French media is reporting extensively about events held worldwide in identification with the country's grief following Saturday's terrorist massacre in Paris. However, solidarity events in Israel have not been reported on, wrote respected journalist and author Eldad Beck, an expert on the Middle East and Europe, on his Facebook page Sunday night.
"Several French citizens whom I wanted to interview in the last few days refused to speak to me after I presented myself as an Israeli journalist," he wrote. "One of them explained to me: 'I don't want my words to be used for political aims.'"
"To all those who think that the French will feel closer to Israel after the latest terror attacks, please remember what happened in the world after September 11, 2001," Beck added. "There is terror in the world, and there is what happens in Israel. It is a totally different matter."
Beck added sarcastically Monday morning that "at long last" Israel has been mentioned in the French press, in the aftermath of the terror attacks – when BFM Radio cited a study that was done in Israel during the great terror war of 2000-2005 (the 'Second Intifada'), according to which extensive casualties from terror lead to greater popular consumption, because people see no reason to save money when death appears to loom around the corner. "Jews and money," he noted, "the old story…"
Beck added that French media has been saying that Iran is the only force willing to fight ISIS on the ground, thus managing to spin the terror attacks into a reason to present Iran – the leading state sponsor of terror – in a positive light.
Roughly 5,000 Israelis on Saturday night gathered at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square for a solidarity rally, organized by the French embassy in Israel, following the coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris which left more than 100 people dead.
France’s Ambassador to Israel Patrick Maisonnave, Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom, opposition leader MK Yitzhak Herzog and former President Shimon Peres were the speakers at the rally.
Vice Prime Minister Shalom described the attacks as “brutal” and “cruel."
“For many years, most of the world believed that terrorism is only Israel’s problem,” he continued, recalling previous attacks in France against Jewish targets, such as the attack on the Jewish school and Toulouse and the attack at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris.
“When they told us that it’s a fight of Muslims against Jews, we said, ‘No. Terrorism is terrorism is terrorism, and terrorism can hit everywhere and against everyone,’” he warned. “Yesterday it was in France and tomorrow, unfortunately, it can happen in other countries in Europe.”