France

Jewish Shop in Paris Bombed

Another example of under reporting in the Western media, a Jewish shop in Paris is attacked:

“PARIS (AP) — A small package bomb exploded inside a kosher grocery store in a Paris suburb Wednesday, wounding at least one person, according to an agency that tracks anti-Semitic attacks in France.

The reason for the attack was unclear, but it rattled nerves amid global tensions surrounding a U.S.-produced film insulting to Islam. The French grocery store attack came a few hours after a satirical French weekly published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, prompting anger from French Muslim groups.

The Jewish Community Protection Service, set up to register anti-Semitic attacks in France, says on its website that two individuals dressed in black threw an explosive device inside a kosher supermarket in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles at lunchtime Wednesday. It says one person suffered small injuries, without elaborating.

Yves Jannier, the state prosecutor in the Val d’Oise region where Sarcelles is located, cautioned that evidence was still being compiled and it was too early to draw any conclusions about motives behind the attack.

“We’ll need to analyze, quantify and measure all these elements, such as to know perhaps the type of explosives used,” he said at a news conference. “But for now, we should avoid any extrapolation or hasty conclusions.”

The Sipa news agency reported four injuries. It said the two assailants fled after throwing a rock through the shop’s window shortly before the explosion, and that the victims are being treated for wounds to their arms and legs from the explosion and broken glass.

A French Jewish umbrella organization, CRIF, said in a statement that “it fears this attack” is connected to violent protests in recent days from Asia to Africa against the U.S.-produced film “Innocence of Muslims,” which ridicules Prophet Muhammad. CRIF criticized those who are linking Jews to the making of the film and said “nothing can justify the wave of violence that has hit the world since its release.”

France, which has western Europe’s largest Jewish population, sees sporadic but persistent anti-Semitic acts, often vandalism of gravesites and synagogues. The nation also has the region’s largest Muslim population, and mosques and Muslim gravesites are periodically desecrated. “

2012 Olympics, A Munich Silence Round-Up

I had hoped to do many more individual posts, particularly on the issue of a minutes silence at the 2012 Olympic games in memory of the athletes that were murdered in Munich 1972, but instead I present another round-up of news and events.

Jonathan Freedland at the JC:

“They sought to resurrect a lost and ancient tradition, at the centre of which was the high ideal known as the Olympic truce.

The official Olympic website traces this back to Greece in the 9th century BCE, when three rival kings agreed to halt hostilities while the Games were under way: “During the Truce period, the athletes… could travel in total safety to participate in or attend the Olympic Games and return afterwards to their respective countries.”

Today’s International Olympic Committee still proclaims that goal, insisting that it is committed to “protecting” all athletes as well as “searching for peaceful and diplomatic solutions to the conflicts around the world”.

Forty years ago, the Olympic truce was violated in direct and brutal fashion. At the Munich Games of 1972, 11 athletes discovered they could not, after all, travel in “total safety” and that they would not, after all, be protected.

For Jews again to be killed on German soil was almost too much to bear.

The 11 were members of the team representing Israel. In their quarters in the Olympic village, they were seized by eight Palestinian gunmen disguised as athletes, taken as hostages, and finally killed in a botched rescue effort at a nearby airport. “

Personally, I would have preferred if Freedland had written it for the Guardian directly, but Jennifer Lipman does that and you can imagine what the comments boxes are full of? Disdain and barely concealed contempt for Jews and Israelis.

Helen Lewis at the New Statesman looks at online harassment and women.

Brown Moses has a fascinating post on Manaf Tlass:

“Hama Echo pointed me in a direction of a couple of picture of Manaf Tlass which may indicate that this defection is more about saving his own skin than any ideological differences with the Assad regime. In August 2011 the French anti-fascist website Reflex posted an article about members of the far right in France, including Frédéric Chatillon, founding a new website, InfoSyrie, to correct what they stated was the gross misrepresentation of facts by the Western media in the pay of the US and Israel.

The article goes on to describe links between the far right in France and the Alawite and Assad regime members in Syria, and describes a visit arranged by Chatillon for his associates, that include Thierry Meyssan, chairman of the Voltaire Network; Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, a anti-Semitic political activist; essayist Alain Soral; Ahmed Moualek, president of La Banlieue S’exprime (LBS); and Marc George to Lebanon, via a 5 day stop over in Syria.

