|Thursday, November 17, 2005
|Before The Riots
In France, Divestment Was The Rage.
|By Fred Taub,
|As printed at
Make no mistake about it. The riots in France
are related to the campaign to divest-from-Israel, and in a scarier way than
you may imagine. Let's look at the basic facts.
campaign is part and parcel of the Arab boycott of Israel. Divestment is by
definition a boycott of investments, and the divestment advocates along with
the Palestinian Authority are pressing businesses around the world to boycott
Israel, as evident by the push to have Caterpillar to stop selling products to
Israel and PA efforts to isolate Israel economically in Malaysia and in other
parts of the world. The Caterpillar boycott did not just include products used
by the Israeli military, but equipment used to build housing and roads as well,
thus it was an overall campaign to hurt Israel as a nation.
In the US,
asking businesses to engage in the Arab boycott of Israel is a direct violation
of the US antiboycott laws, which were put in place to protect trade with
nations friendly to the US and to prevent boycott efforts from being used to
create de facto foreign policy, which Congress affirmed as its role when
passing the law. Divestment advocates made Caterpillar itself a target by
telling people Caterpillar is bad just for selling its products to Israel.
Caterpillar was not just asked to stop investing in Israel, but more simply to
directly boycott Israel by stopping all sales to the government of Israel and
to Israeli businesses in general. The Caterpillar campaign was started by the
Palestinian Authority, which is signatory to the Arab League boycott of Israel.
If some people, therefore, think that the divest-from-Israel campaign is not
related to the Arab boycott of Israel, they only have to look at the
Caterpillar boycott effort to realize it is.
Caterpillar has rejected
calls to boycott Israel because they realized, among other things, that
refusing to sell products to Israel based on information supplied in support of
the Arab boycott of Israel would be a direct violation of US Import Export
regulations. As such, Caterpillar, just like other businesses and
municipalities such as the city of Somerville, Massachusetts, has rejected
efforts to engage in the divest-from-Israel campaign. The divest-from-Israel
campaign is illegal, and Divestment Watch has outlined the illegalities in
complaints to the US Office of Antiboycott Compliance of the US Department of
In France, not only has boycotting Israeli products been
pushed, but boycotting the products of Jewish-owned businesses in France is
prevalent. Synagogues in France have been bombed and Jews in France are afraid
to show any symbols identifying their faith in fear of attack. The problem is
so bad in France that rabbis have forbidden Jews from wearing religiously
prescribed head coverings despite the fact that such head coverings are
religious mandates dating back centuries.
In essence, French Jews are
in fear of and have been in fear for their lives for many years, and from the
same people who are now rioting in France. Some media pundits have claimed that
the riots are because of a lack of economic opportunity, which is to say that
people who refuse to look for jobs and compete are therefore somehow justified
to riot, which is absurd. First, we have learned in the US that anyone in any
ethnic group can build their own future if they just try, and that can be
applied in any country, including France. Second, the French socialist society
makes sure that even people who do not want to work have everything they need
anyhow, thus they created a disincentive to work. By subsidizing unemployment,
France has just encouraged it. France hands out all basic needs and these riots
are the thank you cards in return.
Even if the economic claims was
true, these are not economic riots. The trigger of the riots is seldom
mentioned in the media. Two Muslim teens trespassed into a power substation and
were electrocuted. Muslims then falsely claimed that the teens were chased into
the power station by the police who are therefore responsible for their deaths
when in reality the teens illegally entered into a hazardous area where only
trained professionals are allowed. Yes, the riots are based on the false claim
by Muslims that infidels killed Muslims, thus these riotous mayhem and
destruction is aimed at everyone who Muslims call infidels, specifically
One media pundit tried to claim that the Muslims were
burning their own cars and in their own neighborhoods. While some in the media
are clearly trying to cover the fact that Muslims are specifically rioting
against non-Muslims, the claim that Muslims were targeting their
co-religionists have been quickly shot down, and rightfully so. The riots in
France are simply Muslims attacking non-Muslims the same way Muslim governments
sanction oppression of non-Muslims in their countries under Islamic Dimi laws.
And what was the response from France? Not much. Then again, what
should we expect from the same country that taught its children not to fight
for any reason and as a result stood by and watched as the Nazi's were marching
into Paris. These days, France stood up for Saddam Hussein, and Jews in France
are scared to even say they are Jewish. The French still teach non- resistance
to violence, and we see the results of that policy here again today.
Forgetting the lack of response and action by France to stop the riots,
these riots are an outgrowth of the spread of the Arab boycott of Israel's most
recent incarnation, the divest-from-Israel campaign. The riots were simply a
next phase after a lack of response from French citizens to stop bigotry. The
Muslim Arab anti-Semitic attacks in France started with boycotts, then came
small attacks, then bigger attacks, then the divestment campaign, then even
bigger attacks, and now riots. What does each stage of these anti-Semitic
campaigns have in common? The answer is the lack of response from the French
people and the French government to stop the attacks. By keeping silent, the
French sent a message of approval and complacency which only led to the
escalation of violence we see in the Muslim riots in France.
a far cry from peaceful protest. Rioters simply do not care about the property
or safety of others or care for peaceful and friendly relations with others.
Rioting is a selfish act of hate. No one can ever claim that rioting can ever
bring peace. Allowing riots to go on for weeks, as the French government did,
is tantamount to acceptance of the rioters' destruction, if not their mission.
France should have taken immediate action to stop the riots when they first
began, and because they didn't, the riots intensified. This is a direct result
of the non-response by the French government which lead to more rioting and a
virtual sense of permission to continue rioting because nobody was stopping it
or cared to stop it.
The divest-from-Israel campaign is simply a weapon
in the arsenal of hate which preceded the riots in France. In order to achieve
peace, there needs to be economic cooperation, and the goal of divestment and
boycott is to end all economic cooperation. Israel has peace with Jordan, and
that peace is based on the free trade between the two countries. By advocating
divestment, one is by definition anti-peace. There is simply no way one can
claim divestment and boycott will bring peace, especially when the same Arab
countries that enforce the Arab boycott of Israel refuse to have any peace with
Israel and when countries that have peace with Israel have open trade with
Israel. Peace and economic cooperation go hand in hand.
Is there a
connection between the divest-from-Israel campaign and the riots in France?
Absolutely. These riots are divestment gone wild. If we ever want to see peace
in the Middle East, is had to come with free and open trade. The next time you
see a so called 'peace activist' advocating the divest- from-Israel campaign,
call them what they really are - call them hate and war mongers.