"Bringing Hope through Torah" ATIME Shas-a-Thon 5776
An Exclusive Interview with French Insider, Philippe Karsenty
It’s been nearly two months since the Nov. 13, 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, which took
the lives of more than 130 people, and injured nearly 400. And it’s been a year since the Charlie Hebdo magazine and kosher supermarket attacks in that city, which killed 17 people.
ISIL(The Islamic State if Iraq and the Levant) claimed responsibility for the coordinated attacks in November, which entailed three suicide bombers that struck near the Stade de France, followed by suicide bombings and mass shootings at cafés, restaurants and a music venue in Paris.
These were the deadliest terror attacks in the European Union since the Madrid train bombings in 2004, which killed 191 people, and the London tube bombing of 2005, which killed 52.
To gain some perspective on the issue, Community Magazine interviewed Philippe Karsenty, a France-based media analyst, world renowned public speaker, and deputy mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine, a suburb of Paris.
Mr. Karsenty came to widespread attention when presenting evidence to suggest that the al-Durrah incident at the Gaza Strip in 2000 – the now-iconic film of a boy being shot against a wall – was a hoax.
Mr. Karsenty toured the United States in November, initially intending to talk about media manipulation. But as events unfolded, his talks quickly turned to the terrorist attacks in Paris.
In this exclusive interview, Karsenty discusses the imminent dangers, what’s been misunderstood, and much more. CM: Why do French people believe the attacks happened?
Karsenty:From my understanding, people just didn’t understand. [We] had the Charlie Hebdo attack and then the Hyper Kosher. French people were thinking, “Look, they were targeting cartoonists and Jews. So we French people who were not cartoonists or Jews, we have no risk, we have no problem.” And this was the general belief. And now they’re in disarray because they just don’t understand why [this occurred]. According to them, they’re not guilty of anything. And of course we are not guilty of anything. But why were they targeted? The main problem is that they just don’t understand. The mainstream media propaganda doesn’t say that we are facing jihad.
CM: Were you hearing anything about people rationalizing
Karsenty:Of course, you always have this kind of justification that the terrorists lash out due to their so-called humiliation and frustrations. But my answer to this is very clear: the frustration is not coming from the way we treat them, the frustration is coming from their culture, coming from Islam. And, look, if they’re [the Muslims among us] not happy with our culture, why do they come here and try to live with us? All these people leaving Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, where are they going? Are they going to Saudi Arabia, to Qatar, all these places where they have their Muslim brothers? No. They’re coming to our places, and my concern is that they’re coming with values which are not ours, and the values they’re bringing are antagonistic to ours. They are trying to impose their way of living, and they are trying toprevent us from living the way we live, so this is a big, big problem.
CM: It’s an ideological problem, and they don’t like that
Karsenty:Exactly. They don’t like the way we live; they don’t like the fact that women aren’t wearing long skirts, that women have freedoms to go where they want, that there is male and female equality, that we are drinking alcohol, eating what we want to eat, and they want to impose the opposite. And this is my main concern. With the invasion of Europe [by Muslims] that we’re facing now, even if you only have a few people inside who are terrorists, I would say even with a few you can put a country down. The vast majority of the people who are coming are not sharing our values. They are not cherishing democracy.
CM: After the Hebdo attacks, were the French more prepared? Are they more prepared now?
Karsenty:My real concern is, a few months ago we had a terrorist attack aborted in a train. Thank Gd we had three American soldiers that saved us, and prevented the terrorist from killing people in the train. After that, nothing happened. And now, all of a sudden,they had a terrorist attack which worked, which was efficient according to their point of view. Only then the [authorities] caught some bad guys in some of the suburbs. It is really time for the state, for the French government, to be on the offensive. Wehave to go after them, not to wait for them to act. You know anytime you go in front of a synagogue, a Jewish environment, or something related to the media, you have policemen. Meaning, that they’re waiting for the [terrorist] guy. No, we shouldn’t be waiting for them; we should be catching them, we should be going into all the basements and taking out the weapons. That’s the main problem. We have no-go zones in France [areas which are off limits to non-Muslims, which are governed by Islamic Sharia law], and we have to clean this.
CM: What does that mean, a no-go zone?
Karsenty:It means no police, no firemen. The state doesn’t have the right to go into some areas, because if they go there, they’re going to be shot. They’re in danger.
CM: Reports saythat after the November attacks, there were 200 police raids, yielding heavy weapons caches, including a rocket launcher. Did the police act on intelligence which had been ignored before?
Karsenty:I don’t believe there was ignored intelligence. They knew. More than 15 years ago I had a friend living in the suburbs who said “We have Kalashnikovs. We have everything in the basement, and we’re just waiting to get out of there, and go to war.” My idea is that if Iknew this, if people told me, I’m sure the policeknew that. They were hoping for miracles. You know, we had a miracle on the train, and they were hoping for more miracles, but miracles are miracles, they don’t happen every day.
