Will Je suis Charlie morph into Je suis Juifs?


Deceased Kouachi Brothers, Amedy Coulibaly and  Person of Interest Hayat Boumeddiene

Last night, I spent time preparing  a set of suggested questions for two guests on Sunday’s Lisa Benson Show, Ilan Mizrahi, former Mossad Deputy Director and American-Israel Barry Shaw, who is a commentator  with a blog, The View from Israel.  Because of the massacre at Charlie Hebdo we posed several questions about Israeli reactions to the unfolding events  in France. To wit:

  1.   What have been the Israeli government and media reactions to the massacre by French Muslim terrorists in Paris at the editorial offices of satiric weekly, Charlie Hebdo?
  2.  The perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo attack, the Kouachi brothers are French citizens who may have received Al Qaeda training in Yemen and Syria, with a history of prior terrorist convictions and were on no fly lists.  Why in your opinion has France failed to track, withdraw their passports and detain them?
  3. Given the significant Muslim presence in and porous borders of the EU, how difficult is monitoring the travel and activities of Islamic terrorists?
  4. Who role do you think permissive mass Muslim immigration plays in European Islamist terrorism?
  5. Do you believe Islamic terror attacks against Jewish communities in Europe are a reflection of anti-Israelism, the new Antisemitism?
  6. How successful is the Israeli counterterrorism model in preventing Islamist attacks against Israelis and Jews abroad? 


Last night an organization of young French Jews suggested that perhaps the posters for a monster rally on Sunday in Paris for  the fallen  at Charlie Hebdo should also read, “Je suis Juifs”.   That was prescient given developments  with two hostage standoffs , one at a print shop in an industrial park in Dammartin en-Goele north of Paris with the Kouachi brothers  and a second at a Kosher market in Porte de Vincennes.  That standoff  at the print shop ended in a blaze of gunfire with reports of both perpetrators being downed and an unconfirmed report that a hostage  survived .  The Kosher  super market  is located in a suburban area southwest of Charles de Gaulle Airport that is an historic Jewish and  mixed Muslim area.  Friday is a very busy shopping day in preparation for  the Shabbat for many observant Jews.  As a precaution French police upon receiving word of the  Kosher  market hostage taking  ordered all  Kosher markets in Paris closed.   The perpetrator of the Kosher market hostage standoff has been reported killed in a police raid.  Four persons were reported by witnesses to have been shot following the perpetrator’s  entry. There may be other casualties reported subsequently.

The perpetrator of the Kosher market hostage taking  Amedy Coulibaly, a 32-year-old man stated  his objective  was  in sympathy  to force the release of the Kouachi Brothers from the other standoff.  That clearly failed with the deaths of all three Islamist Jihadis with the raids  on both  the print shop in Dammartin en-Goele and Kosher super market  in Porte de Vincennes.  The black Muslim  Coulibaly may have perpetrated the murder of a French policewoman yesterday.  French police are also seeking Hayat Boumeddiene, a   26-year-old girl friend of Coulibaly. 

There were  apparently  connections  on many levels between the Kouachi brothers and  Couliby.  They were members of a sports team. They grew up together and had conspired in a failed jail break of  convicted   felons.

As recounted in an interview this morning with Nidra Poller in Paris, the Kouachi brothers and  Couliby were part of a Muslim gang in the 19th Arrondissement  who savagely beat a French Jew of North African ancestry , 17 year old Rudy Haddad in 2009.

Nidra Poller talked during our  interview  about  the Charlie Hebdo  team and their raison d’etre.   She wrote in her post:

In 2005, Charlie published the Mohamed cartoons with the same insolence as it habitually employed on priests, rabbis and other benighted believers. Courageous, yes…but also blinded by their own enlightened tolerance. On this and subsequent occasions the Charlies reiterated their faith in humanity, Muslims included. Mocking fanatics was a gesture of affection for fellow citizens of the Muslim faith. The mockery was inclusive, not aggressive. It was a way of saying “you belong to our wonderful culture.”

