Events in France

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Events in France

Postby portia » Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:42 am

I think the recent events in France carry a lesson for us. We have some satirical papers, and there are other targets for attacks.

It is amazing what the memory will bring up.
I was looking at Hayat Boumediene's name and trying to recall what it reminded me of. Some more memory searching and a little Wikipedia search brought it up.
Houari Boumediene was a leader in the anti-French fighting in Algeria and later the strong man leader of Algeria from 1965 to 1978. His name stuck in my memory, even though I was never really interested in Algeria. I wonder if this woman is related? She does not look like a sub-saharan African, but rather an Algerian, more or less.

Well, We are Charlie.
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Re: Events in France

Postby Storyteller » Sat Jan 10, 2015 3:10 pm

"I am not Charlie' is already trending on Twitter. Didn't take long.

It was interesting to hear Hollande say that France is threatened because they are a land of freedom. Talk about the things memory brings up.

They'll talk a lot about free speech now because it's great misdirection. But it wasn't just Charlie Hebdo that was attacked. There was also a kosher supermarket. They hate freedom, yes - and the Jews. The two tend to overlap a lot, after all. Same old canary in the same old coal mine.

This is not a war on what you do. It's a war on who you are. And they are winning, because murder beats clever talking points every single time.
"...Their aim in war with Germany is nothing more, nothing less than extermination of Hitlerism... There is absolutely no justification for this kind of war. The ideology of Hitlerism, just like any other ideological system, can be accepted or rejected, this is a matter of political views. But everyone grasps, that an ideology can not be exterminated by force, must not be finished off with a war.” - Vyacheslav Molotov, ""On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union", 31 October 1939
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Re: Events in France

Postby portia » Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:37 am

I think you are too pessimistic.
Of course it is a war on who we are, such as democrats (small "d"), open debaters, etc, as opposed to people who follow some self-chosen leader in everything.
And they do not have only one target. They are haters of Jews, for reasons that are only partially related to hating democrats.

France also has a lot of un-assimilated muslims. So of them want to strike back at those who discriminate against them.

The US has had experience with such people, which is diminishing, but not unknown. The answer is working toward a religion- neutral; race- neutral society. But some people find that threatening.
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Re: Events in France

Postby portia » Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:01 am

With regard to the expression of opinion I would not support any limits. If it offends you; read something else.

However, I do not support unlimited comment when the subject is objective fact. Sometimes the line between the two is very thin. Saying someone supports (or supported) something, when it is clear that that is not true, needs to be criticized.


Claiming to be "defending God" by means of an attack is about as close to blasphemy as I can identify. God--of all possible targets--does not need a defense from puny humans. I would also say that She does not want such a defense, but I am averse to speaking for God. If you need to protest something, a picket is quite adequate. A violent attack just shows how insecure your confidence in God is.
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Re: Events in France

Postby hamlet » Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:25 am

portia wrote:I think you are too pessimistic.
Of course it is a war on who we are, such as democrats (small "d"), open debaters, etc, as opposed to people who follow some self-chosen leader in everything.
And they do not have only one target. They are haters of Jews, for reasons that are only partially related to hating democrats.

France also has a lot of un-assimilated muslims. So of them want to strike back at those who discriminate against them.

The US has had experience with such people, which is diminishing, but not unknown. The answer is working toward a religion- neutral; race- neutral society. But some people find that threatening.


Actually, he's not too pessimistic.

Over the last 10 years, anti-semitism in France (and, coincidentally, Hungary and several other central and Eastern European states) has increased quite dramatically. While the later I can understand (via my extraordinarily cynical viewpoint) the former kind of puzzels me. I understand the what of it - unintegrated muslim imigrants to a significant extent - but not really the why. One would have thought that integration into French society would be a priority there.
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Re: Events in France

Postby GlassHouse » Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:36 pm

Storyteller wrote:"I am not Charlie' is already trending on Twitter. Didn't take long.

I've seen this on-line but most often with the explanation that the poster finds Charlie's cartoon to be over the top offensive and racist and sexists and probably a few other -ists. Which I completely agree with. We can be for freedom of expression without agreeing with what’s being expressed and no one says that you have to repeat or display someone else’s freedom of expression. There’s also a freedom not to further display or spread things that you may think are in bad taste.
The Klan has the right to march down main street in any town in the US, but while I support that right I don't have to support them.

Storyteller wrote:It was interesting to hear Hollande say that France is threatened because they are a land of freedom. Talk about the things memory brings up.

They'll talk a lot about free speech now because it's great misdirection. But it wasn't just Charlie Hebdo that was attacked. There was also a kosher supermarket. They hate freedom, yes - and the Jews. The two tend to overlap a lot, after all. Same old canary in the same old coal mine.

This is not a war on what you do. It's a war on who you are. And they are winning, because murder beats clever talking points every single time.


To think this was just about these cartoonists is a pretty simplistic few of the history of this conflict. I agree with this Juan Cole piece. We are still playing Osama bin Laden’s game.And we ain’t winnin’.He knew that when the West started playing “Whack-a-mole,” it would create more moles. AND, more reactionary whacko’s. Which leads to more moles, which leads to more…You get the idea.

Sharpening Contradictions: Why al-Qaeda attacked Satirists in Paris

The horrific murder of the editor, cartoonists and other staff of the irreverent satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, along with two policemen, by terrorists in Paris was in my view a strategic strike, aiming at polarizing the French and European public.

The problem for a terrorist group like al-Qaeda is that its recruitment pool is Muslims, but most Muslims are not interested in terrorism. Most Muslims are not even interested in politics, much less political Islam. France is a country of 66 million, of which about 5 million is of Muslim heritage. But in polling, only a third, less than 2 million, say that they are interested in religion. French Muslims may be the most secular Muslim-heritage population in the world (ex-Soviet ethnic Muslims often also have low rates of belief and observance). Many Muslim immigrants in the post-war period to France came as laborers and were not literate people, and their grandchildren are rather distant from Middle Eastern fundamentalism, pursuing urban cosmopolitan culture such as rap and rai. In Paris, where Muslims tend to be better educated and more religious, the vast majority reject violence and say they are loyal to France.

Al-Qaeda wants to mentally colonize French Muslims, but faces a wall of disinterest. But if it can get non-Muslim French to be beastly to ethnic Muslims on the grounds that they are Muslims, it can start creating a common political identity around grievance against discrimination.


