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October 23, 2016 / 21 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Manuel Valls’

French PM: It Is Urgent to Reconstruct French Islam, Expel the Threats from Within

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

“Through its history and its geography—open as it is to the Mediterranean and Africa, and through its immigration, France maintains very strong ties with Islam,” French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, wrote in a lengthy article in the Journal du Dimanche Sunday. “This is the second-largest religion in our country. Millions of French Muslims live here without necessarily identifying themselves as an Arab-Muslim culture.”

“It is for these very specifically French conditions, in addition to our old Christian roots, the long Jewish presence, the important role of Freemasons, and because our country was the inventor of secularism, that France has become the target of the Islamic State,” Valls argues.

Further down the piece, Valls suggests that “all is not so bad … but all is not well either. This period requires, more than ever, a lucidity of having to face the rise of global Islamism and jihadism with its apocalyptic vision.”

“A terrible poison is spreading,” he cautions. “Slowly, insidiously, against the background of influences from abroad and rising communalism, developed against a model of society which contradicts the Republic and its values. Many Muslims in France are taken hostage by the fundamentalist Salafism, the Muslim Brotherhood, who use their worship as a banner, a weapon against others.”

“It is a mechanism of confinement, intimidation, infantilism, which targets very often, but not only the vulnerable populations. And in the end, it’s a mechanism of radicalization, made up of violence and death, compounded by the Internet and social networks. Because we cannot develop a literal and rigid vision that ignores the diversity and richness of Islam, but [our recognition of Islam’s good values] should not lead to [ignoring some Muslims’] rejection of democracy and their fight against its values,” Valls continues.

He declares that the “fight against radicalization requires an unprecedented mobilization of public authorities in prevention and de-radicalization programs, to support individuals, particularly in suitable structures that will be centers of rehabilitation and good citizenship. We need a general mobilization of all public and civil society as a whole. But beyond that, we envision the [reconstruction] of Islam in France, in which Muslims have a huge responsibility.”

In his conclusion, Valls writes: “We must beware of paternalism, but must have the lucidity to recognize that it is urgent to help Islam in France get rid of those that undermine it from within. For this, it behooves us to build a true pact with Islam in France, giving this foundation a central place. As the fathers of the law of December 9, 1905 [on the Separation of the Church and State], we must invent a balance with Islam in France under which the Republic offers a guarantee of free exercise of religion. If Islam is not helping the Republic to fight against those who undermine public freedoms, it will be increasingly hard for the Republic to guarantee this freedom of worship.”

Valls ends his very aggressive essay with an optimistic note: “The war against terrorism will be won, and it will further strengthen the foundations of our society, so that the poison of radicalization be forever neutralized. This is the challenge facing our generation.”

Those who have warned that radical Islam would eventually lead to the creation of concentration camps across Europe might find an echo of those expectations in Valls’s call for “rehabilitation centers,” which are only a shade away from those infamous Vietnamese “re-education camps” that sprouted after the fall of Saigon.

In renegotiating Islam’s place in a secular France, Valls will also do well to look into early Muslim history, specifically the 10-year truce Muhammad signed at Hudaybiyyah with the tribes of Mecca, a truce he broke two years later, attacking and conquering the poor fools. Indeed, back in 2013, PA Minister of Religious Affairs Al-Habbash, with Mahmoud Abbas listening, compared PA agreements with Israel to that ancient pact that led not to peace but to victory over his peace partners. “This is the example and this is the model to emulate,” Al-Habbash recommended.


EU Counter-Anti-Semitism Czar: Our Goal to Allow Jews Fear-Free Life in Europe

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

The EU’s coordinator for combating anti-Semitism, Katharina von Schnurbein, this week told the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs about the European Union’s efforts to combat anti-Semitism. “The goal of all this activity is that Jews will be able to live in Europe without fear,” she said. “The fact that we have reached a situation whereby Jews send their children to schools behind barbed wire fences or send them to public schools without knowing whether they will be exposed to incitement there – this situation is unacceptable. The fact that we see security guards outside synagogues – and we have grown used to this – this is also unacceptable. But it doesn’t end there. There are security guards outside government buildings. The security situation is no longer limited to Jewish communities. We are convinced that it is the responsibility of society as a whole to combat anti-Semitism.”

Von Schnurbein said the general increase in anti-Semitic incidents throughout Europe and the “atmosphere of hatred,” particularly online, are very worrying. She said that since her appointment in December, the EU’s activity against anti-Semitism has included dialogue with the major Internet companies — Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft — which brought about the formation of the Code of Conduct. Under the code, the online giants pledged to fund organizations that would help them monitor the situation and train people who will report any inciting content online.

