Charles Johnson and Israel’s rightist supporters are gnashing their teeth over the Hapoel soccer brawl in Paris in which a French Caribbean (Black) transit police appears to have saved his own life and that of a French Jewish Hapoel fan by firing his pistol into a surging crowd of far-right fans of the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) soccer team:
One man was killed and another seriously injured, apparently with a single shot in the skirmish in which some PSG supporters shouted racial epithets.
The officer, originally from the Caribbean, was trying to protect a French Jew from the gang of PSG supporters, officials said.
Prosecutor Jean-Claude Marin said a judicial investigation would be formally opened…but that the transport police officer, identified as Antoine Granomort, likely fired his gun in legitimate defense.
He was confronted with “a horde … of extremely excited, extremely violent and extremely aggressive people,” Marin said on France-Info radio. The officer’s aggressors were 50 centimeters to one meter (two to three feet) away when a single shot was fired, Marin said, apparently citing the police officer’s account.
The prosecutor’s office identified the dead man as 24-year-old Julien Quemener…
“They were shouting ‘filthy Jew’ and when they saw our colleague, who comes from the Caribbean, they also yelled, ‘filthy black, we’re going to get you,” said Luc Poignant, a police union official…
Police said the two men who were shot were members of PSG’s far-right fan base that has a notorious violent and racist history…
Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said some PSG fans shouted “Death to the Jew” as they attacked the Hapoel fan. The police officer responded with tear gas, but was knocked to the ground by a blow to the head and kick to the stomach, Sarkozy said. He then drew his gun and opened fire.
“Two men fell to the ground, of which one died from his wounds, while the other suffered a lung injury,” Sarkozy said.
The Paris prosecutor said the PSG supporters had made Nazi salutes and shouted, “Le Pen, president,” a reference to Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of the extreme-right National Front party…
Overt racism has become increasingly common at PSG’s Parc de Princes stadium, with insults and monkey chants often directed at black players. Hooligan gangs also often look to fight black and Arab members of multiethnic rival gangs at the stadium during games.
The wingnuts preferred narrative would’ve been for the PSG fans to have been French Muslims so they could rail about their hatred of Jews. Now, the ultra-Israel wingnuts can tut-tut about European anti-Semitism, but not blame it on their favored target, Muslims. Tant pis for them.
The irony of all this is that except for their anti-Semitism, both the French rightists & pro-Israeli rightists like Johnson have much in common. They both detest Arabs and Blacks. The both see themselves as leaders of populist movements. Both believe that not only is their particular race is superior to another, they believe a battle to the death with it is necessary.
This incident proves that race is not a legitimate wedge between human beings. Otherwise, the policeman would never have made the stand he did in saving a Jewish life. No, race does not divide us. The Rightists would prefer to characterize the war as being based on religion or race. But it is politics and the hatred it generates that is the real danger.
Jake Haller says
Believe me; if I could be party to some bizarre Faustian deal, where if there had to be anti-Semitism in Europe and the neo-Nazis would be responsible for 100% of it, I would snatch it up quickly. It would make things a lot simpler. For example; the condemnations from the EU, UN and other bodies would likely ring a lot more sincere. Also, it could remove a stumbling block in negotiations between Israel and the Arabs.
But unfortunately it’s not the case. One horrific example being the Ilan Halimi murder in Paris. There is ample evidence not only of media reports trying to play down the anti-Jewish aspect of it but that many in the neighborhood new a “Juif” was being held against his will in a basement dungeon and didn’t even inform the authorities.
Ultra-right anti-Semitism is unfortunately clear and (although it pains to use the expression) honest in its intentions but that makes it easier to fight against. However, when the hatred emanates from other (non Nazi) ideologies, there’s seems to be enough wiggle room to change its very essence and create complications in ways to battle it.
This brings up a question for one George Soros. Your inclusion of his name in recent posts is more in support of the policy groups he’s going to support as opposed to the man himself, but perhaps it’s not out of place to rhetorically ask him to elaborate on something mentioned in a JTA article regarding one of his speeches
“JTA, the Jewish news service, reported that Soros told listeners: “There is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. The policies of the Bush administration and the Sharon administration contribute to that.”
If “we change that direction, then anti-Semitism also will diminish,” said Soros, a Hungarian-born U.S. Jew who escaped the Holocaust by fleeing to London as a child.
“Soros was implying that the hard-line policies of Ariel Sharon’s government, and support of that stance by President Bush, have stirred things up for Jews worldwide — with anti-Israel feelings spilling over into anti-Semitic outbursts. ”
The anti-Semitism he is referring to; who are the perpetrators? He didn’t mention explicitly but for argument’s sake, let’s say he was referring to Arabs/Muslims incensed over Israeli policies. Putting aside for a moment that his view is ludicrous, a question would be that if granted; the situation of the Palestinians vis a vis Israel is causing their co-religionists and co-ethnicists in Europe to take their (justified) wrath out on Europe’s Jews until there’s a “change in direction” (as Soros said), then where did Israel go wrong to provoke a mob of French Nazis determined to murder a French Jew and how should she change direction in preventing such reoccurances?
If he would respond that some forms of anti-Semitism has a pretext (and therefore a kernel of justification like the kind he referred to ) while others have none, (neo-Nazis) to me that demonstrates a shocking lack of moral clarity.
BTW, this wasn’t meant to provoke as rather to gather your insights to see if double standards on this topic are acknowledged outside of the pulp mashed out by LGF and other diseminators of errant nonsense.
Richard Silverstein says
I would never make the claim that there is no Muslim anti-Semitism in Europe or anywhere else. I would never make the claim that the Halimi case isn’t horrible & deserving of condemnation & punishment. But I also wouldn’t jump fr. a single incident to draw a general conclusion about all Muslims or all of Islam as the Islamophobes do.
For every case of Muslim hate, I can point to at least one or more of Muslim tolerance toward Jews.
I don’t at all buy yr judgment of Soros’ views of anti-Semitism as being “ludicrous.” It is clearly true that Israel’s brutal policies have stirred up more hatred than previously existed of Jews & Israelis. The same is true regarding U.S. policy in the ME including Iraq & other countries. Do you accept that there is much greater hatred of us than previously existed in the ME & Arab/Muslim countries in general after our ill-fated invasion of Iraq? If you do, then you should also accept the corollary regarding Israel.
And the hatred of Israel is not confined to Muslims or skinheads. It is, unfortunately far broader than that. When a huge percentage of survey respondents view Israel as one of the world’s most dangerous nations (along with the U.S.), you know something’s wrong. There are many other who are not classic anti-Semites who detest Israel’s policies. Unfortunately, some of these have a violent streak & are willing to take their anger to an extreme. I am NOT defending or justifying such an action nor was Soros. I am merely describing it as a phenomenon that exists. If Israel was living at peace with the Palestinians then of course there would still be anti-Semitism. But it would be less virulent & less prevalent.
Perhaps French skinheads would never be mollified by a change in Israeli policies. Perhaps this is the type of anti-Semitism that will linger even after Israel becomes a nation like all other nations. No one says we can end all anti-Semitism. But Israel has control over its own policies. And whatever hatred flows specifically fr. those policies would be “diminished” precisely as Soros says.