Whether it is my Prospero-esque attachment to books, the fact that it occurred in Paris, or that the shop-owners only crime was to be pro-Palestinian, the following story is profoundly saddening:
In the event that took place last weekend, five armed masked people broke into the store, smashed computers and set fire to books. The store owners accused the Jewish Defense League for carrying out the attack.
Paris police arrested Wednesday four youths between the ages of 16 and 26, all members of the JDL, on suspicions that they carried out the attack. A fifth suspect has yet to be arrested. [Source]
Last night almost 300 protesters gathered outside the shop calling for the dismantlement of the JDL.
Speaking at the protest Olivia Zamour, owner of the shop and president of the group Euro-Palestine, condemned France’s lenient stance towards Israel:
Palestine is the heart of all the problems in the world. For 60 years already it is functioning as a laboratory showing the world how human rights can be taken from people. How does France consider itself a democracy when Palestine exists? If we accept this there, we will have here the same exact thing.
While her husband, Nicolas, reiterated that:
We are the second country in the world that sells weapons to Israel after the United States. Therefore, we have a great responsibility. France needs to stop seeing Muslims in its country as a scapegoat. The first step needs to be support of the Palestinian people, and not of Israel.
It could also be simply that the Zamours seem the sweetest and most peacefully vociferous activists that such wanton and cowardly violence is utterly undeserved and infuriating.