Committee Chairman MK Avraham Neguise (Likud) thanked von Schnurbein for the Code of Conduct legislation, which he said would allow social media companies to “remove hate speech inciting to violence within 24 hours,” which is “a correct and important step, the fruits of which I hope we will see immediately.”

Neguise told the meeting, which was also attended by EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen, of a survey conducted ahead of the meeting among rabbis and Jewish community leaders in Europe. The survey, commissioned by the European Jewish Association and the Rabbinical Center of Europe, indicates that anti-Semitism is intensifying in Western European countries, but pointed out that the involvement of Muslim refugees in anti-Semitic incidents is marginal. The same survey showed that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Eastern Europe is decreasing.

“We are currently monitoring the process to see if there really is a change. We want to see a real change on the ground,” von Schnurbein said. “Today, only 13 of the 28 member states properly apply the [Code of Conduct] law . . . We are pressuring them to implement it.”

Rabbi Aryeh Goldberg of the Rabbinical Center of Europe said, “You cannot on the one hand constantly try to undermine the foundations of Judaism – be it brit milah (male circumcision ritual) or kosher shechitah (slaughtering of animals for food in accordance with Jewish law) – and on the other hand talk all the time about wanting to eradicate anti-Semitism.”

Yogev Karasenty, the Diaspora Affairs Ministry’s Director for Combating Anti-Semitism, said “It is not at all certain that the legislation trickles down to the ground level. There are Internet companies which declare a policy [of removing inciting content] but do not implement it.”

Yaakov Haguel, head of the World Zionist Organization’s Department for Countering Anti-Semitism, mentioned an EU survey conducted a few years ago which revealed that 74% of the victims of anti-Semitic attacks do not report them to the authorities. This indicates, he said, that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe is significantly higher than what the official figures show.

Addressing von Schnurbein and Faaborg-Andersen, Haguel said, “These Jews are your citizens, they are European citizens, proud citizens who want to live in Europe, who want to raise their children in Europe, who pay taxes. Before legislation and enforcement and education – what kind of atmosphere is being created for your citizens there? For us, the Jewish people, it is very concerning, but you, who represent the sovereign governments of each country, are responsible for the Jewish citizens, just as you are responsible for all the other citizens.”

NGO Monitor President Gerald M. Steinberg spoke of the “new anti-Semitism” and said the rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents and terror attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions “is directly linked to the incitement we hear about every day in Europe and the world. It is obvious that phrases such as ‘war crimes,’ ‘genocide,’ ‘violation of international law,’ ‘ethnic cleansing’ and ‘apartheid’ — which are said repeatedly in reference to Israel — feed this anti-Semitism.”

Ido Daniel, Program Director at Israeli Students Combating Anti-Semitism, mentioned that in 2014 the organization filed some 14,000 complaints with new media companies regarding anti-Semitic content online, and in 2015 the number of complaints to Twitter, Google, Facebook and Instagram rose to about 29,000. The trend is continuing in 2016, and the organization expects to file over 30,000 complaints by the end of the year, he told the committee.

“The social networks allow many people to disseminate inciting messages which are then translated into physical acts against Jews,” said Daniel, who noted that Jewish students from Brussels told him that they conceal their real last names on Facebook to avoid receiving hateful and insulting messages.

MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) said, “History has already shown us what happens when displays of hatred and violence are not dealt with. There is terror all over the world now, and the social networks serve as a [broad platform] for this activity. This is not only Israel’s — it is the problem of entire world. Terror strikes in Brussels, Paris, Turkey and the United States. It’s a global problem.”

Rut Zach of the Foreign Ministry’s Department for Combating Antisemitism said that since von Schnurbein’s appointment “we can see concrete action against anti-Semitism in Europe,” adding that the left in Europe must take the lead on this issue. “The left is supposed to protect human rights,” she said.

Carol Nuriel, Acting Director of ADL’s Israel office, presented the findings of a poll showing that one in every three Europeans holds anti-Semitic opinions. Another survey conducted by ADL after the terror attacks at the offices of the satirical weekly French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, the kosher supermarket Hypercacher and the Jewish Museum in Brussels indicated a 10-20% decrease in anti-Semitism in France, Germany and Belgium.

“The awareness of the danger of violence against Jews created a sort of solidarity with the Jewish communities, and it is very important to preserve this solidarity,” Nuriel stressed. “Another conclusion is that when elected officials act – and we all remember French Prime Minister Manuel Valls’s historic speech – there are results on the ground.”