[snip]


So, to enhance recruitment, the various Middle Eastern terrorist organizations want to further divide people all across Europe, and so, one group decided to attack this French humor magazine.The cartoons were the excuse, the goal of the attack was to get the easily manipulated bigots in France and the West to have a visceral and violent reaction against the mostly secular people with Muslim roots who live there.

I wonder what they're thinking after a million or more people showed up to march for unity and peace in Paris?
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Re: Events in France

Postby Jnyusa » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:04 pm

GH, Lawrence Durrell described this phenomenon compellingly with regard to events on Cyprus during the 1950s where he lived at the time. There was a political science professor at Temple University (who's name I've forgotten) who then wrote a book about terrorism in the 1970s and formulated the same conclusions that Durrell had drawn just from living in that climate of arbitrary victimization. The Temple prof. said basically that we misidentify the target of terrorism because we confuse it with the purpose of guerrilla warfare, which is to attack a government or society who is framed as the enemy, and to subsequently displace that enemy from power. Terrorists are not interested in bringing down the government of France (for example). They target civilians not because they perceive these people to be their enemies specifically but because they know that the outrage over civilian attacks will be followed by reprisal against the population from which they themselves come. The very purpose of terrorism is to provoke reprisal.This creates new victims among their own people from whom they will then recruit. It is a way of creating popular support for a cause that would otherwise enjoy no support, being too far from the mainstream.

In a nutshell: Whomever those people are that the terrorist hates, you don't hate them enough for my taste. But I can make you hate them by doing something so outrageous to them and doing it in your name that they will harm you and you will learn to hate them as much as I do.

This does not obviate Storyteller's point that clever talking points are of no use against this strategy. Someone who thinks about the world this way needs to be eliminated. They are irredeemable from human society's point of view. But to effectively counter their strategy, you have to kill them surgically, with as little collateral damage as possible, because they are counting on maximizing the collateral damage.

I think that, as a matter of military or police strategy, we have not given enough thought or the right kind of thought to counter-strategies that not only kill the terrorists but also render them ineffectual. Prevention is the first line of defense of course, but something will slip through. It's just not possible to protect every non-combatant in a society. And then, as you mentioned, GH, there are people/groups like Charlie Hebdo who will stick their necks out to become plausible victims ... plausible in the sense that the terrorist can say the victim asked for it, even though what the victim may have done is really irrelevant. It misdirects us with regard to the underlying primary goal of the terrorist, which (in this case) would be to get as many French Moslems as possible persecuted in response.
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Re: Events in France

Postby Minardil » Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:04 am

In a nutshell: Whomever those people are that the terrorist hates, you don't hate them enough for my taste. But I can make you hate them by doing something so outrageous to them and doing it in your name that they will harm you and you will learn to hate them as much as I do.


I can see that this is the way that Terrorism actually works - or at least the way in which terrorism works most effectively in most situations - but I wonder if this is really the conscious mindset of the actual terrorists? Were the 9/11 Hijackers really thinking "My fellow Muslims don't hate America enough, so I'm going to fly a plane into an office building to engender reactionary hatred so that America will bomb Afghanistan and kill Muslims so Muslims will hate America more so there will be more hijackers for the next plane. . ." I somehow think they were really thinking that they were striking a blow against their enemies, and maybe getting some of those sweet sweet martyr virgins. . .
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Re: Events in France

Postby Jnyusa » Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:01 pm

Min, I do think that this is at least the subconscious mindset of the terrorist, and a fully conscious goals of the planners. But I would also bet that the suicide bombers themselves do not articulate their behavior this way to themselves. It is psychopathy, and what psychopaths repeat to themselves is the delusion that prompts their psychopathy - the reason for their hatred - and not a description of the psychopathy itself.

mmm... for example ... the guys who flew planes into the WTC were not the ones who planned the attack over the years previous. It doubt that they spoke to themselves of convoluted strategies. But the guys in Somalia who planned the attack certainly did speak among themselves of long-term and complicated strategy. They certainly know what these deeds accomplish, and if that were not their goal they've had plenty of time to adapt. Terrorism as a strategy of outside-the-mainstream causes has been with us since the 1950s. Those who choose this strategy today do so because it accomplishes exactly what they want to accomplish, imo.
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Re: Events in France

Postby ToshoftheWuffingas » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:31 am

This echoes my own thoughts. It is popularly thought that atrocities are carried out to subdue an opponent. If so it is spectacularly unsuccessful since the anarchist bombings of the late 19th century. Yet that is how it is always portrayed by the media. But if you change the objective into the fracture of a cohesive society along sectarian lines then it becomes plain that it is very efficient . Not only that but it is quite difficult to combat. But if that is the strategic aim then it becomes clearer what needs to be done to counter it, the preservation of societal unity. Now you see why the Middle Eastern adventures and the demonisation of a major culture is not only dumb but doing the terrorists' work for them.
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Re: Events in France

Postby Minardil » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:31 am

Yes, and that was the point I was making, that the leaders in the terrorist movements might have that strategy in mind, but the terrorists carrying out the attacks likely don't.
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Re: Events in France

Postby Storyteller » Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:45 am

ToshoftheWuffingas wrote:This echoes my own thoughts. It is popularly thought that atrocities are carried out to subdue an opponent. If so it is spectacularly unsuccessful since the anarchist bombings of the late 19th century. Yet that is how it is always portrayed by the media. But if you change the objective into the fracture of a cohesive society along sectarian lines then it becomes plain that it is very efficient . Not only that but it is quite difficult to combat. But if that is the strategic aim then it becomes clearer what needs to be done to counter it, the preservation of societal unity. Now you see why the Middle Eastern adventures and the demonisation of a major culture is not only dumb but doing the terrorists' work for them.

In other words, in order to defeat the terrorists, one must give them what they want. If you keep fighting them, you're doing the terrorists' work for them.

It occurs to me that some modern Westerners have so fallen in love with clever paradoxical thinking that they've become incapable of straightforward logic.

Atrocities are, and always have been, carried out to break the enemy's morale and will to resist. Intimidation through extreme violence is how both the Islamic State and street gangs establish dominance over populations which by far outnumber them by instilling fear. Its other goal is to galvanize support for the group committing atrocities by portraying it as the "strong horse" crushing the enemies. People love it when "our guys" win. This is why Al Qaeda, who hasn't committed large-scale high-publicity atrocities for a while has become passé among Islamic extremists and the Islamic State is the one who inspires the new wave of "lone wolves".