This stop over in Syria is reportedly largely financed by the Tlass family, including hotels, sightseeing and drivers for their far right friends, including this meeting with Manaf Tlass (and other family members) pictured second from the left. “

There is a conspiracy theory doing the rounds concerning Arafat’s death. The NPR asks two key questions and read Hussein Ibish.

There’s another antisemitic attack in France (and I don’t expect BBC News or the Guardian to cover it in any significant way) but events in France are extremely worrying:

“A French Jewish teenager, who attends the Toulouse school where Islamist gunman Mohamed Merah shot dead three children in March, has suffered a violent anti-Semitic attack on a train, French media reports said on Thursday.

The attack on Wednesday took place on a train travelling between Toulouse, which is in the south-west, and the city of Lyon in the south-east, Le Figaro newspaper reported, quoting an interior ministry statement.

“A teenager aged 17 wearing a distinctive religious symbol, who attends Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse, was taken to task and insulted by two individuals,” the ministry was quoted as saying.

He was then attacked near the toilets “by the same two individuals, who beat him up,” the statement said, adding that the attack ended when a fellow passenger and train conductors intervened. “

A rather naive Max Blumenthal eventually realises the company that he keeps.

The best and worst places in the world to be a woman.

A rye view of events in Israel.

Jon Stewart Mocks Mitt Romney, not hard, don’t mention Venn diagrams.

Undressing the Underwear Bomb Plot?

I tried to argue with Norm over the hyphen in antisemitism but he’d been there.

EDL activist jailed for 9 years.

Surreal? LBJ and Gordon Brown compared.

And a confused fascist.

Ziad J. Asali has some hard questions for One Staters.

Still, polishing a turd? The Lobbying company trying to help improve Assad’s image.

Meanwhile in the US, Alabama Pastors Conference Invites Only ‘White Christians’:

“A group of pastors in Alabama says that they are not racist even though only “white Christians” were invited to their three-day conference, which will include a cross burning and be attended by Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members.

Residents in Guin, Alabama became outraged earlier this week after they noticed flyers posted around the town that read, “Annual Pastors Conference All White Christians Invited.” The groups Christian Identity Ministries and the Church of God’s Chosen told WIAT that they just didn’t have the “facilities” to accommodate non-whites.

“We’re seldom ever have been invited to black Muslim events and we never have been invited to NAACP events and we never have been invited to join Jewish synagogues events and stuff,” Christian Identity Ministries Pastor William J. Collier explained.

“It has nothing whatsoever to do with any kind of racism or hate or anything like that,” he added. “And anybody who would brand it as that would be a racist and a hater themselves, you know.” “

Finally, if you didn’t know about Higgs Boson then this might help:

Neofascists Doing Well in French Election

Greece, Hungary, Germany, etc are not the only countries who have a problem with the Far Right.

According to projections from Le Monde the National Front in France could obtain about 15% of seats.

In certain areas French neofascists have nearly taken half of the available vote, Reuters explains:

“(Reuters) – French far-right leader Marine Le Pen took a commanding lead in the first round of a legislative election on Sunday, raising the prospect of a seat in parliament for her anti-immigrant party as her arch-foe, firebrand leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon, bowed out.

National Front leader Le Pen won more than 42 percent of the vote in a working class town in northern France where she has established a base, tapping into unease over high unemployment and years of economic decline.

Before official results were announced, Le Pen said the result in Henin-Beaumont showed that her party remained a powerful political force in France after she placed third in a presidential election last May. “

How depressing.

Antisemitic Attack In Villeurbanne, France

After a brief report on the radio yesterday I haven’t heard much concerning the events in Villeurbanne, France and the antisemitic attack that occurred, but the EJP has more:

“The Interior Ministry says the attack by 10 assailants on the three people was anti-Semitic, and has called for the assailants to be brought to justice. Two of the victims were hospitalized.

The office of Manuel Valls said Sunday that police were mobilized to arrest those behind the attack a night earlier in Villeurbaine, near the city of Lyon.

The ministry said the assailants wielded a hammer and an iron bar.

One youth had an open wound to the head and a girl was struck in the neck, authorities said. The third was hit in the arm.

