Jewish French MP: Terror in Paris is the same terror as in Israel

Meyer Habib calls on the world to ‘wake up’ to the reality of the global jihadist threat

Amanda Borschel-Dan is The Times of Israel's Jewish World and Archaeology editor.

MP Meyer Habib speaks at the National Assembly in Paris, November 28, 2014. (screen capture)
MP Meyer Habib speaks at the National Assembly in Paris, November 28, 2014. (screen capture)

First they came for the Jews. They they came for the journalists, then the police, and now they aim at everyone, said French parliament member Meyer Habib in rushed phone conversation with The Times of Israel on Sunday.

“We are now in mourning,” Habib said in the aftermath of Friday’s multi-pronged terrorist attacks in the heart of Paris. The people of France are coming together, he added.

While the background to and impact of the attacks are still under examination by the authorities, it is clear to Habib that they were directed at the entirety of the French population, dispelling any notion that the Bataclan concert venue was chosen because it was until recently owned by Jews.

“The terror in France is the same terror as in Israel, in Jerusalem, in Tel Aviv — every place in the world,” said Habib, who was elected in 2013 to represent French citizens living abroad in Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Italy, Greece and Israel.

With the large — and increasing — number of Habib’s registered voters residing in Israel, he is quick to equate France’s pain with the ongoing wave of terrorism in the Jewish state.

“As I said to France Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius during the Operation Strong Cliff in Summer 2014: Israel is on the front line of the same terror that hit us… Fundamentally, France and Israel share the same values” he said.

Habib is appalled by the lack of sensitivity displayed in some French media over terrorism in Israel, where he says journalists will report on four dead in a terrorist attack — and include the terrorist in the count.

“It is like putting the attackers in the same category as the victims,” he said, and called on the world to “wake up” to the reality of global jihadist terror.

“There is no good terrorist or bad terrorist,” he said, maintaining that terrorists from Hezbollah and Islamic State, shia jihad and sunni jihad, are “two sides of the same coin.”

Habib also railed against a reception for the Iranian president that had been planned to take place this week in Paris. “The islamic Republic of Iran is the mother of Islamic terror since the early 1980s! The world should not be fooled: the Iranians together with Al-Assad generated the Black Caliphate monster called ISIS or Daesh. They are the biggest jihadist criminals in the world,” he said in disbelief. (Iranian President Hassan Rouhani canceled his trip to France in the wake of the Paris attacks.)

He said the only realistic solution is to crush terror where it is cultivated, and called for France and the rest of the European Union member states to send in ground forces to terrorist hothouses.

“I want the world to open its eyes,” he said.

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