidewalk, that we refrained from throwing signs or anything else over the railings surrounding the Soviet embassy; those were truly peaceful protests. We didn’t have buses to pick us up and take us home.
I walked on a Shabbat afternoon in the middle of a Montreal winter for about two hours from a Montreal suburb to the Soviet embassy in order to tell the Soviets what we thought about them. The handful of policemen there had nothing to do and eventually joined us by dancing in front of the embassy.
Today’s hooligans have no qualms about breaking the law; they threaten to destroy the country if they don’t get their way. They have no desire for democracy; they just want to make sure that the will of the majority will continue to be overridden by an unelected, unrepentant Supreme Court, which will continue to be dominated by a left-wing majority because it will insist on continuing to have a veto on any new members. This is judocracy, not democracy.
In his Jerusalem Post op-eds, Gil Troy mostly manages to keep in the “Center Field,” as his column is named. However, his very mild castigation of the demonstrators, who wreaked havoc at Ben-Gurion Airport in their attempt to totally disrupt flight schedules and caused untold hardships and even financial loss to the thousands of Israelis and tourists arriving and departing, proves otherwise (“Settler rioters as sweet boys? Not!” July 5).
While Israeli soldiers were risking their lives in an effort to destroy the terrorist infrastructure in Jenin, the demonstrators continued not only to disrupt but also broke the law by closing access to and from the airport and violently resisting arrest.
Gil Troy voiced his concern that “a protest that loses its moral compass and lashes out wildly becomes a mob.” His concern is well placed, for that is what these protesters, who began their protests even before the elections were held and the reform program was presented, have become – a mob; a mob which from week to week, with populist rhetoric, changes the name of the game but refrains from calling it what it is – an attempt to remove the democratically-elected prime minister and overthrow the democratically-elected Knesset majority of the Right.