National Front guns in Béziers / machine guns on my street


What is this country coming to?  Here’s the mayor of Béziers, a town of roughly 80,000 souls in southern France known for its high immigration and high unemployment. His name is Robert Ménard and he’s a member of the far right-wing National Front party. This is his new controversial poster campaign advertising the police’s use of new handguns. The posters have drawn severe criticism from the government and widespread mockery on social media.  They read “From now on the municipal police has a new friend“.  Underneath the image it is written “Armed 24/24 and 7/7“.  The “new friend” is a 7.65-calibre handgun.  Municipal police in France are already allowed to carry arms, but Ménard’s campaign has been criticized for promoting gun culture. 


I despise guns. Growing up in Canada, gun violence was nearly non-existant (sadly, that is no longer.)

Speaking of guns in France, I’ve changed my route to work because of them. Before the Charlie Hebdo and Kosher supermarket killings of January, I used to walk straight down my road and up another road to the office building where I work. It’s a 4-minute jaunt which involved walking past a private Jewish school. But now I circumvent the Jewish school by taking another route. Why? To avoid walking past the soldiers who are stationed in front of the school.  Because you see, I don’t like walking past machine guns on a twice-daily basis (or 4 times a day if I go home for lunch). Especially when they are pointed at me as I walk past.

French soldiers secure the access to a Jewish school in Paris as part of the highest level of

What world do I now live in where the presence of machine guns are part of the urban landscape?  My urban landscape.  Consequentially, the fallout from the Israeli-Gaza conflict has ended up on my street.  

Yes, that’s right.  There is a direct causal link between last summer’s Israeli murders of Gazan civilians, the continued building of homes by Israeli settlers on Palestinian land, Israel’s policy toward Gaza, and the need for French soldiers to be positioned in front of every Jewish school in France.  This is what journalist Michel Gurfinkiel calls an “importation of the Palestinian conflict into France.”  I call it backlash.

Funding of the French soldiers comes out of my hard-earned tax euros.

more soldier school

On September 12, 2014 – following the Israeli-Gaza conflict in which 2,000 Palestinian civilians were killed, including 500 children – the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) published a report confirming that deployment of Israel’s offensive called “Operation Protective Edge” led to significant spikes in anti-Semitic incidents worldwide.

Britain experienced a 400 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents during July 2014.  There was a direct link between those acts and events in the Gaza Strip.

Below is a detailed and impartial report, prepared by the AFSC (American Friends Service Committee) entitled How do illegal settlements perpetuate inequality, discrimination, and violence in the occupied Palestinian territory?

If you wish to contribute, in a small way, to the advancement of peace and social justice, you can donate or volunteer with the AFSC.  Please read this informative report.

8 thoughts on “National Front guns in Béziers / machine guns on my street

  1. You have every right to feel anger. The entire world feels indignation vis-à-vis the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip and the deliberate targeting of Gazan homes last summer in which nearly 70% of Palestinian casualties were civilians. Those who weren’t killed are left traumatized and shell-shocked. All we can hope for is justice in the ICC War Crimes Inquiry.

    • I have no faith in that court system whatsoever. The ICC functions on the political agendas of countries (namely the USA) who support and finance Israel.

  2. Aside from the deaths, untold Palestinian civilians were left wounded, their homes demolished. Last summer’s violent assault against Gaza was a collective punishment of 1.7 million people who are already living in poverty. Gaza has been described by human rights groups as an open air prison with nowhere to escape. It has to end. You are right to talk about this, Juliet, and I’m truly sorry that the repercussions of that conflict are being played out in France, on your street, and elsewhere.

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