I find the suggestion of an ever-so-clever and sophisticated unifying grand strategy behind Islamic terrorist attacks absurd. There is no central planning headquarters that dictates strategy to Al-Qaeda, Islamic State, Boko Haram and all the way down to the shooters at Charlie Hebdo. Every gang has its own leadership and its own strategies. The reason they coincide is the unity of goals.

Drop the need to backwards-rationalize surrendering to the terrorists' demands and it's all very straightforward. What do they want? An Islamic caliphate across the Middle East. What forces stand in the way of building the caliphate? Existing governments of the region, minorities which do not subscribe to the Islam-first identity (not just non-Muslims but also Muslims whose ethnic identity comes before their religion) and the West. So they slaughter minorities, undermine the governments and try to intimidate the West into getting out of their way. Occam's razor and all.

The war with Muslim extremists is - like any war- a contest of willpower. The side who is more committed to victory will ultimately prevail if it keeps on fighting long enough to exhaust the enemy's morale. If the Islamists are kept out of power for the next twenty years, the push for global caliphate will fizzle into domestic infighting as the ideology loses the image of an ascendant force.
"...Their aim in war with Germany is nothing more, nothing less than extermination of Hitlerism... There is absolutely no justification for this kind of war. The ideology of Hitlerism, just like any other ideological system, can be accepted or rejected, this is a matter of political views. But everyone grasps, that an ideology can not be exterminated by force, must not be finished off with a war.” - Vyacheslav Molotov, ""On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union", 31 October 1939
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Re: Events in France

Postby Jnyusa » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:14 am

Storyteller wrote:In other words, in order to defeat the terrorists, one must give them what they want. If you keep fighting them, you're doing the terrorists' work for them.


When you fight them IN A PARTICULAR WAY you are doing their work for them, yes. I believe that is what we are saying.

Developing truly effective strategies against terrorism requires more imagination than we have shown so far. That would be the logical conclusion drawn from the posts above, certainly not that terrorism should not be fought or that we should give them what they want.
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Re: Events in France

Postby Storyteller » Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:40 am

Jnyusa wrote:
Storyteller wrote:In other words, in order to defeat the terrorists, one must give them what they want. If you keep fighting them, you're doing the terrorists' work for them.


When you fight them IN A PARTICULAR WAY you are doing their work for them, yes. I believe that is what we are saying.

Developing truly effective strategies against terrorism requires more imagination than we have shown so far. That would be the logical conclusion drawn from the posts above, certainly not that terrorism should not be fought or that we should give them what they want.

The way in which the poster suggests fighting terrorism just happens to mostly coincide with fulfilling said terrorists' demands.

I find it fascinating that the most obvious source of information on what the Islamic radicals want and which strategies they are applying is carefully ignored by the people invested in the idea that the only way to counteract terrorism is by being ever-nicer to Muslims. Islamic radicals, like all terrorists historically, are working overtime to spread their message far and wide. All one needs to do listen (and occasionaly use Google Translate since it's their message to their Muslim audience that is most true).

Another interesting part, of course, is the way one should reinforce societal unity in current European conditions. As someone with experience of immigration, I am quite confident that the single most powerful factor in integrating into a new society is maximizing disconnect from the source society - a task made just about impossible given the conditions of the 21 century interconnectedness, affordable air travel, European social welfare, ever-increasing share of immigrants among the population and the essential absence of a strong national identity for immigrants to be drawn into. A young second-generation Moroccan Muslim who can live in a majority-Muslim city block in Paris or elsewhere in France, speak exclusively Arabic at home and in the street, go to a Muslim or majority-Muslim school, watch Moroccan and other Arab TV, surf Arabic websites, visit Morocco a few times a year, and has no strong incentive to seek a job outside of this immigrant-dominated social pocket is not, for all practical purposes, living in France. There is no push or pull to compel him to integrate.
"...Their aim in war with Germany is nothing more, nothing less than extermination of Hitlerism... There is absolutely no justification for this kind of war. The ideology of Hitlerism, just like any other ideological system, can be accepted or rejected, this is a matter of political views. But everyone grasps, that an ideology can not be exterminated by force, must not be finished off with a war.” - Vyacheslav Molotov, ""On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union", 31 October 1939
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Re: Events in France

Postby Jnyusa » Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:59 am

Storyteller wrote:I find it fascinating that the most obvious source of information on what the Islamic radicals want and which strategies they are applying is carefully ignored by the people invested in the idea that the only way to counteract terrorism is by being ever-nicer to Muslims.


What source would that be?

Another interesting part, of course, is the way one should reinforce societal unity in current European conditions ...<snip> ...There is no push or pull to compel him to integrate.


I agree that the circumstances of immigration are very different from what they were 100 years ago, and that it is much easier today to retain contact with a distant parent culture. But I'm not sure that the isolation/integration outcomes are much different from 100 years ago. They might simply arise from different forces.

For example, immigrants to the US have always lived for 1-2 generations in isolated communities, retaining their parent language and culture and bootstrapping one another with loans, shared housing, etc., because discrimination by the larger culture forced them into this situation. If I look at the evolution of the very large Korean immigrant community within my tiny suburb, they fit your description of the modern Moslem immigrant quite well, but no one suggests that this stands in a causal relationship to terrorism. However if some terrorist movement arose in South Korea and attempted to expand its reach to the US, doubtless these immigrants would be ensnared in the web, suspicion against them would grow, racial profiling would start to appear in police behavior, their isolation would increase defensively even more, and you would have one of those self-perpetuating cycles that I think characterizes these situations.

The same evolution occurred with the IRA soliciting in the US in the 70s, the old Black Panthers in the 1960s, and the arming of Israel by the Jewish community here in 1948-9. Any movement will try to make use of its native community in this way and there has never been a time (in the US anyway) when self-contained pariah communities like that could not be found. (The worthiness of the cause is irrelevant if it is the social dynamic we are scrutinizing.)