French Interior Minister Valls, denouncing the assault, said he was “determined to fight against any aggression of a religious nature.

“These extremely serious acts are a deliberate attack against our republic, which allows everyone, without exception, to live freely and in all safety in their religious affiliation,” his office said in a statement.

The victims were hospitalised but later released as police stepped up patrols in the neighbourhood.

The National Bureau of Vigilance against Anti-Semitism said the attackers were of North African origin.

Investigations were under way and no suspects had been arrested.

“We are in the 21st century and there are youngsters assaulting those wearing Jewish skull caps with hammers and bars,” lawyer Alain Jakubowicz of French civil liberties group Licra said.

Lyon is located about 470 kilometres (300 miles) south of Paris. The Jewish community there is about 20,000 strong.

France is home to western Europe’s largest Jewish community, estimated at about 600,000 people, and has faced bouts of violent anti-Semitism.”

Update 1: I can’t see much on the English news feeds, but 20 Minutes in France covers it, and Le Progres in French.

What Happened at Toulouse University?

Just read this worrying piece on the JC and wondered why the media didn’t cover or why it didn’t come out immediately:

“The delegation of Israeli students from a non-political organisation were midway through a tour of French universities and had held successful events in Lille and Lyon before visiting Le Mirail campus, in the area where the Toulouse gunman Mohammed Merah grew up.

They were at a stall on the campus and were handing out leaflets and chatting to students when a group of protesters arrived and began shouting at them through a megaphone.

“They began shouting anti-Israel slogans and saying that Israel was a criminal state,” said Sacha Reingewitz, vice president of the UEJF. “They said Jews should be exterminated and that Israel commits genocide.”

The protesters demanded that the Israeli group remove the Israeli flag from their stall and when the group refused, they took it down by force.

“Security had to intervene – it was very upsetting,” said Mr Reingewitz.

“The protesters were saying ‘get out of here’ and they sang an antisemitic slogan in Arabic: Khaybar Khaybar is Yahud, Jaysh Muhammad sawfa ya’ud” (Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, the army of Muhammad will return).”

Salam Fayyad Is Right

I am very reluctant to post around the events in Toulouse, but feel compelled now it appears the suspect has been captured.

I believe that the words of the Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, need to be said many times over:

“It is time for these criminals to stop marketing their terrorist acts in the name of Palestine and to stop pretending to stand up for the rights of Palestinian children who only ask for a decent life,”

Neo-Nazis in France

La Point has an updated article on those neo-Nazis in the French army, via Chrome’s translate:

“The investigation into the killings of Toulouse and Montauban know a new twist. The killing of the soldiers of the 17th Engineer Regiment paratrooper Montauban, one of the paratrooper of Toulouse, and the attack on Monday morning, the Jewish school that has killed four people including three children, are indeed related . This is the same scooter Yamaha T-Max, which was used by the shooter. His license plate was recorded on video surveillance tapes from the town of Montauban. It is also the same gun, a caliber of 11.43 mm, which served the three attacks. Reportedly, three men, one of which would have already shown, are being sought: the former military 17th RGP.

In 2008, the 17th Engineer Regiment paratrooper Montauban had become sadly aware. The military had identified soldiers close movements “neo-Nazi”. Jamel Benserhir, a former soldier, had reported to his superiors the actions of three “brothers in arms”, which had pushed up the bad taste to have their picture taken by the Nazi hello behind a swastika flag. This shot was then published by Le Canard chained “

Shooting In France, Time to Reflect

I have been away from the news media so didn’t catch the awful shootings in France, but my initial thought was how it puts our lives in perspective.

How our petty disputes and problems seem so small by comparison.

Sadly, there is a nasty tendency among bloggers to exploit the deaths of innocents.

Instead I think we should send our condolences to the school and the families involved, whilst we get a better picture of what happened:

BBC News covers it:

“A gunman has opened fire on a Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse, killing three children and an adult, police say.

At least two people were also injured in the attack outside the Ozar Hatorah school in the north-east of the city.

Police are hunting for the gunman, who witnesses said was riding a black scooter.

The attack comes days after three soldiers were shot dead by a man on a scooter in the same part of France.”

La Point has more.

The Guardian too.

I will update this post later on, as more news becomes available.