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November 27, 2015 / 15 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘hollande’

Obama and Hollande Commit to Destroying ‘Radical Terrorism’ of ISIS

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama and French President François Hollande held a joint press conference at the White House on Tuesday, Nov. 24, to reinforce their dedication to eradicating ISIS while maintaining the common values America and France share, values of freedom for all, including religious freedom and equality.

Obama spoke first. He pushed the theme of the Nov. 13 Paris terrorists targeting not military or political leaders, but ordinary people who had gathered to sing, to eat, to compete. The terrorists, Obama said, “focused on the very spirit of France, and by extension, all liberal democracies. It was an attack against the world itself.”

While most of the talk was about true love and loyalty between the two nations and increased and enhanced intelligence sharing and continued commitment to destroying ISIS, a few newsworthy nuggets were uttered.

The very first question asked by a reporter was about the overnight shooting down of a Russian fighter jet by the Turks, and the impact that will have on the coalition fighting ISIS.

Both presidents said they were still in the fact collection stage and both emphasized the necessity that the incident not be permitted to escalate.

However, President Obama in particular took this opportunity, and several others, to softly chastise Russia. He said, “this reflects the ongoing problem with the Russian operations” in Syria. Instead of targeting ISIS with their airstrikes, the Russians have been concentrating on hitting the “moderate opposition.”

“Russia is welcome to be a part of this coalition,” Obama said, but it must make the “strategic shift,” which Obama said he’s been stressing to Putin for five years already, “from propping up the Assad regime” to helping to take out ISIS.

Hollande repeatedly referred to Friday’s United Nations Security Resolution 2249, pointing out that there is a unified position, which is that “strikes must be against Daesh (ISIS), against terrorism,” that all the nations must coordinate and cooperate against ISIS. That resolution calls ISIS an “unprecedented threat to international peace and security” and calls on all member states to take all necessary measures to help defeat it.

Some of the reporters took the heads of states to task, asking why, given the leaders’ statements for more than a year that “Assad must go,” they’ve welcomed Russia into the coalition, which seems inconsistent with that goal.

French President Francois Hollande at the White House, Nov. 24, 2015.

French President Francois Hollande at the White House, Nov. 24, 2015.

Hollande refused to give a specific expiration date for Assad’s leadership, saying only that it “must be as soon as possible.”

Hollande claimed that “there is a new mindset now.”  He said it was because not only has the crisis continued for four years and left more than 300,000 people dead, but it is no longer contained within the region, and has begun spilling over into Europe and the rest of the world.

So what will France and the U.S. and the coalition partners do that is different, now?

They will not be sending in ground troops, Hollande said, but instead will be “intensifying strikes, with more specific targets.” They will “focus on cutting off Daesh resources, taking out their command and training centers, reducing the flow of foreign fighters, targeting the hearts of the cities where Daesh is,” and helping to ensure the local forces on the ground are able to complete the tasks of destroying ISIS.

Hollande again invoked Friday’s Security Council resolution, which he said was “evidence that the entire world is committed to fighting against Daesh, that is the one single goal, to fight against terrorism and to defeat Daesh.”

“Assad cannot be the future of Syria, there must be a transition from Assad” Hollande said, “he’s the problem, he cannot be the solution.”

U.S. President Barack Obama. Nov. 24, 2015.

U.S. President Barack Obama. Nov. 24, 2015.

Obama also looked to the future, beyond the elimination of ISIS, and talked about what would be needed to put Syria back together. “It will be a long process to put it back together, create stability, rebuild lives,” Obama said, “but it’s possible.”

Circling back to Russia, Obama pointed out that the coalition fighting ISIS is made up of 65 countries, whereas “Russian and Iran are in a coalition of two.” Right now, Obama said, “Russia is the outlier” in supporting Assad.

But with all the discussion of eradicating ISIS and ensuring that the flow of terrorist fighters be cut off, both leaders re-committed themselves to inviting in refugees from the Middle East, and not betraying our central values.

Obama said that “America is strengthened by people of every faith and background.” He said “we must not succumb to fear or allow it to divide us,” while repeating the claim that “nobody goes through more intense checks than refugees,” as if that is a reassuringly high standard.