I short, I think you are oversimplifying both the situation and the way other posters are characterizing it.
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Re: Events in France

Postby earendil81 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:31 am

Storyteller wrote:
Another interesting part, of course, is the way one should reinforce societal unity in current European conditions. As someone with experience of immigration, I am quite confident that the single most powerful factor in integrating into a new society is maximizing disconnect from the source society - a task made just about impossible given the conditions of the 21 century interconnectedness, affordable air travel, European social welfare, ever-increasing share of immigrants among the population and the essential absence of a strong national identity for immigrants to be drawn into. A young second-generation Moroccan Muslim who can live in a majority-Muslim city block in Paris or elsewhere in France, speak exclusively Arabic at home and in the street, go to a Muslim or majority-Muslim school, watch Moroccan and other Arab TV, surf Arabic websites, visit Morocco a few times a year, and has no strong incentive to seek a job outside of this immigrant-dominated social pocket is not, for all practical purposes, living in France. There is no push or pull to compel him to integrate.


And how is that different from a French immigrant living in Toronto, going to international French school and speaking French at home? Or how is it different from some of the second/third/fourth generation Israeli Jew in some Parisian neighbourhoods? I don't see it.
If you go to le Sentier in Paris and you're not a Jew (or a tourist), believe me you'll be leaving quite fast. 1) The way they look at you really makes you uncomfortable. 2) They speak in Hebrew (is my guess since I don't know the language, I should ask my sister who learned it) to you and become quite aggressive when you don't answer in the same language. I should insist on the fact that it's not all of them but I used to go to school right next to and I ended up finding another - longer - way to my school because it made me this uncomfortable to go through the main street.
So this is not one way critique. I've also heard a number of Jews who are born nationals/citizens of other countries that even though they were born Canadian/French/US citizens, if ever there was a war between their country and Israel they would fight for Israel. I let you guess how most people would react to that.

Why shouldn't Holland claim that France is a country of freedom? Isn't France the country where the concept of human rights were born? And it's part of our heritage.
Not to say France didn't stray from it. That would be denying History but if there's one thing that pisses me off, it's the constant expectation from certain people that we should be grateful or ashamed for things that our forefathers did/or didn't do 50, 100, 300 years ago.
I will not spend the rest of my life apologizing to every single Jew I meet for the Holocaust because I wasn't born. It is my responsibility to remember it but not to be sorry for it.
I will not spend the rest of my life being grateful to every US citizen I meet for intervening in WW1 and WW2. It is my responsibility to remember it but not to get on my knees and say thanks.
Otherwise let's have the US thank every single French citizen for helping them get their independence from the UK in 1776. That's a little bit of an exaggeration IMO.

Unfortunately one of the reasons why anti-semitism is increasing in some areas in France is that Jews have rights that nobody else have. Everything gets distorted through the prism of anti-semitism... Granted they've suffered before but are we going to let every Jew from now until the end of time get away with things that other citizens don't? I don't agree with that.
There are military personnel in front of every single synagogue in Paris. Some mosques were targeted and burned down after the attacks; are there soldiers there? Nope. And in front of churches? Neither. Sorry just in front of Notre Dame, but that's because it's a tourist area.

Yes a kosher market was targeted and yes the guy specifically asked each person in there what their religion was. There's no denying he was targeting the Jews in this place. But let's not forget the young Muslim, employee of the kosher shop, who saved some of the hostages. There are morons in every group of people and there are heroes in every single of them too.

France is far from perfect; I don't agree with the way you state that there are no incentive to live in France because they're in Muslim neighbourhood. The bottom line probably remains the same but the issue isn't that these neighbourhoods are Muslim, the issue is that they're poor. And they're not all migrants (though more often than not the majority).
And unfortunately that means that they don't get the same services as other places. Teachers don't want to go there: too hard. Companies won't open offices: no incentives to do so. So there's a cycle of poverty that perpetuates. That more than immigration is an issue.
Because where the State fails to do what he is supposed to, extremism takes hold. And I'm talking extremism of any sort.

France needs to take steps to facilitate integration. It's not easy. How do you change the way things have been done for a century or more?
Plus, people who migrate tend to go places where they'll find like minded people. You talk about integration being impossible because of the internet, but it was true before.
When you study migration movements in the 20th century you find that people go where they'll find others like them. There are entire neighbourhood in the suburbs near Paris that were filled with Spanish people in the 1930s. They all went to live in the same place; in those neighbourhood, the only language you'd hear was Spanish. Same with Polish population in the 1890s... I should find my notes from my classes: they must be somewhere, but it's quite obvious. When people migrate they'll go in neighbourhoods where they're more likely to find something/someone from home.

To me that's not entirely surprising. I moved to Canada in 2004: for me it was a way to cut bridges to I really didn't seek out French people. In fact, I tried to avoid them - to no avail, way too many of us out there :P - but I had an acquaintance from Romania who moved to a neighbourhood where 55% of the population was from Eastern Europe so that she had a sense of roots despite being away from her home.
I don't agree with the concept of trying to prevent people to reach for their source culture: I've lived in Canada for 10 years and I do believe in the Charter of Right. But I also sincerely believe it's particularly important to ensure that people respect the laws of the country they've come to. And by completely shunning them - voluntarily or as a collateral of policies - we're making it easier for those who would prey on them to make them believe that France doesn't want them.

Sorry it's not as organized as it should be but I rarely come on this part of the forum: Manwë terrifies me :P . In fact, I've stayed away from this discussion on every single platform because some people who have known me for more than 10 years started saying things like "the French are some of the biggest racist in the world". After a while it did become a little personal. And because after 3 days people started bashing the French for everything that they did in regards to this issue. As if, until the 3 terrorists were dead, France could do no wrong and once they were gone, France was just the most awful place to live if you're not born French.
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Re: Events in France

Postby Storyteller » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:12 pm

earendil81 wrote:
Storyteller wrote:
Another interesting part, of course, is the way one should reinforce societal unity in current European conditions. As someone with experience of immigration, I am quite confident that the single most powerful factor in integrating into a new society is maximizing disconnect from the source society - a task made just about impossible given the conditions of the 21 century interconnectedness, affordable air travel, European social welfare, ever-increasing share of immigrants among the population and the essential absence of a strong national identity for immigrants to be drawn into. A young second-generation Moroccan Muslim who can live in a majority-Muslim city block in Paris or elsewhere in France, speak exclusively Arabic at home and in the street, go to a Muslim or majority-Muslim school, watch Moroccan and other Arab TV, surf Arabic websites, visit Morocco a few times a year, and has no strong incentive to seek a job outside of this immigrant-dominated social pocket is not, for all practical purposes, living in France. There is no push or pull to compel him to integrate.


