By Sayed Hasan
Translated from French by Jenny Bright
“You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour, and you will have war.” (Statement of Winston Churchill, after the Munich Agreement, denouncing the abandonment of Czechoslovakia by France and UK.)
The obscene project of the celebration of the terrorist state of Israel on the banks of the Seine, just a year after the latest massacre in Gaza, was conceived of in May 2015 by the mayors of Paris and Tel Aviv, and was prepared with the active support of French and Israeli governments. Revealed to the public one week before it would take place, scheduled as August 13th, 2015, it unleashed such a storm of indignation in France – political, media, society, etc. – that it quickly became clear that the atmosphere of this event would be rather explosive than festive. So that less than 48 hours before the event, a collective of organisations supporting the Palestinian people was received by the Prefecture of Police of Paris, and was able to obtain a space immediately adjacent to Tel-Aviv-sur-Seine and of equal length to organize a similar event called Gaza-sur-Seine, at the same time as the project supported by the city of Paris.
What are the lessons to take from this memorable day?
By imposing a real balance of power, civic resistance was able to obtain, in record time, the equivalent of what had been planned for months at the highest levels in two capitals, and thus two states. Several factors must have come into play. For the police force responsible for the security of the event, it was certainly preferable to bring together the largest number of protesters in a confined and known space, rather than take the risk of seeing them arise on all sides and at all hours to disturb the “festiveatmosphere” of Tel-Aviv-sur-Seine, ready to annoy the Paris mayor by greatly diminishing the scope of her privileged tribute to Israel – a just return for the security nightmare in which it had engaged them: a conflict of jurisdiction is not ruled out. Such disturbances arose all the same throughout the day, called for notably by BDSbut were it not for Gaza-sur-Seine, it is certain that a significant number of the thousands of participants of this counter-event would have expanded their ranks.
Thus, it is demonstrated once again that militant action in the service of just causes can produce dramatic results that can match, parasitise, eclipse and even sink the efforts of the most powerful French lobby – the Zionist lobby – and its countless lackeys to the highest levels of civil society and the state. Far from being an ethereal and outrageously deceitful celebration of the State of Israel, Tel-Aviv-sur-Seine transformed the very heart of Paris into a real fortified camp with a huge deployment of police, blocked roads, obstructions to traffic, checkpoints, etc. There was a half hour wait for access to Israeli banks, followed by a thorough search, so that even mainstream newspapers could question “Tel Aviv-sur Seine? No, Police sur Seine” (Le Point) or “More journalists and policemen than holidaymakers” (Le Monde). Especially since next door, Gaza-sur-Seine was freely accessible to all, with a much less tense and more festive atmosphere that was not ruined by the many one-finger-salutes and other Zionist provocations – let us note an “epic” struggle between two flag bearers: while the Palestinian flag flew almost constantly from 12am to 9 pm in the hands of a single young Franco-Lebanese, Israelis who wanted to measure up to him could hold for up to 4 minutes… ; indeed, against a master in kung-fu, the Krav Maga heresy had no chance).
Tourists on the barges could contemplate this eloquent face-to-face, and any objective observer could only emphasize the warmth and characteristic enthusiasm with which they exchanged greetings with Gaza-beach, contrasting with the coldness of their mutual interactions with Tel-Aviv-sur-Seine. This is also explained by the fact that on the Israeli side, it was more a case, for the participants, of renewing their allegiance to their Lord – the Zionist lobby – than a tourist outing or in defence of a humanitarian cause. But in any case, that gripping and unmistakable contrast provided a very eloquent image of the Israeli apartheid regime and the struggle of the Palestinian people. And predictably, Israel has thus been represented in a manner much more in line with reality, namely as a militaristic, colonial and racist state. This is certainly not what the organisers wanted, aspiring to identify Tel Aviv as some kind of Tahiti with fine sand and ukuleles (or rather techno music: Israel is not quite a well-refined society…) and finally favoured the awakening of the population to the Palestinian cause, welcomed by the participating organizations who have touched many consciences and made a number of new recruits throughout the day. A new pearl for the annals of disastrous advertising campaigns – a veritable sabotage.
