March 31, 2003

THEY’RE NOT FOR PEACE, THEY’RE JUST ON THE OTHER SIDE:

Led by Muslims, Paris peace rally again turns anti-Israeli

But French Arab teenagers from the poor suburbs chanted slogans pledging war and martyrdom in the name of both Palestinians and Iraqis and against Israel. ‘‘We are all Palestinians, we are all Iraqis, we are all kamikazes!’’ chanted one group, no older than 14 or 15, from the suburb of Garges-les-Gonesse. Others chanted: ‘‘We are all martyrs! Allahu Akbar! God is more powerful than the United States.’’

Both boys and girls wore the Palestinian scarf known as the kaffiyeh. One Moroccan-born man stepped on an image of the Israeli flag. Another French Arab pointed to a group of protesters from a Jewish student association and said: ‘‘They are targets. They are not welcome here, because of what they did to our Palestinian brothers.’’

I’d say “anti-Israel” is putting a pretty generous spin on it.