And how is that different from a French immigrant living in Toronto, going to international French school and speaking French at home?

French culture and Canadian culture are not that different. Very few points of tension.

Or how is it different from some of the second/third/fourth generation Israeli Jew in some Parisian neighbourhoods?

Fourth generation Israeli immigrant in France? That'd be quite a trick :)

If you go to le Sentier in Paris and you're not a Jew (or a tourist), believe me you'll be leaving quite fast. 1) The way they look at you really makes you uncomfortable. 2) They speak in Hebrew (is my guess since I don't know the language, I should ask my sister who learned it) to you and become quite aggressive when you don't answer in the same language. I should insist on the fact that it's not all of them but I used to go to school right next to and I ended up finding another - longer - way to my school because it made me this uncomfortable to go through the main street.

Haven't been to the place so I won't argue, but I'll give you another point of difference - there is no continuous immigration on the order of magnitude of hundreds of thousands and millions, constantly reinforcing the aversion to integrate by the sheer numbers.

Why shouldn't Holland claim that France is a country of freedom? Isn't France the country where the concept of human rights were born? And it's part of our heritage.

Oh, by all means he should! But my comment was that Hollande repeated almost verbatum what George W. Bush said after 9/11, for which he was roundly mocked at the time. I absolutely agree that they hate you for your freedom. But that was just as true about the USA.

Unfortunately one of the reasons why anti-semitism is increasing in some areas in France is that Jews have rights that nobody else have.

Such as? Do tell me, I might consider emigration if they bestow special rights upon the likes of me :)

There are military personnel in front of every single synagogue in Paris. Some mosques were targeted and burned down after the attacks; are there soldiers there? Nope. And in front of churches? Neither. Sorry just in front of Notre Dame, but that's because it's a tourist area.

Come on now. Are mosques targeted with the same frequency or the same viciousness as synagogues? Is armed protection of synagogues really a "special right" or a reflection of the fact that Jews are targeted for murder in the way that Christians are not?

For the record, I know from French immigrants here that there are Jewish communities in France quite literally going bankrupt trying to finance their own security. The government's not helping worth a damn.

Yes a kosher market was targeted and yes the guy specifically asked each person in there what their religion was. There's no denying he was targeting the Jews in this place. But let's not forget the young Muslim, employee of the kosher shop, who saved some of the hostages. There are morons in every group of people and there are heroes in every single of them too.

Unfortunately, one does not undo the other.

France is far from perfect; I don't agree with the way you state that there are no incentive to live in France because they're in Muslim neighbourhood. The bottom line probably remains the same but the issue isn't that these neighbourhoods are Muslim, the issue is that they're poor. And they're not all migrants (though more often than not the majority).

The question is whether all poor minorities behave that way,

The question is also WHY they are poor.

I'll tell you a story. My sister lives in Germany, and her best friend since high school is a Turkish Muslim girl. When my sister was new in the class, that Turkish girl was the only one in the class willing to let the new girl sit next to her.

Fifteen years later, my sister finished a Master degree and works as a tax advisor, making several times more money than her Muslim friend, who has no higher education and works (or rather worked) as a cashier in a pharmacy. They started out in the same school, neither had money behind them or any kind of social strings to pull in Germany. Why the difference? My sister, being Jewish, was programmed from childhood to seek higher education. The Turkish girl was never allowed by her devout Muslim family to study in a university; she was married young and already has two children. Her husband works as a salesman in a jewelry store. A sizeable piece of their income goes towards supporting extended family back in Turkey.

I've met Russian, Romanian and Indian immigrants in Germany; all of those I've met who immigrated in their teen years or younger are well-integrated, well-earning professionals. There are two groups for whom it is typically not true - Muslims and ethnic Germans from Kazakhstan.
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Re: Events in France

Postby earendil81 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:23 pm

Storyteller wrote:
earendil81 wrote:And how is that different from a French immigrant living in Toronto, going to international French school and speaking French at home?

French culture and Canadian culture are not that different. Very few points of tension.

Ok fine, so let me give you another one. What's the difference between French immigrants living in Barhein/Japan/Tunisia/Lebanon and going to the international French high school? You were talking about people not getting immersed in the country that welcomes them.

Or how is it different from some of the second/third/fourth generation Israeli Jew in some Parisian neighbourhoods?

Fourth generation Israeli immigrant in France? That'd be quite a trick :)

I was exaggerating for sure, but you're ignoring the question, which is why is it wrong for second generation Moroccan Muslims to go to Muslim schools and not for Jews to go to Jewish schools?
In fact, there aren't that many Muslim schools in France whereas Jewish schools are numerous and quite a few (edited to add because it's not all of them of course) funded by the government.


Haven't been to the place so I won't argue, but I'll give you another point of difference - there is no continuous immigration on the order of magnitude of hundreds of thousands and millions, constantly reinforcing the aversion to integrate by the sheer numbers.

There are half a million Jews in France, the biggest Jewish community in Europe I believe (not my say but a quote from an article I read online so not necessarily accurate :P I'll grant you that).
I won't argue with you that there are many issues with France's emigration policy. My husband is going through the hoops to get his papers and we've established that it would have been simpler for him to come illegally, and figure it out afterwards. That's absolutely disgusting. But I don't think it's accurate to say that those who come aren't willing to integrate. The problems usually come with the second generation actually. We see it regularly. Many of the first generations are actually feeling more French than they do their original citizenship. They left for a reason. But more often than not it's their children who resent France.

Oh, by all means he should! But my comment was that Hollande repeated almost verbatum what George W. Bush said after 9/11, for which he was roundly mocked at the time. I absolutely agree that they hate you for your freedom. But that was just as true about the USA.

I'll be honest: I don't remember much about Bush's discourses at the time. I guess I misunderstood your point originally because most of what Hollande said definitely was a form of propaganda and I agree with that.

Such as? Do tell me, I might consider emigration if they bestow special rights upon the likes of me :)

Come on now. Are mosques targeted with the same frequency or the same viciousness as synagogues? Is armed protection of synagogues really a "special right" or a reflection of the fact that Jews are targeted for murder in the way that Christians are not?

For the record, I know from French immigrants here that there are Jewish communities in France quite literally going bankrupt trying to finance their own security. The government's not helping worth a damn.