And much more, the obscenity of the organisation of such an event and the extraordinary means which were granted it will undoubtedly permit many citizens to open their eyes to the unacceptable power of the Zionist lobby, and the humiliating subservience of the French state to it. Today, it is no longer necessary to be a reader of sources such as Panamza or other alternative media to know that it is the Jewish Defense League, a terrorist organization banned as such in the US and in Israel itself, which ultimately granted or refused visitors access to Tel-Aviv-sur-Seine, despite the presence of police forces who should have been solely responsible: we can clearly read that in mainstream sources such as Libération, Le Point or Les Inrockuptibles, which emphasise with more or less force the outrageousness of this.
It is therefore attested that a part of the territory of Paris has indeed been privatised and occupied by an extremist militia in the service of Tel Aviv which was allowed to proceed with, in the territory of the Republic, the ethnic filtering in vigour in Israel. The communist newspaper L’Humanité, which has distinguished and honoured itself by denouncing vehemently in many articles the indecency of Tel-Aviv-sur-Seine, including publishing an articlerequesting the dissolution of the JDL, was even the victim of a false biological attack, one of the many specialties of French-Israeli criminal Ulcan– but we must wait for the mainstream media to break the censorship, reflect current tastes and report these things in more detail. Let us recall that the dissolution of the JDL had been promised by the Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve in July 2014 – in a moment of madness, no doubt, but he would have made (dis)honourable amends – after inconceivably violent acts of aggression of this militia against pro-Palestinian protesters during which it was once again proved that the police was under their heel, their brutality and total impunity being exposed in bright daylight in the most explicit videos. And it was this very event that was used by the French government as a pretext to ban all protests of support for Gaza in Paris, the only place in the world to issue such a decision. The depths of vileness and submission in which the French elites buried themselves, combined with the boundless arrogance and even blindness of their Zionist Lords, contributed, again, to bringing to light that which until then, was reserved for those with access to so called “conspiracy” sources. So this day was, in every way, an undeniable success for citizen resistance and the Palestinian cause.
To conclude, I wish to relate an anecdote that is personal but, I think, highly significant.
As I announced, I myself made an act of civil disobedience by trying to disrupt the Tel-Aviv-sur-Seine event. I intended to infiltrate it alone and to brandish a burnt doll while chanting “Israel Terrorist! Paris Accomplice! / Hidalgo Collabo!”, but when I saw the thoroughness of searches, I realised that I would have no chance of passing with this artefact. So I contented myself with carrying out my protest along the queues that led to it.
As expected, I was greeted very aggressively by some of the people queuing. One of them even hit me and tried to tear my doll away – a man in his fifties. Having resolved to be irreproachable, I did not react and continued in an impassive manner, receiving many words and hostile glances but also signs of support from passersby. Then, as I expected, a hand landed on my shoulder, that of a uniformed police officer. Without excessive violence, he pushed me back against the wall and asked me to stop, and as I opposed no physical resistance but continued chanting slogans and waving my doll, he led me towards police vans. Passersby protested that I had done nothing wrong, that I had the right to demonstrate, and at least one of them followed us all the way, constantly negotiating diplomatically with the forces of order and expressing support to me.
A previous experience had led me to expect the worst: having been seriously assaulted following a demonstration after the episode of the Freedom Flotilla, subjected to 48 hours of particularly difficult custody and falsely accused by three police officers who formally claimed to recognise me as having thrown them a stone (a blatant lie; I will tell this story later and give their names), I had firmly believed that the majority of police officers were rotten swine. But I must confess that with only one exception, the ten or so policemen and CRSwho I met with were extremely correct, and, even more, seemed if not to completely sympathise, at least to be very understanding towards my undertaking. While I did not cease to chant my slogans despite their polite but firm invitations to silence, attracting a small group of bystanders (including one woman angrily waving a flag of Israel), they behaved irreproachably to me (one of them had suggested putting me to the ground to silence me, but nobody went along with him), and they even let me drink “until my thirst was quenched” when I asked for it (while refusing me this could have been a way to silence me).
