Parts of the French left have no problems participating in anti-Semitic demonstrations demanding that Jews be kicked out of France. The Socialist government is less than pleased.
PARIS. What happened in the streets of Paris on the 26th of January? On the eve of Shoah Remembrance Day, a significant contingent of demonstrators marching in the Jour de Colère [Day of Rage] howled “Jews, get out of France” and other vicious anti-Semitic slogans.
The best coverage of the march I have seen begins with a display of Islamic Jew hatred on the Champs Elysées in October 2012. Then, scenes of wild Dieudonné fans mocking the Shoah alternate with choice excerpts from the Day of Rage, illustrating converging branches of Jew hatred packed into a cocktail of contemptuous destructive rage.
One week later, on February 2nd, a far larger crowd marched peacefully for five hours with absolutely no violence, anti-Semitism, or disrespect for the République. The Manif’ pour tous [Everyone’s protest march] is a movement created last year in an attempt to block the passage of the mariage pour tous [marriage for everyone] Bill. Though the Hollande government tried desperately to link the two movements, the difference is visible to the naked eye and confirmed by closer examination of the people, the discourse, and the outcome.
The Left, which is never more than a heartbeat away from the barricades, adores street protests… when it is in the Opposition. Today, an embattled government with nothing to show for its first 18 months in office but a tawdry politico-sexual scandal at the summit is tut-tutting about “baseless” demonstrations. The JDC [Jour de Colère] is, apparently, the brainchild of Béatrice Bourges, a dissident of the MPT [Manif’ pour Tous]. Exasperated with the failure to prevent passage of the same-sex marriage law, Bourges created an aggressive Printemps Français [French Spring] faction that engaged in battles with the police, easily used by the government to discredit the squeaky clean MPT movement that had mobilized at least half a million. Having failed to take over leadership of the MPT, Bourges sought new allies and new forms of action.
Ten days before the Day of Rage, in a debate with Pierre Cassen of the anti-Islamization site Riposte Laïque, Béatrice Bourges presented her analysis of same-sex marriage and parenthood, by adoption and eventually artificial insemination and womb rental, as part of a global project of “transhumanism.” The plan is to create a New Man hors sol [without national identity] and hors sexe [without sexual identity], a slave of an oligarchy determined to rule the world by turning people into featureless units of production and consumption. Her choice of villains and vocabulary ring with the familiar string of adjectives often associated, in times of trouble, with Jews: “stateless cosmopolitan unscrupulous money-grubbing demons of finance …”
Cassen announced he would not participate in the Day of Rage after Dieudonné encouraged his followers to join the troops. Bourges countered, helter skelter, that Dieudonné himself wouldn’t attend, the best way to discourage his acolytes was to ignore them, but it doesn’t matter if they do come because this is the Day for all the rhymes and reasons of Rage, no one should be excluded. Expressed rage, she said, is less prone to violence than repressed rage. These and other predictions about attendance—“it will be a tsunami”– and results—“the government has feet of clay, a few good blows and it will topple”– turned out to be equally inaccurate. I have not found on the Jour de Colère or Printemps Français any statement sites of disapproval of the anti-Semitic slogans, chants, and signs.
Though Béatrice Bourges is believed to be a central figure in the JDC organization, the movement adopted the anonymous Facebook-twitter image ascribed to the “Arab Spring.” Another “Arab Spring” prop, the “Hollande dégage” [Hollande, bug off] slogan, picked up from one of the participating groups, goes back to Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” and subsequent uprisings in Libya, Egypt, etc. “Day of rage” is associated with a Palestinian practice of periodic organized violence against Israel. Aside from the strange Middle East echoes, these borrowings perpetuate the idea that we are living under a dictatorship that must be overthrown. (Similar echoes were found in the Occupy Wall Street movement.)
This justified accusations that the protest movement is aimed at destroying the République. But nothing can hide the Left’s paternity of a movement that coalesces dark forces from all extremes of the political spectrum. It would be impossible within the limits of this article to give an idea of the pot pourri of participating groups listed on the Jour de Colère site. Splinters, split-offs, offshoots of multiple varieties–anti-Islamization, Muslims against gender theory, anti-globalization, anti-population replacement, Catholic fundamentalists, old fashioned neo-Nazis, small businessmen, freelancers, nationalists, royalists, farmers… An undercurrent of the Jew hatred that emerged on the Day of Rage can be discerned here and there: the campaign to keep children home from school to protest gender theory indoctrination in kindergartens was organized by Farida Belghoul, one of the pioneers of the “beur” [second generation Maghrebi] movement spawned on the Left. She is now allied with arch anti-Semite Alain Soral. Media Press, a JDC-friendly site links to articles such as “Is Manuel Valls the Interior Minister of France or Israel?”
Will the coalition of united rage, fired by the weakness of the French government, find Jew hatred as its common denominator? The danger is real. Socialist deputy Julien Dray declared that an important faction of the Day of Rage demonstration intended to march into the rue des Rosiers in the heart of the Jewish Marais. Sammy Ghozlan, president of the BNVCA [Bureau national de vigilance contre l’antisémitisme] warns that when the law catches up with Dieudonné and puts him in handcuffs, it could trigger a “Crystal Day.”
Is there room for the hope that many French people, disgusted with overt Jew hatred, will withdraw from the hastily concocted coalition? It only took fourteen years for the guttural shouts of “Kill the Jews” that have been ringing out in pro-Palestinian, anti-war, pro-Hamas and go-jihad marches to reach the ears of French media. And for the government to recognize that anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism is a danger to the République.
The Manif’ pour Tous is another story and the government didn’t know what to do about it. Spokespersons and friendly media pumped out the talking points as tens of thousands marched in bright winter sunshine: This protest is based on wild rumors. Reproductive boosters—PMA [artificial insemination] for lesbian couples and GPA [womb rental] for males—do not figure in the Family Affairs Bill slated for March. The “ABC of Equality,” experimented in hundreds of kindergartens, is not “gender theory,” it’s just about abolishing stereotypes. Mariage pour tous is the law of the land; it is undemocratic to demonstrate against it.
It didn’t work.
Monday morning the Interior Minister, followed quickly by the Prime Minister, promised they would not allow deputies from the majority to attach PMA and GPA amendments to the Bill.
By late afternoon the government announced that the controversial Bill is postponed … indefinitely.