Tony Greenstein | 14 August 2014 | Post Views:

The Post below taken from Mondoweiss, demonstrates
that the allegations of anti-Semitism in the French Palestine Solidarity
Movement march on July 13th, enabling the French state to ban Palestine
solidarity marches in support of the people of Gaza.   The trouble was entirely provoked by the
fascist Jewish Defence League, which even the USA has banned as a ‘terrorist’

A YouTube video showing
events preceding a well publicized stand off in front a Paris synagogue that
shows the violent encounter was provoked by members of the Jewish Defense

story has been confirmed by the President of the Synagogue de
la Roquette

an interview broadcast Friday on
the 24-hour news channel i-Télé, Serge
Benhaïm said that there was “not a single projectile thrown at the synagogue”
and that “at no moment, were we ever physically in danger.” (“Pas un seul
projectile lancé sur la synagogue”. “A aucun moment, nous n’avons été
physiquement en danger.”)
While Benhaïm
did not describe the street fight outside as resulting from a JDL
“provocation”, he did say that the extremist group smashed up a cafe on Rue de
la Roquette (“le président de la synagogue de la rue de la Roquette confirme
également que la LDJ a ‘cassé des chaises et des tables’) in order to confront
pro-Palestinian demonstrators (“pour aller livrer ce face-à-face”). He added
that he did not condone the action, and described the JDL as having a “bad
reputation” using a French phrase – “une renommée un peu sulfureuse — that
is not done justice by a literal translation.
Benhaïm added
that he believes rumors of an attack on the synagogue were spread due to
“‘confusion’ between the events that happened near a synagogue at
Aulnay-sous-Bois” — a reference to a firebomb thrown at a synagogue in the
northeast suburb two days prior to the July 13 demonstration.
to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency,
the front of the synagogue was attacked. No one was hurt and the building only
suffered “minor damage.”
was not, however, something that could be effortlessly and shamelessly linked
to thousands of people in the street showing solidarity with the 1.8 million
inhabitants of an open-air prison who are currently being bombed by one of the
world’s most powerful states.
Original Post:
multiple expulsions in the Medieval era to L’Affaire Dreyfuss and Vichy collaborationism,
French Jews have every reason to be wary of antisemitism. And, sadly, despite
the fact that 89 percent of French citizens this year reported having a favorable opinion of
antisemitism appears to be on
the rise in the Fifth Republic
a violent incident that took place in Paris on
Sunday widely described as antisemitic, using this narrative
as the background, was actually a street fight between pro-Palestinian
demonstrators and the Jewish Defense League; one that appears to have been
started by the extremist latter in support of Israel’s ongoing bombing campaign
that has thus far claimed the lives of almost 200 Palestinians – 80% of them
hasn’t stopped powerful anti-Palestinian voices in the U.S. from using Twitter
to appropriate the incident for their cause. On the same day he declared there
to be a causal relationship between the mass killing of Palestinians by the IDF and the
existence of Jews around the world
, former Iraq War salesman David
Frum highlighted the alleged attack amid
his stream of sabre-rattling consciousness. Former IDF Prison Guard and admitted beater of Palestinian detainees Jeffrey
Goldberg characterized the
violence as “Jews Trapped by Rioters in Paris Synagogue” and questioned whether
or not the incident was cause for migration. Dan
Gainor, a “nondenominational Chrsitian” and waterboy for a right-wing media
watch dog called Media Research Center” declared, in a refreshingly honest fashion for a bigot,
that “France shows what happens after lots of #Muslim immigration: Jewish
synagogue attacked, besieged.” Avi Mayer, the social media guru for the Zionist
NGO, the Jewish Agency of Israel, declared the incident to be an “anti-Semitic riot,
which masqueraded as an anti-Israel rally.” Yair Rosenberg, a writer for Tablet
Magazine and employee of the Israeli State Archives, posted a video of the
incident, describing the
clip as capturing “anti-Israel protesters beseiging [sic] it and rioting
outside” (it shows pitched battles in the street, filmed from inside the
then used his inaccurate description of the 25 second video to effortlessly justify both
Israeli ethnic cleansing and the IDF’s most recent massacre of Palestinians
“With European anti-Semitic attacks spiking during Israel’s operation,” he
declared, “starting to get feeling that some anti-Zionists might not like
Jews.” And J-Street, the “pro-Israel, pro-Peace” lobbying group that falsely portrays the ongoing subjugation
of Palestinians in as a conflict between equal factions
, decried the
incident, describing it as “our brothers and sisters in Paris trapped inside a
synagogue on Shabbat, pelted with rocks, surrounded by crowds with sticks and
chairs and calling for Jewish blood.” 
for the aforementioned hawks and the reporters upon which they relied, the