Finally, Obama will be going to Paris on Monday, along with 150 other heads of state, for the Climate Change Conference. Hollande said “Paris has never before hosted so many leaders.” He sees this meeting as a symbol to the terrorists that they will not disrupt the plans and lives of civilized people. He also said it shows that the strength of the shared value of “life.”

Hollande said the world leaders would be gathering in Paris to take a symbolic stand against radical terrorism and also to show they are working to prepare for the future.

In the more than one hour press conference devoted to a global response to the barbarous terrorist global-caliphate-seeking ISIS, the words Islam and Muslim were not uttered.

“Viva la France and God bless America,” were Obama’s final words.

Obama Adamant His is the Right Strategy; Hollande Recognizes ‘We are at War’

Monday, November 16th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama had everyone’s attention with the major world leaders and international journalists attending the G-20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey on Monday, Nov. 16.

In the wake of Friday’s Paris massacres carried out by ISIS and its supporters which led to hundreds dead and wounded civilians, it is not an exaggeration to say that people were anticipating a statement of strength and resolve from a man in the position which has long been considered the leader of the free world.

That is not the message they heard from Obama.

Instead, Obama appeared to be digging in his heels, refusing to consider that he may have misjudged ISIS and may have pursued the wrong strategy thus far with the growing barbaric and now global threat to civilization, ISIS.

Obama bridled at the reporters who asked variations of the same questions: did you underestimate ISIS? are you going to change your strategy, given ISIS has grown in size and capability in the year since he committed to fighting them? do you now agree that ISIS is not ‘contained?’

“That’s the same question I’ve already answered three times,” Obama said. He insisted that the strategy the U.S. is pursuing is “the right one,” and that he would not just announce a new strategy that makes for a good headline. He referred to the Paris massacre as a “setback.”

Obama responded to the query whether he knew that ISIS had the capability to carry out an attack like the one in Paris: “We have been fully aware of their potential to carry out a full military attack,” he said, but he continued to dig in, not only insisting his strategy is the right one, but also continuing to downplay the enormity of the threat.

The U.S. Commander in Chief described ISIS as “a handful of people” with “not wildly sophisticated weapons,” ones “who don’t care if they die.” That, he claimed, is what makes it very difficult to defeat them.

One reporter dared to ask the President whether the president thought he “understand[s] this enemy well enough to defeat them?”

The U.S. President was terse, he was indignant and he was dismissive of the journalists for not being satisfied with his answers. What people did not see or hear was an anger directed at the global enemy. When Obama said the nations are united to “defeat this enemy, ISIL,” his tone sounded more like he was reading a shopping list or a weather report than a conviction to overcome the barbarians.

The President finally did find his footing when he launched into his familiar trope of Muslims being the largest number of victims. “The overwhelming majority of victims of terrorism are themselves Muslim.”

Obama made the point, once again, that it is “wrong to equate ISIL with Islam,” it is “wrong to consider ISIL a Muslim problem instead of a terrorist problem.”

He admitted that “the most vicious terrorist groups at the moment claim to be speaking for true Muslims,” but countered that by pointing to leaders of the Muslim majority countries like Erdogan in Turkey, and the leadership of Malaysia and Indonesia, who are “tolerant and work to be inclusive of all their people.” Really? Ask the non-Muslim majorities in those countries how well they are treated.

But this time Obama was willing to concede that it is important for “Muslims around the world to ask very serious questions about how these ideologies have taken root and built up over time” just as it is important for non-Muslims not to stereotype Muslims.” He claimed that “there have been times when there has not been enough pushback against extremist thoughts or rationales for why Muslims feel marginalized.”

Pakistan Frees Terrorist behind Murder of Mumbai Chabad Rabbi

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

Israel, France and the United States have sharply criticized Pakistan’s surprise release of the alleged mastermind terrorist allegedly behind the 2008 attacks on a Mumbai hotel and Chabad Center, where Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife were among six Americans and 160 others killed, including six Americans.

Israel’s ambassador to India Daniel Carmon said:

Israel is surprised and disappointed by the release of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the mastermind of the Mumbai attack in which, as part of the horrific attack, also Israeli nationals and a Jewish centre – the Nariman [Chabad] House – were targeted.

