Anti-Semitism in France: not only for Jews

Friday morning on a Paris commuter train, the infernal cycle of anti—Semitism, silence and fear appeared once again. Six Arab youths attacked a twenty—three—year—old young mother with her thirteen—month—old baby.

They started by stealing her hand bag and then, looking at her wallet, found out that she had an address in a posh section of Paris, the 16th district. One of the Arabs yelled, 'The 16th —— all the Jews live there.' Assuming that she was Jewish, they became wildly aggressive. They pulled knives, slashed her T—shirt and trousers, and cut her hair for a souvenir. They then drew three swastikas on her belly with black pens, and before getting out, overran the stroller, so the baby fell over.

The whole attack lasted about ten minutes, and was witnessed by over twenty people sitting in the train coach at that time. But nobody did anything, not even pulling the emergency signal. As of today, no witnesses have come forward to help the investigation.

Of course, all the outrage today in most French newspapers and in the political class is that the woman was not Jewish. These kinds of 'incidents' have been numerous in the past four years, but did not make headlines because they were targeting real Jews. And in a way, it is "excusable" to attack Jews because they represent Israel and the Arabs are just helping their Palestinian brothers....

France has been demonizing Israel through its foreign policy, its media and intellectuals. By fueling so much hatred, they are now reaping what they sowed.

It took France over three years to acknowledge there was a major problem with anti—Semitism. On Thursday, a few hours before this latest attack, President Chirac made a forceful speech denouncing the numerous attacks on French Jews. He called on all the different authorities to be extremely vigilant and severe regarding these acts. He went on, saying, 'You can count on me: I will do everything in my power so this phenomenon will stop.'  He then addressed veiled criticism to the judicial system that has been very lenient, to say the least, towards perpetrators of anti—Semitic acts. Chirac underlined the absolute necessity of very severe sentences to make examples. In conclusion, he added that it is the role, duty and obligation of each citizen to be vigilant and proactive in answering these heinous crimes. He wanted them to wake up and stop the indifference and attitude of passivity that is so usual.

Unfortunately the very next day, as we saw in the train episode, passivity and indifference are still very much alive in the hearts of the French.

France is on a very dangerous slope. Paris has become in the last few years one of the most dangerous cities in Europe; criminality is high, coming mostly from Arabs, and impunity is so high that it only breeds and encourages more crimes from the newer generations. The situation is so bad that, for instance, witnesses are not only afraid to help but are threatened if they testify. Same goes for the judges, who live in fear of retaliation from Arab convicts. The police do not dare to go into some suburbs of Paris because of the risks involved. From petty crimes unpunished to attacks against Jews long tolerated, France is playing with fire with the largest Muslim community in Europe —— around six million.

In the past six months, there have been 510 anti—Semitic acts reported, almost three a day. As always in history, it starts with the Jews but then others get attacked. A few months back, in a large Parisian department store, I witnessed a very revealing incident: a woman was strolling with her baby, while behind her a very distinguished and hurried Arab woman wanted her to walk faster. She then pushed the mother and told her, 'Move, you dirty French.' So the very common epithet 'Dirty Jew' is turning very soon into 'Dirty French.'

Obviously with the latest 'incident,' Gentile French are going to realize that they are next on the list, and if there is a hint of suspicion they might be Jewish, they could become targets for these savages. What Chirac has to do is take the country back and restore law and order. First, this commuter train is famous for daily violence. It travels through a lot of Arab neighborhoods. What about putting one cop on each train of this line?

Second, upon arresting the aggressors, it is time for judges to apply the most severe sentences to make a clear example.

Third, the French government has to recognize its responsibility in the systematic demonizing of Israel, thus giving ammunition to these Arab youth who feel very much justified in attacking Jews.

And last, expel the imams that are spreading hatred of the Jews, the Christians and the West.

France might turn out to be the new laboratory of this 'clash of civilizations'.