France’s Yellow-Vest Protests Have Become a Vehicle for Anti-Semitism

March 29 2019

In an in-depth analysis of the causes of the protest movement that spread throughout France in November and has continued since then, Michel Gurfinkiel notes the anti-Semitic currents flowing through it. He takes as one example the comedienne known as La Bajon, who a few years ago turned from conventional stand-up fare to political YouTube videos often laden with anti-Semitism:

[La Bajon] intuited quite correctly that a very large constituency in France—which coalesced as the Yellow Vests—relishes [the] mixture of anti-capitalism, tax revolt, religious nostalgia, tales of murderous or suicidal violence, and—last but not least—conspiratorial anti-Semitism [she presents in her videos]. . . .

The extent to which anti-Semitism has pervaded the French protest movement is appalling. A photograph taken on December 20 from a car window, and then circulated on social media, showed a typical highway interchange squatted by Yellow Vests. Two large banners had been posted for the benefit of the passing traffic. One said: “To Disobey Unfair Laws Is Everybody’s Ethical Duty.” The second and more prominent banner, was just a list of names: “Macron=Drahi=Attali=Banques=Media=Sion.”

Which is shorthand for: “President Macron is the puppet of Patrick Drahi, the French-Israeli high-tech tycoon who was one of his earliest supporters, and of Jacques Attali, a pop philosopher of Jewish descent who once served as the socialist president François Mitterrand’s chief of staff and currently writes an influential pro-Macron column at L’Express, one of the weekly press flagships; both Drahi and Attali are in turn creatures of the Jewish banks that rule the world and the media from their stronghold in Israel, as explained in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” To make things even more graphic, the A’s were drawn as Free-Masonic triangles, and the S’s as runic Nazi letters. Three more fantastic strata are thus added to the existing anti-Semitic slogans: Judeo-Masonic conspiracy, Judaism as the new Nazism, and, by implication, the Holocaust as a hoax. . . .

On March 16, during extremely violent riots on the Champs-Elysées, Palestinian flags were prominently displayed. According to [a] poll . . . released on February 11, 44 percent of the Yellow Vests believe in a “worldwide Zionist conspiracy” compared with 22 percent of average French citizens.

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Read more at Standpoint

More about: Anti-Semitism, Emmanuel Macron, France, Politics & Current Affairs, Yellow Vests

What Egypt’s Withdrawal from the “Arab NATO” Signifies for U.S. Strategy

A few weeks ago, Egypt quietly announced its withdrawal from the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), a coalition—which also includes Jordan, the Gulf states, and the U.S.—founded at President Trump’s urging to serve as an “Arab NATO” that could work to contain Iran. Jonathan Ariel notes three major factors that most likely contributed to Egyptian President Sisi’s abandonment of MESA: his distrust of Donald Trump (and concern that Trump might lose the 2020 election) and of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman; Cairo’s perception that Iran does not pose a major threat to its security; and the current situation in Gaza:

Gaza . . . is ruled by Hamas, defined by its covenant as “one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine.” Sisi has ruthlessly persecuted the Brotherhood in Egypt. [But] Egypt, despite its dependence on Saudi largesse, has continued to maintain its ties with Qatar, which is under Saudi blockade over its unwillingness to toe the Saudi line regarding Iran. . . . Qatar is also supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood, . . . and of course Hamas.

[Qatar’s ruler] Sheikh Tamim is one of the key “go-to guys” when the situation in Gaza gets out of hand. Qatar has provided the cash that keeps Hamas solvent, and therefore at least somewhat restrained. . . . In return, Hamas listens to Qatar, which does not want it to help the Islamic State-affiliated factions involved in an armed insurrection against Egyptian forces in northern Sinai. Egypt’s military is having a hard enough time coping with the insurgency as it is. The last thing it needs is for Hamas to be given a green light to cooperate with Islamic State forces in Sinai. . . .

Over the past decade, ever since Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power, Israel has also been gradually placing more and more chips in its still covert but growing alliance with Saudi Arabia. Egypt’s decision to pull out of MESA should give it cause to reconsider. Without Egypt, MESA has zero viability unless it is to include either U.S. forces or Israeli ones. [But] one’s chances of winning the lottery seem infinitely higher than those of MESA’s including the IDF. . . . Given that Egypt, the Arab world’s biggest and militarily most powerful state and its traditional leader, has clearly indicated its lack of confidence in the Saudi leadership, Israel should urgently reexamine its strategy in this regard.

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More about: Egypt, Gaza Strip, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Foreign policy