Instead Charlie’s equal opportunity lampooning of the Christians, Jews , Muslims and iconic figures.  That  raised the ire of French Muslims and their multi-cultural supporters with cries of Islamophobia seeking to impose Sharia Blasphemy codes to silence their antic satire.  In discussion with Poller we drew attention  to the Charlies, as she calls them,  who were products of the leftist anarchistic student rebellion of the late 1960’s in Paris.  This included iconic figures like red haired Danny Cohn- Bendit, now a member of the German Green party in the Bundestag and the Alliance in the European Parliament.  A report in the JNS by Ben Cohen drew attention to the comments of Michel Gurfinkiel   regarding  the irony of Charlie victim, 80 year old cartoonist, George “Abu” Wilinski:

Charlie Hebdo was integral to the culture of this generation. The French establishment in large part loathed it, regarding the magazine as an outpost of the revolutionaries who could conceivably have unseated General de Gaulle during the heady days of May 1968. Many of its editorial stances—including on Israel—reflected the imperatives of a left that is now, in our own time, all too ready to engage in self-censorship.

As an example, and with great sadness in his voice, Gurfinkiel told [Cohen] about George Wolinski, the Charlie Hebdo cartoonist who, at the age of 80, was brutally murdered in the attack. A Jew born in Tunis to a Sephardic mother and an Ashkenazi father, in the 1970s Wolinski had been a member of the French Communist Party and a trenchant opponent of Israel. When Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat signed the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel in 1978, Charlie Hebdo labeled the affair a “shitty peace,” and Wolinski provided an accompanying cartoon of the two leaders sitting at a table together and breaking wind. 

Now, a man who pushed freedom of speech to its limits—including in service of the Palestinian cause—lies dead, murdered by Islamists who detest the West’s ability to tolerate the grotesque and the tasteless. It is, as Gurfinkiel recognizes, a horrible irony, but it’s one that too many on the liberal left are unable or unprepared to grasp. Thus do we come to platitudes about provoking Muslims.

Nidra discussed the plight, and yet resiliencyof French Jews, the continual targets of Muslim violence.  She noted that the majority of French Jews came from former French colonies in North Africa in the 1960’s. They are more observant than their Ashkenazi counterparts, as attested in our interview with Gurfinkiel.  They are decidedly Zionist and loyal to Israel. We noted the spike in French Jewish Aliyah in 2014 of 7,000, doubling that of 2013. Nidra opined that they expect at least 10,000, perhaps upwards of 15,000 given today’s Kosher Market hostage taking in 2015.  Our mutual friend in Geneva, Imre Herzog,  contrasted that with the smaller UK Jewish community, where  assimilation is cover against the Muslim onslaught there. He noted that the UK equivalent of  the anti-Israel J Street in the US, Yachad, (Hebrew for together) had successfully petitioned the British Jewish Board of Deputies for inclusion. 

Herzog drew attention to the Swiss TV interview with Oxford University Professor, Tariq Ramadan,  broadcast live from Doha, Qatar about  the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Ramadan has been a welcomed guest at US Presidential sponsored  Muslim interfaith events in the US.  ty.  The three Ramadan brothers, are  Swiss citizens and sons of Dr. Said Ramadan the son-in-law of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al Banna. One brother, a high school teacher is also head of the Swiss Muslim Association, while the other brother is a cardiologist who regularly lectures in the Muslim Ummah. Tariq has narrated taped commentary widely circulated among Mosques in France.   Ramadan said yesterday on BBC’s “Today Programme”:

[He] condemned the attack on the Paris headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, saying that, “these are very difficult times and a very sad situation” and expressing his “deepest sympathy for the victims’ families.”

“We must start by condemning what happened and what was done in the name of Islam… what they did in fact was to betray our principles, our values and the overall message of Islam,” he stated.

In retrospect, the responses of  this Sunday’s Lisa Benson Show’s guests should be most interesting.