Paris Demonstration, A first-person account by Dr. Shimon Samuels, SWC Paris-based International Relations Director

12 January 2015

11 January 2015 — Participating in the Paris march reminded me of another. In 1990, a recently buried cadaver in the Carpentras Jewish cemetery was exhumed by hate-infested vandals and propped on an umbrella. Then-President François Mitterrand led a protest march of 250,000 along the same route in Paris as today. He was accompanied by the movement “SOS Racisme”, bearing posters with the message “Black, White, Arab, Jew – Do Not Touch My Friends!” (“Touche pas à mon pote!”).

The years passed as anti-Semitism returned to Paris and Jews asked, “Where are our friends? Where are the politicians, the churches, the teachers, the unions, the media?” Large numbers of these had changed direction and are today, in solidarity with 'Palestine', i.e. ‘anti-Zionist’ and by association, no friend of the Jews.”

French Jewry felt growingly abandoned as the primary target of Jihadist Islam.
Nevertheless, as our late mentor, Simon Wiesenthal, would say: “What begins with the Jews never ends with them, it becomes the scourge of general society!”

The murderous assault on the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly along with the kosher supermarket, resulting in 17 dead over three days, highlighted Simon's maxim.

Herein hangs a question: If there had only been the kosher supermarket attack, would millions have marched and over fifty world leaders convened in Paris? Surely not, it would remain one more in the litany of Toulouse, Brussels, etc.

But they marched and they came and we joined them under a Simon Wiesenthal Center balloon inscribed, "We are all Charlie, Police, Jews," in tribute to all the victims, hoping that 11 January would mean a sea-change in such bottom-line policies as:

Stop the culture of excuse: Not all alienated, frustrated, or unemployed young people commit atrocities. There is no social welfare reason for slaughtering journalists. Charlie Hebdo cartoons are often anti-Semitic. Jews counter-attack through the law courts, not with Kalashnikovs

Stop the disconnect: Al-Qaeda, Isis, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc. are branches of the same tree. Western countries that reject this commonality with Israel will never expunge terrorism on their own soil.