A vehicle burns during a demonstration against Israel in Paris, Saturday Jan. 3, 2009. Thousands of protesters across Europe march, rally and even hurl shoes or stones
In Paris, police said more than 20,000 demonstrators, many wearing Palestinian keffiyeh headscarves, marched through the city center chanting slogans like "Israel murderer!" and waving banners demanding an end to the air attacks.
Nidra Poller is a rare bird in Paris - a "reliable witness". Here is her account of the pro jihadi, annihilationist rally in Paris. I must ask her if Jews stayed shuttered in their homes, afraid to leave for fear of the savages .....
Nidra Poller reporting from Place de la République, Paris, 3 PM
Huge turnout for this afternoon’s pro-Palestinian demonstration. People pour out of the metro stations and march into the Place de la République, bundled up against the cold, knotting keffiehs around their shoulders as they walk briskly to join the compact crowd. Raucous voices shouting “Israël assassin.” Palestinian flags flutter. Families with children, men and women of all ages, very very few infidels. When these mass demonstrations began in October 2000, the proportions were reversed: many leftists, so-called pacifists, and a sprinkling of Arab-Muslims. And the rallying cry was “Death to the Jews.”
Two infidels timidly waving blue and white peace flags huddle near a metro exit looking hesitant.
“Nous sommes tous Palestiniens” “Palestine vaincra, Palestine vivra” “Halte au massacre” …the usual stuff. And all those keffiehs.
The square trembles with hate-filled violence-prone voices, and the flow of demonstrators never ends. Take a good look: these are the moderates. Huh? The moderates? Yeah, the moderates. Don’t they always tell us the majority of Muslims in Paris, London, Alexandria VA, and the world are moderates? Well here they are.
A dark skinned white haired chap with the airs of a European intellectual, a red keffieh wrapped around his neck, chats with a woman by his side. They look like they are waiting for friends to join them. I hear him say “assassins,” and I know he isn’t talking about Hamas.
It doesn’t look like the demonstration is going to follow the traditional République-Bastille route. Either they are going to stay put and shout their lungs out, or maybe they’ll march down the Grands Boulevards?
Anyway, it’s no place for a little Jewish grandmother. I’ve seen enough. I walk south and in five minutes I’m out of the Arab quarter and back in the ville européenne where life goes on as normal. Back home, I check out the media. What do they have to say about this madding crowd?
Guess what? They have nothing to say. If you didn’t see it with your own eyes you wouldn’t know it existed. There’ll be a few brief shots on the evening news. A family with kids, a pretty young lady, a few talking points—massacre of civilians, blockade, humanitarian crisis, starvation. You’d think that all those French journalists frustrated at not being able to mill around Gaza and report directly on Israeli atrocities didn’t take the opportunity to immerse themselves in Gaza at la République. Snuggled into that mass of dense anger, surrounded on all sides by “youths” in keffieh, they could have a try at yelling “ceasefire” in a crowded pro-jihad mob.
Photo: Pro-"Palestinian" demonstrators protest in Paris January 3, 2009.
Update 10 PM Nidra Poller
You have to scratch around in the dusty soil to get a few kernels of information in this country. After watching 3 newscasts and checking out the major daily’s websites, here is what I got:
There were about 21,000 demonstrators and the atmosphere was tense. As a matter of fact, there was not much in the way of newswoman-in-the-midst interviews. Like I said, they claim they want to get into Gaza to bear witness to all that humanitarian crisis, but they don’t have the courage to dive into a keffieh-clad crowd. Le Parisien, which is the only paper that really covered the event, claims it was organized by the Collectif national pour une paix juste entre Palestiniens et Israéliens, which includes the MRAP, PCF, LCR, and some labor unions. I have no proof to the contrary but I don’t believe it anyway. Having seen hundreds of demonstrations in Paris, I can attest that this one looked like it was organized by the Paris branch of Hamas.
Two extreme-left personalities marched in front like the good old days. Communist (PCF) party leader Marie-George Buffet declared: “We must stop this attack against Gaza and go back to negotiations on the basis of the 1967 frontiers [sic…it’s the ceasefire line, madame]. Olivier Besancenot (Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste, ex-LCR) said French public opinion is not represented by Sarkozy, who rolled out the red carpet for Israeli officials [Tzipi Livni paid a visit to politely decline the ceasefire proposal].
At 6 PM, a group of two to three hundred heading for the Israeli embassy were blocked by police. They went wild, threw café chairs at the policemen, smashed telephone booths and shop windows, overturned and burned cars. The battle raged for an hour. “At least 3 people,” reports le Parisien, “were arrested.” How’s that for a law & order ratio?
In a private communication from J.S., an envoy reports:
When we got there at 3 PM the square on the side leading to the Grands Boulevards was already packed. We walked all the way down to Porte Saint-Martin. The demonstrators marched in tight rows in the street and spilling over onto the sidewalk, most of them wearing keffiehs, many women in different degrees of hijab..
Shouting their hatred of Israel that kills children, starves Palestinians. Up with the résistance, down with Sarkozy, Moubarak, and the media.
A crowd filled with hate that filled us with fear. Most of them were young.
Groups prostrate in prayer on the sidewalk.
Slogans shouted through megaphones, chanted by the crowd. Photos of children, a bloodied doll, a flag burning…
When we left at 4 PM, people were still joining the march.
It was so frightening, that dense crowd shouting and screaming, just like the crowds we see on TV !