Monday, November 14, 2005

Paris Hypocrisy Can Burn You Up

Arutz Sheva - Israel National News


Finally, France and other nations can show Israel how it is done. That is, controlling anarchy that could paralyze a given country.

Striking parallels can be drawn between Israel’s travails with Muslim extremists and conflicts with Muslims in other nations; not only France, but also India, Thailand, Russia, Britain and the Kurdish section of Iraq. Until Paris blew up, Israel drew most of the world’s attention whenever it clashed with the Palestinians.

As veteran Middle East reporter Thomas Friedman says, the Palestinians receive so much attention not because they are poor and displaced, but because their plight takes place in Israel and its territories.

“The oldest, most widely known super story of Western civilization is the Bible,” Friedman writes in his book From Beirut to Jerusalem, “Modern Israel is not viewed by most Christians as a new country or a new story, but rather as the modern extension of a very old country and a very old drama involving God and man.”

As a civilized, beloved city which has been at peace for 60 years, Paris has pushed Jerusalem off the front page and exposed for all to see that Muslim extremism is little different anywhere else. The vandalism and assaults in Paris are on a par with the rush to violence in Israel. Wherever one turns, it seems that young Muslims are burning cars and even forcing innocent people off buses.

Even the pretext for each crisis is comparable. In Israel, Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount in September 2000 and suddenly there were riots. This justified bedlam? In Paris, Muslim extremists went wild after two teen-age Muslims were electrocuted while hiding from police. Their friends did not bother to wait for an investigation to end before they pounced.

The police response reportedly led to the discharge of tear gas into a mosque during a worship service. Friends of Redha Zagai, 21, of Toulouse, told the New York Times that he lost his right hand Monday night, November 7, to an explosive device fired by police. A state of emergency declared by France permits the government to impose curfews, place people under house arrest, seize weapons, ban traffic, close public spaces where gangs congregate and jail curfew violators for up to two months, the New York Post reported. Sound familiar?

It is bitter irony that the French and others are behaving just as Israel has behaved in the face of terrorism for nearly 60 years. This is not to absolve Israel or these other countries of transgressions, but they are handling their conflicts just as Israel did. All these years, critics berated Israel’s tactics, right or wrong, and now their countries are doing no differently.

After bombings in New Delhi took 59 lives, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hinted at terrorist connections in Muslim neighbor Pakistan when he reminded Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf of “Pakistan’s commitment to ending cross-border terrorism, and said that he continued to be disturbed at indications of external linkages” to the bombings, Sanjaya Baru, a spokesman for Singh, told the Associated Press.

Translated, Musharraf probably has as much control over Pakistan’s extremists as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has over Palestinian extremists.

In addition, India and Pakistan have been haggling about opening checkpoints in Kashmir to help earthquake victims, most of whom are Pakistanis. Delays in opening these roads are rooted in security concerns.

Thailand has been battling an insurgency in the south where 80 percent of the population is Muslim. Thailand has sent 30,000 troops and police officers there, angering many residents, according to Reuters. Russian President Vladimir Putin told critics of his response to terrorism to mind their own business; Kurds in northern Iraq ejected Sunni Arabs from land seized by American troops; and British security killed an innocent man suspected of terrorism after London’s subways were bombed.

Interestingly, Britain is home to many members of the International Solidarity Movement who flew to Israel to shield Palestinian homes from Israeli bulldozers. Suha Arafat, widow of Yasser Arafat, even lives in Paris with some of the billions of dollars that Arafat diverted from programs for his people to himself.

Perhaps the ISM members from England will rush across the channel to shield rioters from French police, and Suha Arafat will share her living quarters with these hoodlums.

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