by Guy Millière
A crowd in front of the Don Isaac Abravanel Synagogue in Paris during the “anti-Israel” riot of July 13, 2014.
…Demonstrators tried to burn down the largest textile store in Paris, near Barbès Rochechouart, because it carries a Jewish name, Dreyfus-Marché Saint Pierre. Clashes with police near this store were particularly violent.
Witnesses spoke of the atmosphere of a civil war, and photographers spoke of a “French intifada”.
The slogans shouted by the rioters were the same as the previous week: “Death to Jews” mingled with “Death to Israel” and “Long live Hamas.” Many who threw stones and Molotov cocktails shouted, “Allahu Akbar,” just as the attackers of the synagogue on July 13 had done.
Even though there were no synagogues or Jews nearby, and no protester shouted, “Let’s slay the Jews” or “Hitler was right,” what happened in Paris on July 19 was as frightful as what had happened the week before.
This was also not the first time that a district of a French city was immersed in an atmosphere of civil war. In October 2005, entire neighborhoods in the suburbs of several major cities were set on fire. In 2010, two districts of Grenoble, in southeast France, were on fire for several days. In May 2013, the Trocadéro area in Paris was ransacked, and two months later, the city of Trappes, near Versailles, experienced hours of insurrection. Dozens of cars and shops were burned. The police precinct was attacked and under siege for hours.
The riots this month were, however, the first time that demonstrations resembling a civil war were carried by people who showed an explicit hatred of Jews and who said they identified with jihadi terrorists. This was the first time that riots in France looked like an Islamic uprising.
Although the events of July 13 and 19 had the support of “leftists” organizations, the vast majority of demonstrators and rioters were Muslims. The majority of the women wore Islamic headscarves. Most men wore a keffiyeh, the checkered Arab scarf, and used it to hide their faces the way Islamists do in the Middle East.
Many protesters on July 13 and 19 came with Palestinian flags, but the flags of Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda and Islamic State [IS], also present, were proudly waved.
The day after the riots, July 20, Prime Minister Manuel Valls again denounced the “danger of anti-Semitism”. July 20th was also the anniversary of the “Vel d’Hiv Round-up” — the mass arrest of Jews in Paris in 1942 by the French police under the supervision of the Nazis. But Valls said nothing about the anti-Semitic and jihadist dimension of the riots. Some conservative politicians criticized the lack of firmness of the government. Leaders of the rightist National Front said that the government was responsible for the violence and had undermined “freedom of expression.”
At the exact moment Manuel Valls spoke, rioters started to ransack the suburb with the largest Jewish population on the outskirts of Paris: Sarcelles. All the Jewish stores and many cars were wrecked or set on fire. A group shouting “Allahu Akbar” again tried to burn the town’s synagogue. Again, most rioters were Muslim. Again, most shouted, “Death to the Jews.”
All French politicians are ready to condemn anti-Semitism in general terms (except members of the National Front); none are ready to call the anti-Semitism that is exploding in France today by its name: Islamic anti-Semitism.
All French politicians, left or right (except members of the National Front), have the same attitude about what happened on July 13, 19 and 20. This attitude can be summed up in one sentence, used by the French President, François Hollande: “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot import itself into France.” No French politician would dare say that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is already present in France, and that, among Muslim populations, Islamic anti-Semitism is inextricably mixed with an absolute hatred of Israel and Jews.
Almost all French politicians adopt an attitude of appeasement toward the enemies of Israel and Jews. They never define Hamas as an Islamic terrorist organization. They close their eyes to the anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish hate speech disseminated by the enemies of Israel in the Middle East, and to the irony that France finances that speech. They act as if they did not see that the hate speech France finances in the Middle East is now spreading throughout France.
The major French media have not said a word about the anti-Semitism and jihadism that permeated the protest of July 13 and the riots of July 19 and 20. All major French television reports of these events presented the protesters and rioters as people who had just wanted to support the “liberation of the Palestinian people”. All reports major French television reports on Israel’s war against Hamas are made from the point of view of Hamas or the Palestinian Authority. No report speaks of Hamas’s genocidal Jew hatred or of the use of Arab women and children as human shields. Journalists from major French media outlets act as if they did not know that by adopting a watered-down vision of the protesters and rioters in France, and by describing the war from the point of view of Hamas or the Palestinian Authority, they are playing a dangerous game that could lead to more pogroms and even civil war….
by Richard Fernandez
….The WOT is now officially over, except for low-level responses like drone strikes and targeted intelligence operations. But what if it’s not? What if the president declared victory with the enemy still rampant in the field? In retrospect, the major strategic miscalculation of the Obama administration may have been a failure to anticipate that the terror threat would evolve. Their implicit assumption was that the jihad would remain at the al-Qaeda 1.0 level indefinitely. They never imagined it would mutate and they would have to take the very roads that they proscribed.