Sarcasm? I'm not too good with that. But ok.
Let me give you just one example: I was talking about le Sentier where everyone knows that business is done in cash. In this neighbourhood along with the 19th district, it's a well known fact that a lot of the members of the Jewish community don't declare their taxes - let say - transparently. I went to school with kids whose parents made three to four times as much money as my parents (and they said so) but they got the 1 franc (at the time) school price because they only declared a tiny part of their revenue to the revenue agency. But they came to school with the newest phone, the most expansive clothes and car.
I won't resent the fact that they're making money, they worked hard for that. Not arguing there, but they take advantage of the system and everybody knows it. But they're not being held accountable for that. Creates resentment among the other groups of population.

My parents live right next to an important synagogue in Paris (Israeli prime minister apparently made an appearance there during his visit to Paris in January). Since the events we can't even walk on the sidewalk in front of it. The parking spots are closed and unless you're waiting for your kid at the school inside the synagogue, you're not allowed to stop by. There's a grocery store right next to and many people from the neighbourhood would stop and chat there. Come on! That's exaggerated.


Unfortunately, one does not undo the other.

I'm not saying it does. But saying it was just about the kosher shop is also denying that other people died who weren't Jews but were targeted nonetheless. That's what I'm trying to say.

The question is whether all poor minorities behave that way,

The question is also WHY they are poor.

I'll tell you a story. My sister lives in Germany, and her best friend since high school is a Turkish Muslim girl. When my sister was new in the class, that Turkish girl was the only one in the class willing to let the new girl sit next to her.

Fifteen years later, my sister finished a Master degree and works as a tax advisor, making several times more money than her Muslim friend, who has no higher education and works (or rather worked) as a cashier in a pharmacy. They started out in the same school, neither had money behind them or any kind of social strings to pull in Germany. Why the difference? My sister, being Jewish, was programmed from childhood to seek higher education. The Turkish girl was never allowed by her devout Muslim family to study in a university; she was married young and already has two children. Her husband works as a salesman in a jewelry store. A sizeable piece of their income goes towards supporting extended family back in Turkey.

I've met Russian, Romanian and Indian immigrants in Germany; all of those I've met who immigrated in their teen years or younger are well-integrated, well-earning professionals. There are two groups for whom it is typically not true - Muslims and ethnic Germans from Kazakhstan.

And I know a number of lovely women my age of Muslim origins who were in high school with me and who are in position to make more money than I am. Then again I'm unemployed right now so it's not hard :P . And I've also met numerous women in the Jewish Montreal community who were my age (23 at the time), married with 2/3 children and when I asked them about their education they looked at me as if I were crazy. So it works both ways. I actually dated a young man who happened to be a Jew for a few months; we broke up after a heated discussion on the wall being raised between Israel and the West Bank (best left for other subject). But when speaking about a potential wife, which I wasn't that was made clear to me quite early on - he expected her to stop working and be at home to take care of him and the kids. He was a fun guy, we remained good friends but you have to admit that his view of a woman's role could be construed as similar to what you're saying in your example.

The truth is that there are more obstacles for women regardless of their background. Let's say it: it's a fact. I've had a number of interviews since I came back; I was 3 times among the last 2 candidates. All 3 times they hired a man. Is it discrimination? Maybe. But I can't prove it. And in truth I don't think I care.
But one of the issues is also that in France - sad as it is - young ones coming from these neighbourhoods have a hard time finding a job. You have to put your address on your resume; and every studies made show that employers practice local discrimination.

I find that the difficulty to integrate these people is coming from multiple elements and ignoring one or more is a little hypocritical.
1) there's a failure from the state to offer the same opportunities to all the communities
2) there's a resistance from some of the groups to integrate society and accept its rules
3) there's a discrimination from employers that targets these neighbourhoods keeping them in a cycle that they can't see a way out of.
Responsibility is shared. That's all I was attempting to say.
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Re: Events in France

Postby earendil81 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:42 am

I thought I would edit, and then realized I wanted to say a little bit more. So I'm posting after myself sorry.

I've been thinking about this over the past few days. I used the wrong sentence. It's not that Jews have special rights; it's just that some of them get away with things that any other person wouldn't. And again it's not the majority of them; I've worked as a baby sitter for a number of families ranging from not particularly practicing to very strict about things and they were very harsh on some of what their correligionaires were doing.
Unfortunately I find that more often than not it's the minority of a population that makes you wonder about the rest: I mean not all of us Parisians are arrogant. We do have a proud streak, not to deny that, but we're not all that awful :P . But everywhere I go, I hear Parisians are so impossibly haughty, they're insufferable. When people hear that I'm Parisian, they usually say "but you haven't lived in Paris for more than 10 years..." It would make me laugh if it weren't so narrow minded.

And narrow-mindedness is our downfall. Mine included. I'm entirely aware that
1) some of what I know, I only know through the media channels and it's as much disinformation as it is information
2) my experience has been what it is and I may tend to apply to the entire population something that only one or two people did
3) I can't understand at all what it means to be targeted for your beliefs. I've been at the end of pretty nasty comments for being religious in high school (again my lovely atheist classmates never questioned the Muslims/Jews in the class, only me the Catholic Christian) but never to a point where I felt threatened for my life.

Yet, I grew up in neighbourhoods where being a white Christian girl was belonging to the minority. And to be fair, it never bothered me. I had friends from Mali, Tunisia, Algeria, Portugal, Poland, Croatia - some Muslims, some Christians, some Jews. I loved and still love living in a neighbourhood where people come from different places. I guess my interest in the world is rooted there. Not that many religious symbols out there either. For whatever we were, we were first kids. With all the cruelty that it can entail but with all the innocence it warrants. Let's be honest: I didn't even understand the concept of racism until I was in high school. It didn't make sense to me.

My parents have a running joke about my best friend in kindergarten and first grade. His name was Patrick. I won't reveal his last name, that wouldn't be cool. His parents were from Senegal and moved to France when he was a baby. My parents were asking me what he looked like so that they could say hi one day after school. They knew exactly what he looked like: what they wanted me to say was that he was black. But I never did. I would say he had dark hair, and black eyes, that he was always wearing blue jeans and a coloured Tshirt - whatever the colour of that day. My parents found it absolutely fascinating that I never described him or anyone else by the colour of their skin. And I didn't for the longest time.
Sorry I digress.