This release is a setback for the international efforts in the war against terror in which India and Israel are close partners.

The United States said it was “gravely concerned:” after Lakhvi walked out of jail on Friday. French President Francois Hollande, was hosting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the reelease was “deeply shocking.”

Modi said: “There is a need for global action to deal with terrorism. All nations should commit that they will not provide shelter to terrorists but punish them.”

State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said at the daily news briefing Friday, “Pakistan has pledged its cooperation in bringing the perpetrators, financiers, and sponsors of the Mumbai terrorist attacks to justice, and we urge Pakistan to follow through on that commitment to ensure justice for the 166 innocent people, including six Americans, who lost their lives.”

Lakhvi was released after a Pakistani court suspended his detention. He had been arrested one week after the attacks.

Netanyahu Rained on France’s Parade (Thank God)

Monday, January 12th, 2015

There’s indication and reports that the French government did everything it could to try and dissuade Israeli PM Netanyahu from visiting France and participating in their unity march, and when that failed, they insulted him with political snubs.

Security may sound like valid concern for not wanting Netanyahu there, but with 40 other world leaders present, that excuse sounds feeble.

The bottom line is that Hollande didn’t want Netanyahu raining on France’s parade.

Because France is different. France’s terrorism is not like Israel’s terrorism.

France’s terrorism is against liberté and equality and fraternity.

While in France’s eyes, as the French media pointed out, Israel’s terrorism stems from a political dispute.

And if France wasn’t sure Israel understood that message, if Bibi dared show up, France would condescendingly invite the head of the PLO to march next to Bibi just to make that point absolutely clear.

But to their dismay Netanyahu showed up, and he didn’t let them keep him in the second row, or put him on the second bus, and he didn’t stand next to the Munich Massacre financier Abu Mazen either.

And it was incredibly important that Netanyahu did all that.

Because while numerous countries around the world are dealing with Islamic terrorism, it is Israel that has faced it from the beginning, and has fought it, often quite alone, not just for Israel’s sake, but for the entire world’s.

Over the past few years so, the Jewish communities of France have been subject to terrorism and violent anti-Semitism. Terrorism because they were Jewish, not because they were French or drew some offensive cartoons.

The Islamic terrorist attacks in France last week were the natural evolution of those attacks on the Jewish people.

But when the Islamic terrorists murdered Ilan Halimi and the Jewish children in Toulouse, they weren’t just attacking some Jews, like the French perhaps thought. They were attacking France itself and the values it stands for. The Jews were just first in line.

Netanyahu’s participation at the front of the march, on the first bus, and in the Paris Synagogue were messages that France and Hollande need to hear – that Israel and the Jewish people are one, we stand together, and we lead the fight against Islamic terrorism for us and for you.

The terrorism that France faces is the same exact terrorism that Israel fights, and when that terrorism in France was primarily directed at Jews, when the French didn’t yet comprehend that it was also directed at them and at their liberté and democracy, we in Israel, we the Jewish people understood it completely.

Upon entering the Paris synagogue, Netanyahu was greeted with cheers and song, not because he is the Prime Minister of Israel, but because he is viewed as the Prime Minister of the Jewish people.

By snubbing Netanyahu, France wasn’t just snubbing Israel, it was snubbing France’s own Jewish citizens, it was belittling the previous terror attacks against France’s Jewish communities, and showing that France doesn’t yet fully comprehend the magnitude of its latest encounter with Islamic terror.

One hopes that Hollande and France will understand Netanyahu’s message, and realize that France must unconditionally stand with Israel against Islamic terror, just as Israel and the Jewish people stand with France in their hour of need, at the front of the line.


Paris Anti-Hollande March Turns into Day of Hatred of Jews

Monday, January 27th, 2014

A march through Paris against French President Francois Hollande ended with anti-Semitic chants and cries of support for an anti-Semitic comedian.

At least 150 protesters were arrested in the “Day of Anger” demonstrations on Sunday, according to reports. Nineteen police officers were injured in clashes with protesters, one seriously, the French news agency AFP reported. Police estimated that 17,000 participated in the march.