incident was far from an antisemitic attack – a fact laid bare by readily
available information.
of the loudest voices denouncing this
false characterization
 belongs to a Jewish woman named Michèle
Sibony, a member of the Union Juive Francaise pour Le Paix – The
French Jewish Union for Peace. Sibony, incensed by what she described as an
Islamophobic report of the demonstration on a Nouvel Observateur blog, penned an open letter to
its editor. Posted on the UJFP website, her side of the story in question, as
interpreted by Mondoweiss, is as
thugs tried to attack the Synagogue de la Roquette? You cite, without
flinching, a ‘testimony of the JDL.’ The announcement of the JDL assembly you
mention, in support of Israel before the Synagogue de la Roquette, was
organized with the eloquent title ‘Keep Calm and Kill Hamas.’ Curiously, when a
rally for war crimes takes place in front of or inside a Synagogue, the
injection of religion in politics does not shock you, nor does it even
register. It requires no commentary from you. It is sufficient to insinuate
that the [pro-Palestinian] demonstration was antisemitic. You need that for
your cause: silence about crimes in Gaza, of which you say nothing.
I’ll tell you what I, a poor Jewish infidel, saw…at this protest:on the
Boulevard Beaumarchais, right near the Chemin Vert Métro stop, four or five JDL
types perched on a bench, completely surrounded and protected by two rows of
riot cops, threw projectiles and insults at the crowd. Cops and officials
begged the crowd to not lose its cool and respond to provocations – what they
were waiting for. Of course, as crowds dispersed, there were fights at the
entrance of the Synagogue de la Roquette, as expected, I dare say.”
also makes no apology for Islamist rebels, declaring that Palestinians have the
right to resist Israel’s occupation on their own terms:
[Israeli] army has occupied and stolen their lands, and they refuse to submit.
They’re fighting for liberty, for national liberation, and the independence of
Palestine, and against eradication, pure and simple, declared by Israel, for
resisting! Yes, Hamas and Jihad militants are resisting the occupation, as all
Palestinian political groups are, and even if my heart is to the left, I
respect them. Especially when the agenda is their dehumanization, their
demonization, and their eradication at all cost. Wouldn’t anyone – white
Christians, atheists on the left, or the right wing limousine set – have a
title as beautiful as resistance fighter?
whether or not one disagrees with Sibony’s characterizations of Hamas, which
have been applied to many others combating occupation without controversy, a
video of the incident on Rue de la Roquette lends credence to her story:
The video, posted on Monday by
a user whose library doesn’t appear to include any other video on Israel or
 (unlike the anti-Palestinian YouTube user who posted
the video shared by Rosenberg), is titled “Pro-Israelis who break everything in
front of the Synagogue on Rue de la Roquette” (“Des pro-israéliens qui cassent
tout devant la synagogue de la rue de la Roquette”). 
promised, the video shows extremist Zionists (who had said the day before that they would appear outside
of the Synagogue “to support Israel, where the population lives under the
rhythm of sirens”) smashing chairs and tables to make weapons. The group forms
barricades before pursuing pro-Palestinian demonstrators while yelling “Palestine,
we fuck you” (“Palestine, on t’encule”) and throwing missiles. The JDL members
pursue the demonstrators, but stop at the nearest intersection. A stand-off
ensues, until pro-Palestinian demonstrators themselves respond with militancy
and charge, bearing a hastily-cobbled together armory of their own. The JDL
members, minus a few comrades who were attacked, retreat behind a line of riot
police, and take refuge near the synagogue – without a hint of irony, in light
of cynical accusations that Hamas has been employing “human shields” in one of
the most densely populated strips of land on earth. The pro-Palestinian
combatants withdraw soon after, closely watched by police.
does this violence appear to be motivated by hatred of Judaism. But that hasn’t
led any of the previously mentioned journalists, flack or their sources to
issue corrections.
is not to say that antisemitic attacks don’t occur in France. Also on Sunday,
for example, not far from the Synagogue de la Roquette, the Synagogue de la rue des
Tournelles was targeted by a few individuals in an attack that lead to several
. Yet, unlike the vivid images captured outside the Synagogue
de la Roquette, the rue des Tournelles incident didn’t fuel wild rumors of a
mob siege depicting a sizable part of the pro-Palestinian march as antisemitic
— an extremely powerful, but ultimately false, tale in these combustible times. 

About Sam Knight

Sam Knight is a freelance journalist who was born, raised and
currently lives in Washington DC. He studied French for eight years and went to
college in Montreal.

Posted in

Tony Greenstein

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.