Ambassador Faaborg-Andersen said, “We are all in agreement about the urgency of the battle against anti-Semitism, which is a despicable phenomenon. The EU is committed 100 percent to this fight.”

Chairman Neguise concluded the meeting by saying that the committee calls on the EU to act against anti-Semitism through legislation and education. He also urged the organizations combating the phenomenon to work together.


L’Express: Israel Spied on French Prime Minister’s Cellphone

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

When French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was visiting Israel from May 21 to 24 this year, he meant to carry a message of reconciliation to revive the peace process with the Palestinian Authority. But, according to a report in L’Express, the “friend of Israel” as Valls likes to present himself, did not expect the special reception he received: he and his entourage were asked to leave their secure phones before being ushered into high profile meetings, and when they took them back, the delegation was shocked to find that many of the phones showed signs of an “anomaly.”

Back in Paris, the devices that were suspected of having been handled by Israel were handed over to L’Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information (The National Agency for computer security, ANSSI) for further investigation, which is still ongoing.

“We never comment on the results of a potential attack,” an ANSSI spokesperson told L’Express. The spokesperson acknowledged that a laptop belonging to the prime minister’s entourage broke down during the visit to Israel, adding that “the current investigation is part of normal procedure,” and that allies don’t spy on one another.

L’Express expects that this suspicion of electronic monitoring may have an adverse effect on the already complicated relations between France and Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has issued a statement saying that “Israel denies this information. Israel considers France a friendly country, to which we transmit information if necessary, and against which we do not spy.”

David Israel

Netanyahu Ready to Go to Paris ‘Tomorrow’ for Direct 2-State Talks with Abbas

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday met with his French counterpart Manuel Valls in Jerusalem, and the two issued a joint statement dealing with the common goals of Israel and France as well as the solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict which would include two states for two peoples.

“Although we disagree as to the best way to reach peace, I appreciate your commitment to seek peace,” Netanyahu told Valls. “I know how important it is for you to bring an end to the terrible violence that has been taking place in our region for too long, and I wish to thank you and President Hollande for your commitment to peace.”

Referring to the French peace initiative which is expected to take place in Paris in a week and a half without direct involvement of the two sides in the conflict, Netanyahu insisted that the only way to reach peace is through direct negotiations with the PA Arabs. “In a direct negotiation the Palestinian leadership would be forced to face a clear choice, and the choice is simple — recognize the Jewish State or continue to educate their people that some day Israel will disappear,” Netanyahu said. “And I urge you not to allow the Palestinian leadership to evade this tough choice.”

Netanyahu told Valls that he would be ready to embrace a French initiative if it would include direct negotiations between himself and the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas. “Every problematic issue will be on the negotiating table — mutual recognition, incitement, borders, refugee, as well as the settlements,” Netanyahu promised. “I’m ready to clear my schedule and fly to Paris tomorrow. Actually, I believe tomorrow we’re expanding the government, but the day after. And this is an open-ended offer. I’ll clear my agenda. And I hope you and the Palestinians will agree.”

Netanyahu also addressed the French vote last month at UNESCO, in favor of a resolution that referred to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall by their Arab names only and rejected any Jewish “claim” on the history of the holy sites. He congratulated Valls on his apology over the matter and his admission that it had been a mistake.

Prime Minister Valls promised to pass Netanyahu’s offer regarding the peace negotiations to President Hollande. “We are in favor of anything that would contribute to the peace,” Valls said. “We can discuss it, and we will make all the necessary clarifications. The discussion, I’m certain, will be most direct. But don’t doubt for one minute our will to do whatever is possible for peace, our commitment and my personal commitment in the fight against anti-Semitism, and the complete and unequivocal certainty that the Jewish roots of Jerusalem are completely indisputable.”

David Israel

Netanyahu ‘Doubts French Impartiality’ in Paris Peace Initiative

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at this week’s cabinet meeting that he told French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in their meeting Sunday morning that his country’s support of a UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem cast doubt on the impartiality of France in its upcoming “peace initiative.”

More than 20 foreign ministers are invited to a meeting on May 30 to set the agenda for the “initiative” to be held later this year. Israel and the Palestinian Authority are not invited to the May gathering.

“I told him that the scandalous resolution accepted at UNESCO with France’s support, that does not recognize the bond of thousands of years between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount, casts a shadow over the impartiality of the entire forum France is trying to convene,” Netanyahu told the weekly cabinet meeting after holding talks with Ayrault in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu had already sent a strongly-worded letter to French President Francois Hollande over his country’s vote supporting the UNESCO resolution to erase historic Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, Channel 2 news reported. The Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the resolution in mid-April on “Occupied Palestine” presented by several Arab countries. It refers several times to Israel as the “occupying power.”

