Prime Minister Netanyahu earned his keep in Paris yesterday.
According to an incredibly hostile report last night by Channel 2, the French tried to prevent Netanyahu from participating in the rally yesterday in Paris, claiming that having him march with other leaders would detract from the message of unity in the fight against terrorism.
It’s possible that the French had no idea how offensive their position is, treating the frontline state in the war against the global jihad as a leper. But there is a lot of that going around these days.
Let us not forget that the French voted in favor of the Palestinian statehood resolution at the UN Security Council in an act of aggression against Israel and the US and the struggle against global jihad.
For them, and for a growing number of Jew haters in Europe and distressingly in the US, terrorism involves the murder of non-Jews for political purposes.
Defying their prejudiced position, Netanyahu insisted that Israel not be cast aside and was willing even to have the media terrorizing terrorist Mahmoud Abbas march in the parade in order to ensure that Israel would be properly represented.
Then, to add insult to injury, the French tried to prevent Netanyahu from travelling in the same bus as the other world leaders and wanted to shove him into bus #2 with their hired help. He had none of it. So they made him wait outside the bus, exposed to assassin fire for long moments before they finally agreed to treat Israel’s leader with respect.
Then they tried to force him into the cheap seats at the march, pushing him into the second row to hide him.
Here too, he had none of it and found an elegant way of pushing back.
And thank God he did.
As the videos in the attached story show, for the Jews of France, Netanyahu’s presence was a cathartic experience. It was essential for their mourning process and for soothing their fears for their future. They greeted him — and through him Israel — as their champion, as the person they can depend on in their moment of need.
In Channel 2’s coverage last night, they told the story through hateful French eyes — a story of a pushy, impolite Israeli leader who forced himself on the poor French in contravention of diplomatic practice. They gave less than 5 seconds of coverage of his reception at Paris’s Great Synagogue. They hid from the public the glaring fact that normal diplomatic practice, particularly in France, involves humiliating and condemning the Jewish state. By denying the public the knowledge of how profoundly Netanyahu’s presence touched the Jews of France, as witnessed by their calls to him during the march, and then more evocatively at the synagogue, they hid from us the basic truth of our country.
Israel is the savior, the port in the storm for the Jewish people. It is our privilege and our duty. Every Israeli deserves to understand that. And by hiding the truth while demeaning Netanyahu’s refusal to be cowed as so much Israeli pushiness and bad manners, Channel 2 failed the public.
I know we know it anyway, but it was painful and infuriating to watch all the same.