My true concern about the events of January really is that, instead of bringing us together - as people hoped in the wake of the January 11th march - it will tear us apart around the issue of religion, which is already a hot topic.
I understand that Christianity, Judaism and Islam claim to be universal but maybe just maybe, the term was coined at a time when the world was smaller and each of them could accept that they're not meant to rule the world. In the end, I'm only an idealistic girl who wishes that people could accept that not everyone will always agree.
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Re: Events in France

Postby Jnyusa » Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:41 am

earendil81 wrote:I've been thinking about this over the past few days. I used the wrong sentence. It's not that Jews have special rights; it's just that some of them get away with things that any other person wouldn't. And again it's not the majority of them; I've worked as a baby sitter for a number of families ranging from not particularly practicing to very strict about things and they were very harsh on some of what their correligionaires were doing.


Thanks for those two posts, earendil.

I think it's difficult for the average Jew to find the right emotional balance between feeling exceptional and also knowing that our experience could be anyone's experience, and has been nearly everyone's experience at some point in history.

Christian society singled out Jews for persecution for two unbroken millennia, and the cultural core that gave rise to that persecution has not changed. In spite of the Enlightenment, in spite of the growth of humanism, Christianity is still intrinsically anti-Semitic and always will be as long as it professes that there is a god and that the Jews killed that god. So it is impossible, I think, for Jews to overcome their hyper-vigilance toward non-Jews. We will always feel more at risk, at unalloyed risk, than other Peoples are.

On the other hand, having had this experience over the millennia, we also realize that we are in a unique position to speak out against persecution no matter who is suffering it. And there is a strong drive within Jewish communities to do this, even when the State of Israel is involved.

Christianity as such is still a major force in US politics, and it plays a paradoxical role where the State of Israel is concerned. The most hawkish supporters of the Jewish State tend also to be the most fundamentally anti-Semitic social/religious groups. It is really hard to know how to accommodate this contradiction within the Jewish psyche. In Europe, I think, secularism holds more sway than it does in the US, so the relationship to Israel is different, first of all; and it might be hard for a young European growing up in a society where religion is largely removed from government to understand that Jews, whether religious or not, view their historic relationship to that society differently from non-Jews. It may be hard to understand how the core doctrine of Christianity continues to invisibly influence thinking and make Jews feel that they continue to be at unspoken risk.

Every one of these topics could fill a book, a library even, and I am generalizing to a nearly criminal degree. But the point is that I think both these things are true: that all Peoples deserve exactly the same protection from discrimination and persecution and that Jews as a People should advocate for this, but also that the Jews themselves are far more vulnerable to a reversal of tolerance than any other minority group is, and that we need to be more vigilant on our own behalf than we are on behalf of anyone else.
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Re: Events in France

Postby earendil81 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:20 am

Jnyusa, thank you for your answer. Sorry I didn't reply before; I've been away from TORC for a few days...

I've been thinking a lot about this. About my shortcomings and prejudices. I like to think I'm openminded; yet reading some of my posts I realized I came out more forceful and not quite like myself. Well I do feel extremely strongly about the social network and as flawed and imperfect as the French social tissue is, it still seems to me a lot better than other places I've been, although I sincerely believe France could take some lessons on multiculturalism and open-mindedness from Toronto. The French Republic is indivisible... but somehow we manage to divide it time and time again...
I guess I've always known that it's hard to discuss religion because it's not something that can be understood in reason. By that I mean that philosophy, mathematics, you can learn the theory and have a pretty good grasp. To a point, even political points of view can be understood without embracing the ideology behind it. With religion it's difficult, maybe even impossible.

One can grasp the theories, the concepts it's built on, but to actually get it, you have to embrace it, live it. Everything that I can express about Judaism or Islam is my perception of it, or is made by the experiences/exchanges I've had with members of the community. I could know hundreds of Jews or Muslims and still not grasp what it means to be either. Because they will only be examples... and I still won't grasp what it means to live as a Muslim or a Jew. We can only understand it through what people share. And even then... I can barely understand some of the dogmas of the Catholic Church: they don't make sense to me and I was raised a Catholic, so you can imagine how much I fumble with other religions' concepts sometimes.

Storyteller was saying that there are millions who immigrate with no will at all to integrate society. Up to a point, it's a fact that the jewish community remains on the margins - at least in France and in some ways I've had the same perception in Canada. I might be wrong mind you. Not that they don't get involved in society. But there is - and maybe it's based in a very long experience of being persecuted - a certain distance that they put between their community and the society they live in. I understand that it may come from 5,000 years of persecution/enslavement but I don't think I can fully grasp what it means. I'm so limited.
Yet like everyone else I fall prey to that need to paint with a wide brush. Generalities are killing us. I should know better: I've received blessings from people of many different backgrounds. Friendship, support, love. I shouldn't do generalities. I guess while attempting to explain I might have come off aggressive or judgmental, for which I apologize. I know I'm just as prejudiced as the next person.

I should like to correct one thing though: I haven't been following Vatican news for quite a while :P (let it be said I wasn't particularly fond of Benedict XVI's ways with everything. The Church didn't seem to represent what faith is for me) but last I heard Paul VI established that no longer were the Jews considered to have killed God. I may be wrong but I think it was in Vatican II from the 1960s.

And I think I should add something else; there's one thing that happens a lot. Whether it's in France or in Canada there's this amalgam between Israel and the Jewish community. I'm not even going to try and explain because I can only make mistakes and speak on behalf of others who won't agree, but there's this sense that whatever Israel's politics is, it means that it's the politics of the entire Jewish community wherever they are in the world.
It's somewhat baffling seeing as I don't think I've ever heard anyone say that what Saudi Arabia (for example) does is the same as what all of the Muslim world does... but it seems to be the case. When you read the newspapers they seem to be willingly making that connection. Or is it just my own prejudiced mind making the connection? It's possible. Yes I understand that Israel defines itself as a Jewish state - I'm sure Storyteller can correct me if I'm wrong - and it's the only one in the world, but still.

There is something deeply personal about what happened in January even though I wasn't among the victims/families - I didn't even do the march because I'm terrified of crowds - but I did feel that these attacks were against the freedoms that are included in our Constitution (and I'm talking about freedom of opinion even more than freedom of speech here) and it felt extremely wrong that the Israeli Prime Minister essentially said that the only place Jews would ever belong is in Israel. I don't even care that it might be disrespectful to France/Europe, but I think it separates the Jewish community from the others. I fear it's got the potential to wedge a rift even wider. It's not good. It's destroying that social tissue I was reflecting upon earlier. Everyone loses. At least to me.

