Paris’ March of Folly


Inclusion of leaders like Abbas and Turkey’s Davutoglu turned a symbolic moment into a farce.

This Sunday, a gaggle of world leaders rushed to France to march along with hundreds of thousands of Parisians to commemorate the murders of 17 civilians by Islamic terrorists last week. It was, according to reports, the largest public gathering the city has seen since booting out Hitler and his gang in 1945, an inspired moment of global communion proving that our species could yet prove capable to come together in peace.

Scratch that. The rally was a sham, mired by the presence of invited guests who represent precisely the kind of behavior the marchers purported to protest.

Just slightly to the left of Francois Hollande, for example, strode Mahmoud Abbas. If the rally in Paris was organized to decry the killing of Jews and the violent silencing of journalists, Abbas’s inclusion is a farce. As the President of the Palestinian Authority, he’s presided over a fiercely restrictive regime, arresting journalists for covering his Fatah movement unfavorably and engaging in other censorious behaviors that had won his government the dismal mark of 83 out of 100 on Freedom House’s Press Freedom score, 100 being the worst. Late last year, when an armed gunman did in Jerusalem exactly what men sharing his convictions did in Paris last week, shooting an Israeli rabbi for expressing controversial opinions, Abbas sent a letter of condolence to the man’s family after the terrorist was apprehended and killed by Israeli security forces. The shooter, Abbas waxed poetic, was a martyr whose death will be added to the crimes of the Israeli occupation.

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