Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Not so free speech Charlie Hebdo.

By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

We’ve commented a fair bit on the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the incident has proved yet again that Islam is a violent religion to the most ardent Islamophobes.The right to free speech and the need to defend it in the wave of the attack by right wing religious fanatics drew over one million people in to the streets of Paris at a rally that was led by some of the worst enemy’s of free speech and democratic rights.  So many of then have been responsible for the imprisoning and deaths of journalists.

But as readers are most likely aware by now, back in 2008 Maurice Sine a political satirist writing for Charlie Hebdo wrote a column as he had been doing for the past 20 years.  Sine wrote that Jean Sarkozy, the son of the French president was planning to convert too Judaism in order to marry a Jewish heiress of a famous electronics company. “He'll go a long way in life, this lad!” Siné wrote.

According to the Guardian, the piece was published but a few days later a French radio host complained that the piece was anti-Semitic.  The families of the young couple to be were appalled. Philippe Val, who was the editor at the time and was the man who took the decision to publish the Danish cartoons that had previously caused such a stir and were considered extremely insulting to Muslims, told Sine to apologize.  For Val, there was no doubt. Siné's statements 'could be interpreted as making a link between conversion to Judaism and social success' and that they spread the old stereotype associating Jews and money.”, the Guardian wrote.

Sine, refused to apologize saying he would rather “cut his own nuts off'” and that ended his career at the free speech loving Charlie Hebdo.  Sine won some sort of settlement from the magazine for wrongful termination apparently but as we can see, free speech is an important issue but depends on who is using it and whom it’s directed at.  As far as the Zionists go, and Philippe Val is a pro-Zionist as far as I can tell, any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic.  I wrote a piece a while back opposing circumcision as genital mutilation and infringing on the rights of a child. I thought the local Jewish community would jump all over me but they did not, many of them concurring. The local Rabbi did imply this view was anti-Semitic as did others as I was infringing on people’s right to practice their religion. I’m sure if god had said to Abraham all Jewish males at age of 21 should be circumcised there would not be many circumcised Jews around today.

This blog has made its opposition to the terrorist attack quite clear in other commentaries.  But we also believe it has to be seen in context and that is the incredible western bias against Islam led by the US government and it’s corporate backers. Add to this the French support for this war and French colonialism’s brutal history in Africa and we get a glimpse of the historical backdrop to much of this. The influence of the Israeli lobby in US politics is a factor and considerable along with their right wing Christian Zionist allies. Temporary allies as when the Messiah comes, the Jews will have to convert or be sent to rot in hell according to Christian teaching.

The spokespersons for US capitalism from Obama on down can say there is no war against Islam but it certainly looks like there is and for Muslims, feels like it.  Where were the millions and all the phony heads of state when the Zionists went in to Gaza and slaughtered more than 2000 people.  More than 500 children were killed and there were 11,000 people wounded. The Zionists also bombed the hospitals.  Figures released recently claimed that 145 Gazan families lost three or more family members.  Where are the politicians for this? Apart from that, B'tselem the Israeli NGO reckons that between 2002 and May 2008, at least 387 Palestinians died as a result of Israeli targeted killings, of which 234 were the targets, and the rest collateral casualties. I remember reading about two Gazan children feeding their pigeons on the roof when Israeli snipers took them out. Palestinians warn their children about the rooftops, they are dangerous places for their kids. The killing in Paris, horrible as it is, is small stuff compared to the slaughter of Muslims that has gone on over the past 20 years.

In case we have forgotten I am sure Muslims haven’t, the US imposed sanctions of their old friend Saddam Hussein’s regime cost some 500,000 lives, mostly women and children.  Madeline Albright, the US Secretary of State at the time said the deaths were “worth it”.  No mass rally for these victims, but a big one for the 14 dead in Paris. Do we as Americans not see the balance sheet here?

The Zionists have assassinated thousands of Palestinians and other Muslims all over the world. It is this double standard, this obvious bias that has also strengthened the right wing fundamentalists.  US support for numerous ruthless dictators have also increased hatred of western meddling in Muslim countries. Let’s not forget, Tunisia’s Ben Ali was a US proxy, as were others.  Mubarak the torturer received lots of money and weapons from the US taxpayer.

In an incredible act of arrogance, Netanyahu has said that if the French can’t protect its Jews the Israelis will do it.  Any attack like this is welcomed by the Zionists as they argue that anti-Semitism is inherent in Gentiles and cannot be eradicated.  Like all forms of nationalism, Jewish extremism cannot exist if working class unity prevails.  The Zionists cooperated with Nazis for the same reason.  They refused to help Jews fleeing the Nazis that weren’t leaving for Israel. Anti-Semitism is crucial to Zionism’s survival.

This attack in Paris doesn’t occur in a vacuum, this is important for us to remember and in this age of extremely controlled media, especially in the US, it is important for working people to seek the truth, to question, to check the evidence and most importantly, understand history.

As an aside, I heard part of Michel Chossudovsky’s talk on KPFA today and it was very interesting (his website is Global Research at It’s worth checking this site periodically.

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