The prime minister wrote that he was “astounded” by the support of France for such an “offensive and historic distortion of truth” and “an extremely biased and offensive” resolution.

“While we have no illusions as to the the UN’s commitment to truth or decency, we were honestly astounded to see our French friends raise their hands in favor of this shameful resolution,” Netanyahu wrote.

Hollande attempted to excuse his nation’s support for the resolution in a letter to the French Jewish community, calling the vote a “misunderstanding” and pledging not to support such measures in the future. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called the wording of the resolution “clumsy” and “unfortunate.” He added that his country’s vote “changed nothing” in its approach to the Israel-PA issue.

The French foreign minister arrived Sunday in Jerusalem to attempt to convince Netanyahu to participate in the Paris “peace initiative.”

But Israel’s prime minister has already dismissed the so-called “initiative” – saying bluntly that any real solution will only result from direct bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“I am willing to meet President Abbas today, right now,” Netanyahu said during a live chat Q&A session on Twitter this past Thursday. “He can come to my home here in Jerusalem or I can go to his home here in Ramallah.”

There have been no talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority since April 2014.

Hana Levi Julian

French PM Announces $45 Million Plan to Rehab Muslim Extremists

Monday, May 9th, 2016

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Monday unveiled a program to establish regional centers across the country where locals will be “de-radicalized.” The centers will aim to prevent those identified as vulnerable to radical thinking from falling into the hands of the Muslim extremists.

Valls said the judicial authorities will be sending about half, if not more, of the clients for the new de-radicalization centers, primarily individuals “who cannot be put in prison.”

The Prime Minister said the “phenomenon of radicalization had widely penetrated into society” and that “it has deeply damaged the Republican pact.”

According to The Local, some 1,600 young French are already enrolled in state-run de-radicalization programs, which the new budget will increase 3,600 individuals over the next two years. In early February, Le Figaro published a leaked government report showing there were 8,250 committed Muslim radicals living in France — a number which had doubled since the previous year. Around 70% of the suspected Islamist radicals are male and 80% of the cases are considered “serious.” According to Le Figaro, there has been a significant rise in the number of women and teenagers who became radicalized.

In January, France announced the establishment of “de-radicalization” prison wings, where prisoners who have been convicted of terrorism are kept in isolated cells, unable to communicate with and influence fellow inmates.

The new rehab program has encountered the familiar NIMBY problem, as the opening of the first de-radicalization center, in Beaumont-en-Véron in central France, has provoke angry opposition from local residents who feared they could become the next terror targets.

“Yesterday it was Paris, tomorrow perhaps it could be us. Obviously we are scared,” one local resident told reporters.

The government established a “green number” in 2014, which French citizens can call to alert the authorities about their neighbors who have become radicalized. The green number has been a success and the Prime Minister plans to invest in more Jihadist threat hotlines.

David Israel

PM Valls: ‘Jews of France Are Too Often Afraid’

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

Nearly 1000 Jews were surprised to find themselves listening to French Prime Minister Manuel Valls Monday night at the top Jewish event of the season in France.

Valls replaced President Francois Hollande as keynote speaker at the 31st annual political dinner of the CRIF, the Council of Jewish Institutions of France. The switch came after Hollande realized he could not leave Brussels during the European Union-Turkey summit on the migration crisis.

Perhaps it was for the best. Valls was blunt in his remarks about the rising anti-Semitism in France, and the government’s outrage over the attacks.

“Yes, the Jews of France are too often afraid. To wear a kippah, to go to the synagogue, to go shopping in the kosher shops, send their children to public school. We don’t accept this reality,’’ Valls said.

The prime minister acknowledged the fact that anti-Semitism is coming from both sides of the political spectrum in the country, denouncing it from “the extreme right as well as from far left”.

He vigorously defended the right of Jews in France to live and dress as they please, to be Jews in France.

Valls also acknowledged that anti-Zionism is simply a thin veil for the new style of hatred of Jews. “There is anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism which is simply synonymous with anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel,” he said.

“The Jews of France have built France and they must continue to build it –but at the same time I know the solidarity that binds you to Israel,”Valls added.

“Israel is a democracy, a nation that speaks to the world, and France will always be by its side.”

Former French foreign minister Laurent Fabius was the architect of a proposed French peace summit designed to re-launch final status talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority this year.

But France announced it would recognize the PA as an independent sovereign Arab nation regardless of the outcome of the venture, thereby obviating its purpose and destroying any hope for its success.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pm-valls-jews-of-france-are-too-often-afraid/2016/03/08/

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