Yesterday’s rally in Paris evoked a powerful image of numerous world leaders standing in solidarity against Islamic terrorism.
But so much for solidarity. French President François Hollande did not want Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to attend. Hollande didn’t want Netanyahu to attend because he believed that Bibi would draw attention to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Hollande also told Mahmoud Abbas not to attend either. More on Abbas later.
However, when Netanyahu learned that Avigdor Lieberman and Neftali Bennett would be in attendance, he reconsidered. While Hollande said it was OK for Netanyahu to come, he was furious and then promptly invited Abbas as well. Hollande showed his displeasure with Netanyahu when he walked out of the Grand Synagogue of Paris right before Bibi was to give his remarks.
So let’s see if I understand this correctly. There is a global rally in solidarity for the people who died last week in Paris at the hands of Islamic terrorists attended by nearly fifty heads of state or government. Said Islamic terrorists made a point of attacking a Jewish grocery store and killing four Jews. President Hollande acknowledged the attack was anti-Semitic. And yet Hollande didn’t want the elected leader of the world’s only Jewish state because he would draw attention to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. By this does Hollande mean that Netanyahu’s presence would have provoked the kind of attacks French pro-Hamas demonstrators carried out against congregants in a Paris synagogue last summer? If he does then all Hollande is doing legitimizing the very anti-Semitism he claims to deplore.
Now people might very well argue that Hollande wanted neither Netanyahu nor Abbas in Paris. But Netanyahu is Israel’s democratically elected leader who is seeking another term in office. Mahmoud Abbas’ term expired six years ago and the French (and for that matter the Obama Administration) afford him the same level of legitimacy as they do with Netanyahu, if not more. Indeed, France has been front and center in support of Abbas’ campaign to gain Palestinian statehood at the UN. Besides if you’re going to have an international march of solidarity against Islamic terrorism it’s probably a good idea not to invite someone who praised the man who tried to assassinate Rabbi Yehuda Glick last October as a martyr.
Is it any wonder that Jews are leaving France in droves?
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