I'm rambling, trying to make sense of this. Sorry.
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Re: Events in France

Postby Portia1 » Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:43 am

Jnyusa wrote:Christian society singled out Jews for persecution for two unbroken millennia, and the cultural core that gave rise to that persecution has not changed. In spite of the Enlightenment, in spite of the growth of humanism, Christianity is still intrinsically anti-Semitic and always will be as long as it professes that there is a god and that the Jews killed that god.


I have so much trouble with that overall concept. And, for the same reason, I am somewhat in sympathy with what is, apparently, in the Gospel of Judas.

Why blame the Jews for "killing Jesus" when it was absolutely necessary for Him to die? It was an intrinsic part of the Plan? Wasn't it? Would there have been a different point if Jesus has lived on, uninterrupted, and taught for 30 or 40 more years?? I do not think so. If so, it would have been a very different point. So, assuming that the Jews had something to do with His death (which is arguable) I do not see why they should be blamed, criticized and persecuted. Makes no sense at all, to me.

The only way the persecution makes sense to me is that the Christians are angry that the Jews haven't accepted Jesus, and consider that a criticism of Christians.
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Re: Events in France

Postby Storyteller » Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:00 am

So, an insurance company in Brussels refused to insure a Jewish kindergarten on the grounds that the risk of terrorist attack on it is too high.

earendil might think that there's too much security around European synagogues though.
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Re: Events in France

Postby earendil81 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:35 pm

Earendil just thinks that being condescending and disrespectful will never make a case for understanding and dialog. But then again you've probably pegged me as a racist Christian. So why are we talking?
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Re: Events in France

Postby Jnyusa » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:04 pm

It's not clear in the article what the kindergarten wanted insurance for ... presumably the normal liability in case a child is injured by any cause?

I'm curious whether it is possible to be insured against terrorist attacks, specifically, inside Israel. Or whether it would qualify for double-indemnity (accidental death) under a regular life insurance policy? Supposing that Storyteller might know the answer ...

There are things in the US that you can't be insured against if you belong in a particular class of risk. Or, probably, there might be underwriters who would be willing to pick up the coverage but the premium would be so high that no one could afford it. The risk group in Israel for death/disability due to terrorist attack is quite large, so I'm thinking that coverage ought to be feasible, but I don't know whether there are companies willing to offer it. It might give us an idea how willing insurance companies in general are to undertake this kind of coverage for a higher-than-average risk group.
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Re: Events in France

Postby Storyteller » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:18 am

Jnyusa wrote:It's not clear in the article what the kindergarten wanted insurance for ... presumably the normal liability in case a child is injured by any cause?

I'm curious whether it is possible to be insured against terrorist attacks, specifically, inside Israel. Or whether it would qualify for double-indemnity (accidental death) under a regular life insurance policy? Supposing that Storyteller might know the answer ...

Yes, it's possible to be insured against terrorism here. And you can buy travel insurance that covers being injured in a terrorism attack while on a foreign trip.

I was once even offered insurance that covered suicide except during the first year.
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Re: Events in France

Postby Jnyusa » Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:42 pm

Then there's really no excuse for the Belgian company to deny coverage. Perhaps that company is itself anti-Semitic. Or it might simply be that the company is too small to carry the reserves that would be required. But if other companies provide insurance against terrorism than it is certainly possible for them to find an underwriter for the additional risk.

I worked in insurance for a number of year after my undergraduate degree, and the insurance industry in the US was, at that time, notoriously anti-Semitic in its hiring practices. I never heard though that they turned down Jewish policyholders! (No one in the US turns down money for any reason, lol.) Very odd behavior in Brussels. Hard if not impossible to justify on actuarial grounds. I wonder whether increased police protection for Jewish facilities would make any difference, or whether this too would be considered inadequate.
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Re: Events in France

Postby portia » Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:22 am

Right!
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Re: Events in France

Postby Storyteller » Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:37 am

earendil81 wrote:Earendil just thinks that being condescending and disrespectful will never make a case for understanding and dialog. But then again you've probably pegged me as a racist Christian. So why are we talking?

It was a comment on your utterly bizzare view of protection of Jewish institutions in France as a sign of some kind of privilege, and the outrage you expressed of being inconvenienced for someone's safety.
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Re: Events in France

Postby earendil81 » Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:27 am

I'm sorry for being late in my answer but I was away on a business trip.

Storyteller, you are exaggerating... I wasn't saying that being protected is a privilege, I was saying that they got protection when other religious buildings didn't and that it created resentment. You can't approach a synagogue without being automatically suspicious. That's all. Incidentally there were two terrorist attacks prevented against churches this week in Paris. Still no security in front of these buildings though.
Let me explain why I get a little irked; it's not just being inconvenienced.
It's turning a part of the public space into a private one and making it a space where freedom has no place. You're being made to feel that you have no right to be there even though it's the street. I don't know if that makes sense. I would feel exactly the same - I hope :P - if military personnel in front of a church asked me every time I went to a service why I was going in. Part of me wants to answer "it's none of your business".
Last week someone required firefighters' intervention right next to the synagogue nearby. The person had to be moved through the window with the ladder. The truck wasn't allowed to park in front of the building; they had to do the intervention from the other side of the street. That I find ridiculous. Not to say it was a demand from the rabbi - I don't see why it would be in fact - but it's pushing things a little too far. What if that person was in danger of dying? It probably wasn't the case mind you.

However, in the case you're mentioning I agree with you; denying insurance on the basis of a potential terrorist attack is shameful because it does become discrimination based on religion. And that I will never condone.
As far as insurance is concerned I'm not familiar with Belgian law but I'm under the impression that terrorism isn't covered under French insurance policies. I looked into it a little after you posted this article. It surprised me. I knew that you weren't covered if you went into areas that the French government said you should avoid. But it seems from some of the information I've found (disclaimer: I haven't done extensive research) and from my own insurance contract that even if you're at work - here in Paris - or shopping for your food and you die because crazy morons decided that today they were going to kill people in a news room or at a kosher shop you aren't covered. That makes no sense to me.
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