France Takes No Prisoners

For France there is apparently a difference between how to deal with jihadists who kill Israelis and jihadists who kill French citizens.

French troops aim to kill every jihadist they face (Photo by ResoluteSupportMedia Flickr)

Once more, Europe puts its double standards on Israel on public display. This time it is the French government, which appears to have thrown its purported support for ‘human rights’ aside when confronted with the bitter realities of Islamic terrorism — the same terrorism that Israel has had to battle for decades.

According to a recent statement by French Defense Minister Florence Parly, “We are committed along with our allies to the destruction of Daesh (Islamic State) and we’re doing everything to that end. What we want is to go to the end of this combat and of course if jihadists die in the fighting, then I’d say it’s for the best,” she added.

In June, French magazine Paris Match published a report quoting Iraqi officials around the city of Mosul before it was recaptured by US and French-backed forces. Abdelghani al-Assadi, a top commander in the Counter-Terrorism Service in Iraq, said the Iraqis had an understanding with France that, “We will prevent as much as possible any French person leaving Mosul alive… Our aim is to kill them so that no one from Daesh can flee.”

France has also engaged in targeted killings in the past, even though, according to Alan Dershowitz, the French Foreign Ministry declared that “extrajudicial executions contravene international law and are unacceptable” several years ago.

While France likes itself (and its European allies) to be able to rely on such tactics, it evidently does not find such tactics acceptable for Israel. There is one standard for Europe and a very different standard for Israel.

France has in fact been at the absolute forefront of condemning and castigating Israel for its efforts to defend itself against jihadist terrorism for decades, together with other EU countries such as Sweden, whose Foreign Minister Margot Wallström called Israeli self-defense ‘extrajudicial killings’.

In 2014, during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, when Israel protected itself against terrorists and rockets coming out of Gaza, France found it opportune to incite against the Israeli state by falsely accusing Israel of causing ‘a massacre’ in Gaza. “How many more deaths will it take to stop… the carnage in Gaza? A political solution is essential… and should in my opinion be imposed by the international community, because, despite numerous attempts, the two sides have shown themselves to be incapable of concluding negotiations,” said Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in June 2014.

One might ask a similar question of French Defense Minister Florence Parly today: How many more deaths will it take to stop Islamic State? A political solution is essential and should be imposed by the international community, because Islamic State and France have shown themselves incapable of concluding negotiations.

Or is France perhaps saying that there is a difference – moral or otherwise – between jihadists who kill Israelis and jihadists who kill French citizens?

France has been at the forefront of seeking to damage Israeli national interests on other fronts as well.

In 2014, French parliamentarians voted to recognize ‘Palestine’ – a non-existing entity, which claims on its relatively new tourism website that its history “envelops more than one million years” and that it has “played an important role in human civilization” as a “crucible of prehistoric cultures… where settled society, the alphabet, religion, and literature developed, and would become a meeting place for diverse cultures and ideas that shaped the world we know today”.

Notably, not a trace of this alleged ‘Palestinian culture’ has survived, leaving the new Palestinian Museum in Birzeit empty. It is also notable that the Arabs who call themselves ‘Palestinian’ have not become known for literature or art, but for inventing modern Islamic terrorism in the form of plane hijackings, terrorist ambushes on buses and supermarkets, suicide bombings, stabbings and car rammings. Nevertheless, the French parliament, obviously cognizant that there is no such nation as ‘Palestine’, voted 339 votes to 151 in favor of recognizing Palestine as a state in December 2014.

France also launched its so-called “peace initiative” in Paris on June 3, 2016 at an international conference that Israel was not invited to, since France – in true colonial style – evidently did not find it necessary for the ‘natives’ to participate. How would France react, if Israel would gather an international coalition who would then dictate to France that it was time to negotiate with the thousands of jihadists interested in turning France into an Islamic caliphate? That France would have to turn half its territory over to those jihadists and that any new housing built for its citizens on that territory would be seen as a provocation that might ignite new tensions in Europe?

While countries such as France make sure to take no prisoners, Israeli security forces take extra care to minimize fatalities, instead seeking to neutralize terrorists. The terrorists are subsequently given excellent care at Israeli hospitals – courtesy of the Israeli taxpayer that the terrorists set out to kill in the first place.

Judith Bergman is a columnist and political analyst

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