Kitfield’s sources think that something’s up, though nobody is sure what it is. “As a number of ascendant terrorist groups jockey for primacy, U.S. intelligence experts also fear they will compete for legitimacy by launching spectacular attacks on the West, the coin of the realm when Islamic extremists compete for followers and funds. Given the number of European jihadists now fighting in Syria and their proximity to the continent, the first blow may well fall in Europe, but no one can be sure. What the U.S. and Western intelligence agencies share is a vague foreboding that they are about to be blindsided.”
So where’s the attack?
If a major terrorist offensive begins against the West, the response will be hampered by the politics of preclusion. It has been the political strategy of the left since 2001 to denounce certain measures as ipso facto illegitimate. Conventional military operations, profiling, immigration controls, coercive interrogation, etc. were characterized as war crimes and/or politically unacceptable because of the widespread belief that the al-Qaeda version 1.0 could be handled by intelligence and police action, or the threat was confined to countries like Israel or the United States. Israel faced a much higher threat level and responded with higher intensity measures that were branded as apartheid or warlike.
This has created ready-made sanctuaries. But such sanctuaries will stand only if the political balance in the West remains fundamentally unchanged. An al-Qaeda 2.0 onset turning Europe into Israel would vastly reduce the zone of preclusion.
The challenge in deciding whether to attack Europe and the U.S. either separately or together is how to preserve preclusion for as long as possible. Attacking simultaneously in both places may collapse preclusion globally. The fundamental problem in jihadi grand strategy is managing the Western political response. Since the West can be overcome only if it is defeated in detail or brought down all at once, it is important to keep the sanctuaries open until the very last. In every scenario where the West cannot be conquered outright, it is vital to prevent unmanageable political blowback.
The major reason for the absence of large-scale attacks despite the growing jihadi capability is they are not yet sure what the response will be. Ironically, it may be the fear of Europe that is holding terror back. European politics can be far more volatile than American politics. The flip side of the soft left in Europe can be the very hard right.
By Louisa Loveluck
….Islamic State fighters robbed departing Christians of their belongings, he said, leaving them to face destitution in grim camps for the displaced. Deprived of their cars and cash, many Christians were forced to walk to safety.
The jihadists had previously insisted that Iraq’s minorities had little to fear from their invasion, using social media to assure the wider world that they had no quarrel with Christians who observe their rules.
Islamic State first rose to prominence in Syria’s interminable civil war, growing from an extremist fringe group to the strongest, best funded and best armed militia in modern history.
The group says it aims to return the lands they conquer to a state approximating that of early Islam, in which Jews and Christians who did not convert had to pay a “jizya” tribute to their Muslim rulers.
The concept dates back to the early Islamic era in the seventh century, but was largely abolished during the Ottoman reforms of the mid-19th century.
Mosul’s Christian community, one of the oldest in the world, has shrunk rapidly in the years since US-led forces pushed Saddam Hussein from power. Before 2003 the city’s Christians numbered some 60,000 people, but that dropped to some 35,000 by June this year, Mr Sako told AFP.
He said another 10,000 fled Mosul after the militant-led offensive began sweeping across Iraq on June 9.
But many had held on, hoping to reach some sort of accommodation.
Others said they were willing to fight. On a visit to the Christian settlement of Bartella, ten miles from Mosul, in mid-June, the Telegraph found a community mounting what it perceived as a last stand against the advancing militants.
Islamic State’s ultimatum seemed to put paid to any hopes of co-existence or resistance.
Since the insurgents arrived in Mosul, even if their forces of occupation are largely local Baathist remnants, they have posted rules for the implementation of their strict Sharia.
These demand that women should be covered and only go outside “if necessary”. Drugs, alcohol and cigarettes are banned, and all shrines, monuments and graveyards – seen as idolatrous in Salafi forms of Sunni Islam – will be destroyed.
On Friday, the United Nations accused Islamic State fighters in Iraq of a range of atrocities that it said could amount to war crimes.
At least 5,576 Iraqi civilians have been killed this year in violence, the UN said in a report that provides the most detailed account yet of the impact of unrest culminating in advances by Sunni rebels led by Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, across the north.
“Every day we receive accounts of a terrible litany of human rights violations being committed in Iraq against ordinary Iraqi children, women and men, who have been deprived of their security, their livelihoods, their homes, education, healthcare and other basic services,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said….