What’s more, when the referent police officer came to interrogate me (I had finally been put in a van), and I explained to him the nature and the reasons for my action in insisting that I had fully cooperated with the police (except for the slogans), he again asked for my identity card that had remained with the police. He left, and when he returned, he told me he had to take me to the police station for disturbing public order, in a way that seemed to express regret or discomfort. I replied with confidence that he needed to do his work, and I knew perfectly what I was exposing myself to before coming. He asked me what I did for a living, and I told him I was a teacher, showing him my state official card, which seemed to pleasantly surprise him. He asked me if I had consumed alcohol or any illegal substance before coming to demonstrate, and I replied that being a practising Muslim, I had never consumed the like. He left, and when he returned, he told me that in the end I had done nothing to justify my arrest, I had the right to express my opinion, and that they would simply take me away from this place and release me without consequences. Which they did immediately, depositing me at Bastille Square. I told them of my desire to return to Gaza-beach to protest there peacefully, and they told me that they saw no problem in that, only advising me to hide my doll so as not to be recognised on the way. And we parted, shaking hands – at my request, after I told them they had really changed my perception of the police, who were clearly not composed only of bastards. I regretted that the woman with the Israeli flag had not witnessed this outcome.
It is only an anecdote, but given the highly virulent tone I had used to describe the police in my previous article –“ we must know that we are dealing with unscrupulous people without honour (they handed over the Jews and hunted and tortured the Resistance fighters with zealto please the occupier, and if needed will do it again), but hardly shining lights… – ”, I had to highlight this major correction and apologise to the police for this rush to judgement. And I happily recognise my fault, because this professionalism and faculty of discretion in the application of laws – technically, I should clearly have been led to the station and charged with disturbing public order – is something very encouraging for future: it would seem that the people can increasingly count on the understanding and even the assistance of a number of state agents who will be willing to overlook certain regulations, preferring the voice of their moral and professional conscience. Moreover, it confirms a trend that appeared as stigmata on various occasions in the press, that one might characterize as events of exasperation or even acts of insubordination on the part of the police forces, tired of having to repress legitimate actions or being deployed for the protection of insignificant persons or events, especially when it comes to the all-powerful Zionist lobby (by protesting officially, calling in sick, etc.). And one can hope that when the French people finally rise against the stateless financial oligarchy that oppresses and destroys its nation, the police will be in significant numbers on the side of those they are meant to protect, be it only by refusing to suppress them. From Tuileries to Montmartreand up to Béziers, it has been seen many times in the history of France, constituting its most authentically glorious pages. When will the next mutiny be?
The France of Munich has always made the choices that are the vilest and the most damaging to the people, and it has always suffered the most humiliating setbacks and the worst failures, contributing to the decay, to the decadence of the nation. And even today, it is this same stateless “Republican” elite which governs France and daily flouts its strategic interests in the service of foreign interests. That the current government is the most discredited in the history of the Fifth Republic is an eloquent sign of the growing awareness of the French people, but there is still a long way to go. Must we, like Greece, reach the bottom of the abyss before awakening? Let us dare to believe that France is capable of better, and that by drawing on its rich past and its forces, it will truly reconnect with a national pride which De Gaulle, to whom no one would ever have deigned to submit such infamy, was the last incarnation of.
CAPJPO-EuroPalestine, Droits Devant, Children of Palestine, PALMED France, the Association of Palestinians of Ile-de-France, Friends of Al-Rowwad, Nanterre Palestine, Saint-Ouen Palestine, Muslim-Mag, Judeo-Arab Collective and Citizen for Palestine, Collective against Racism and Islamophobia.
To which answered these associations and political parties: Ensemble, PIR, NPA, PG, Solidaires, CNT, Les Désobéissants, UJFP, etc.