Protesters performed the quenelle, a gesture reminiscent of the Hitler salute that was invented by the anti-Semitic French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala. They also called for freedom of speech on Dieudonne’s behalf.

Anti-Semitic chants included “Jews go home” and “Jews, France is not your country.”

The Union of French Jewish Students, or UEJF, condemned “anti-Semitic slogans and Nazi salutes” by some protesters, and the group’s president, Sacha Reingewirtz, told AFP, “This Day of Anger has turned into a day of hate.”

Hollande Visits Graves of Victims of Toulouse Jewish School Attack

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

French President Francois Hollande visited the Jerusalem graves of the victims of the attack on a Toulouse Jewish school on Tuesday, accompanied by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and members of the Sandler and Monsonego families.

Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30; his children Gabriel, 6, and Aryeh,3; and Miriam Monsonego, 8, were killed in March 2012 when radical Islamist Mohammed Merah entered the Ozar HaTorah school in the city in southwest France and shot at students and teachers.

The school slayings came a few days after Merah gunned down three French soldiers in two drive-by shootings from a scooter near Toulouse.

Merah was shot dead three days after the school shooting during a standoff with police. He had admitted to the shootings, saying they were in retaliation for Israel’s alleged treatment of Palestinian Authority Arabs.

Peres and Netanyahu ‘Parlent Francois’ to Hollande

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu practiced out their French Sunday to welcome French President Francois Hollande at Ben Gurion Airport Sunday.

Hollande suffered the Israeli accent, assuming he is like most Frenchmen, who shiver whenever a foreigner tries to pretend he can speak French.

Hollande returned the compliment and told Prime Minister Netanyahu, in Hebrew, that he would “always remain a friend of Israel.”

Netanyahu said, “Vive la France, vive l’Israel, vive l’amitie entre la France et l’Israel” after showering Hollande with praise in English for Paris’ stand against the Iranian and Syrian regimes.”

President Peres went all out and said, “Je suis heureux de vous recevoir en Israel à vous exprimer, au nom de tous les Israéliens, nos souhaits les plus vifs de la plus amicale et la plus chaleureuse des bienvenues. Votre visite, Monsieur le Président, met en lumière et votre attachement à Israel, et l’estime profonde qui lie nos deux peuples.”

The translation, more or less, is, “I am happy to receive you in Israel and to express in the name of all Israelis the kindest and most amiable greetings and warmest welcome. “

Having run out of superlatives, he continued in French, “Your visit, Mr. President, highlights your attachment to Israel and the profound esteem that binds our nations.”

For clinchers, he told Hollande, “The soul of France is equality” and then switched to English to explain, “I can add that the description that ‘equality is the soul of France’ accompanies me almost from birth. That is indeed France. A beating heart that gave to the world three irreplaceable words; liberty, fraternity and equality. The people of Israel owe France a great debt for standing by our side in times of peace and of war. For allowing the development of the Israel’s defensive force. Especially in the first years of the state, when we needed France more than at any other time.

“The gates of the world were closed to the survivors of the Holocaust. The countries that voted in favor of the creation of the State of Israel refused to provide even one gun for our self-defense. It was the France of the ‘resistance’ that broke the embargo which was placed upon Israel and allowed us to bring immigrants to Israel. It was France that stood by Israel’s side during our War of Independence. Enthusiastically, with the support of its citizens, its soldiers, its writers and its leaders France allowed us to defend ourselves as a sovereign state and to build a new society.”

The warm praises that the President and Prime Minister showered on Hollande, and the praise of Israel by the visiting president, contrast sharply with frigid relations nine years ago when then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon openly called on Jews in France to flee anti-Semitism and come to Israel to live.

Things have changed since then, such as the threat of a nuclear Iran even if anti-Semitism remains.

“We are full of admiration for your unflinching stance to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon for mass destruction. Iran seeks to dominate the Middle East with nuclear arms and long range missiles,” said President Peres, sparing Hollande from more ear-crunching French.

But he insisted on concluding in French and said,  “Vive la France. Vive Israel. Vive l’amitié entre la France et Israel.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/peres-and-netanyahu-parlent-francois-to-hollande/2013/11/17/

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