The tragic police shooting of French 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk and the ensuing massive riots cannot but recall the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis in May 2020. Certainly, the context, history and cultures involved are different, but the destruction has been the same.
In the days after Floyd’s death, rioters destroyed stores, cars and entire city centers under the slogan “Black Lives Matter.” Not a single voice in the media or politics questioned that this was not just a reaction to a murder. Floyd’s death was a racist murder, and thus it was immediately assumed that the riots were a judgment on a society, a civilization, that was riven with “systemic racism.”
This is how France is currently being portrayed today in the international press: As a place of pure darkness, despite decades of French struggle to deal with the problem of social, religious and political integration.
A mob in Nanterre went so far as to write “Let’s make a Shoah” on the Holocaust monument in Nanterre, defaming the memory of the 200,000 Jews murdered by the collaborationist Petain regime.
It is similar to the ideology that developed in the U.S. after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., whose struggle for civil rights was undertaken in tandem with American Jews. Unfortunately, King was superseded by the likes of the deceased Malcolm X and the very much alive Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and Ilhan Omar.
France has its own history of upheaval, of course, with numerous clashes between police and crowds of French immigrants and their children. But today’s clash is more dangerous, because it is taking place at the heart of a culturally polarized world, in a confused and divided Europe irritated by the lack of real leadership in the face of a major war on the continent and the ongoing problem of immigration.
Yet the reaction to his death has completely rejected this reality. Instead, it concentrates on the impossibility of a diverse Western society of opportunity and points to Nahel as its paradigmatic victim, rather than a possible success story tragically cut off too soon.
And throughout, the Jews are seen as the guiltiest of all the white supremacists. Given this, it seems time to take into consideration the fact that the world’s oldest hatred, which created the most terrible episode in human history—the Holocaust—has found expression in the new form of rioting crowds that demolish and destroy in the name of the oppressed.
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate
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