Solidarity in Paris, the US Fails to Show, and Hamas-PA Drama

French President Francois Hollande (3rd L) is surrounded by head of states (From L to R : Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, Ibrahim Boubakar Keita of Mali, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, EU Council President Donald Tusk and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas) as they attend the solidarity march (Marche Republicaine) in the streets of Paris January 11, 2015. (photo credit: AFP/POOL PHILIPPE WOJAZER)

Following the horrific terror attacks against Jews in Paris, hundreds of leaders and dignitaries from around the world joined 3.7 million people in Paris and other French cities for anti-terrorism marches honoring the victims of the Islamist militant attacks.  Virtually every European head of state was present, as were Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.  Though a US ambassador attended the event, notably absent were any high-ranking American officials, despite the fact that Attorney General Eric Holder was in Paris at the time.  (Secretary of State John Kerry was in India.)  The terrorist attacks were “briefly discussed” in an unrelated phone call from President Obama to PM Netanyahu on Monday, and ultimately, the White House admitted “we should have sent someone with a higher profile to be there.”

Meanwhile, many found Mahmoud Abbas’s attendance interesting.  In a telegram to French President Francois Hollande last Wednesday, Abbas “strongly condemned and deplored the heinous crime that is in contradiction of religion and morality,” and Hamas (the PA’s “unity government” partner) also condemned the terrorist attack a few days ago.  I find it interesting when a terrorist group condemns terror, but that’s the insanity that we live with these days!  (Particularly when that “unity government” is attempting to gain statehood.)

But let’s go a step further.  Subsequently, Hamas slammed Abbas for attending the anti-terrorism march, indicating the “PA president should first worry about his own people, show solidarity with them,” and that “this behavior is part of the hypocrisy and political acrobatics typical to Abbas.”  Then today, Hamas threatened to leave the unity government with the Palestinian Authority, citing problems in PA payment to government workers in the Gaza Strip!

Despite it all, Mahmoud Abbas announced from Turkey that he will return to the UN Security Council to pursue Palestinian statehood once again, and that the PA will become an official member of the International Criminal Court on April 1.  Just amazing!  A “unity government” containing a declared terrorist group (Hamas) condemns another terrorist act, then condemns its “unity” partner and threatens to split up the union…yet gains a voice before the UN Security Council in view of potential statehood.  Unbelieveable!

Now, as if things weren’t weird enough, Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan, appearing with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Turkey today, blasted Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu for attending the anti-terrorism unity march in Paris, equating the “massacre” of 2500 Gazans during the conflict last summer to the terrorist acts in France.

Nonetheless, a steady voice arose from the insanity.  Following the anti-terrorism unity march, Benjamin Netanyahu took the opportunity to exhort leaders taking part in the march to fight terrorism wherever it may be.  While visiting the Hyper Cacher kosher grocery store in Paris, the site of Sunday’s attack that killed four French Jews, the PM emphatically stated, “I expect world leaders to fight terrorism.”

Let’s pray that world leaders, particularly Israel’s immediate neighbors, hear and heed that message!

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