CM: How do the terrorists finance their activities in France?
Karsenty:The Arab banks …we allow these banks to function in our countries. We should prevent them from functioning, because these people are the ones working with our enemies…I’m talking about extremist Arab Muslim money… [They’re] trying to take control of the youth in the country, and they’re trying to expand their ideology. And it’s exactly what we want to avoid.
CM: How many Muslims are in France?
Karsenty:People talk about 8 million, people talk about 12. We don’t know. You know about the ostrich that puts its head in the sand? There’s a law which says that we don’t have the right to count people according to their religion. A guy said once on the radio that 80 percent of the people in jails in France were Muslim.The statistics came from people working in the jail. But the guy was accused
CM: What is France’s total population?
Karsenty:65 million, 20 percent are Muslim… In some areas they are taking over. Meaning, in some places in France, you don’t have any Muslims, but in some areas in the north or the south, their population is growing and they are becoming more and more powerful. And of course, around Paris you have some areas that are really totally controlled by Muslims.
CM: Why do they come to France?
Karsenty:They’re taking huge advantage of the social load, the welfare state. But on the other side, they’re not happy with the way we live. Most of the problems come also from the information they receive. They have radicalization comingfrom our French media outlets, Agence France Presse, and Radio France, giving them reasons to hate Israel, to hate the Jews, to hate America. Then afterwards, they turn to al Jazeera and other TV, other media, and then it gets worse. And that’s it. Peopleare indoctrinated, brainwashed to hate America, and the Western world and our values.
CM: What was the moderate Muslim response to the attacks?
Karsenty:Have you heard anything?
CM: I’m asking you, you’re right there.
Karsenty:I’ve not heard anything. And you know what is really funny, if I can use the word funny? Something incredible. When you hear that something is happening in Gaza or in Judea, Samaria, or anywhere around Israel, you have tens of thousands of Muslims marching in the streets ofParis demonstrating, and showing their solidarity with people in Gaza, Ramallah, whatever.
CM: A Palestinian boy gets shot in the leg and everybody riots…
Karsenty:We had 130 people shot dead in Paris. More than 300 injured people. Where is the outrage? Why aren’t they demonstrating in the streets? I think that’s a real, real important question. Where are these guys?
CM: Was there an accurate description of the attack in media, especially in identifying the terrorists as militant Muslims?
Karsenty:First, you need to know that AFP [Agence France-Presse] was talking about “militants.” On the other side, you need to know that they’re never saying Islamic or Muslim. These are two words that they are “prevented” from using. For example, when they talk about terrorism, they are just talking about terrorism; they are not talking about Islamic terrorism, never talking about radical Islam. They will never say “the Islamic state.” They will always try to find the acronym, Daesh[the Arabic acronym for Islamic State]. The acronym doesn’t use the word Islam. They like it so much because it prevents them from using the word.
CM: What do the Jews think now? “We told you so?”
Karsenty:Some of the Jews are thinking that way. The problem now, is that we are all in the same boat, and we have all the same concerns. You realize that most people just don’t get it. They say, “We’re not Jews; we’re not cartoonists, so why are they targeting us?”
Why? Because again, the media propaganda doesn’t tell us that we have a jihad against us. So people have no clue of what’s happening. The enemy is jihad, the enemy is radical Islam, Islamic terrorism, Islamic extremism. We have to tell the truth, that there is a cancer inside Islam. Islam needs a reformation. Islam is producingthese kinds of sociopaths, these kinds of people who are really trying to destroy the world where they’re living.
CM: There’s a lot of talk about Syrian refugees coming in by the tens of thousands to Western countries. Is this wise, in
Karsenty:These so-called migrants, don’t accept them in America! These are the waves of immigration that we had that destroyed our country. They destroyed our social security system, which destroyed everything. These people don’t share our values, don’t cherish work, and don’t cherish freedom – freedom of expression, freedom to eat what we please, and do as we please. They don’t fit with our culture, that’s it. Some of them of course are adopting [our way of life]. But we have a big group inside of these people that are not.
In Closing ...
Mr. Karsenty’s words ring true. It seems unbelievable that the French media is forbidden from connecting terrorism directly to Islamic militants. It’s unimaginable, but true, that Muslims have had such a strong influence in France that they can overtake whole neighborhoods, and can dictate policy to the French media and the government. Up until now many French citizens have buried their heads in the sand. Although the French people have been jolted by terror attacks, it still seems that many have not yet woken up to the threat they, all of Europe, and the Western world, face from radical Islam. We pray that voices such as Mr. Karsenty’s will be heard, loud and clear.