David Gritz, one of the nine people killed in the 2002 Hamas bombing at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Photo: MFA.
On the 14th anniversary of the bombing at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, which left nine dead and scores wounded, a US-based French Israeli who set up a scholarship in the name of one of the victims told The Algemeiner about the shift that has subsequently taken place in the attitude in France towards Islamist terrorism.
Noam Ohana, founder and president of Tsarfat, the “voice of French Jews in the United States,” recounted the story of David Gritz, a student at the prestigious Parisian university Sciences Po who was killed in the Hamas attack on July 31, 2002.
Ohana, a Sciences Po alumnus – who worked for the French Prime Minister’s Office and at the Israeli Consulate in New York – took it upon himself to honor Gritz, murdered by Palestinian terrorists all for being a Jew. But the educational institution was hesitant to memorialize their dead student “in any practical way.”
In addition, Ohana told The Algemeiner, “The mainstream media then was eager to explain away Palestinian terrorism and contextualize it. Even an attack on a campus cafeteria could not really be considered ‘blind’ terrorism, as all parts of Israeli society supposedly shared some blame for the plight of the Palestinians. One French intellectual, Étienne Balibar, wrote a particularly horrifying note to Le Monde, to basically try and justify David’s death: by pointing to his having traveled to Jerusalem and studying at the Hebrew University. David’s parents had to respond to this attack while still in the midst of their month of mourning.”
This, said Ohana — who has written extensively about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the mainstream French and American press — was the atmosphere in France back then. Thankfully, however, he said, “Ten years later, my wife and I were able to convince Sciences Po president Richard Descoings to reverse course and agree to set up a scholarship in David’s name.”
Ohana also said that much has changed in France since then. “Terrorism has taken the lives of more than 200 people in the last two years alone, and the perception on the part of the general public and mainstream media has begun to shift in a material way.”
He added, “Though there are still attempts to distinguish Palestinian terrorism from any other terrorism, especially in some ‘progressive’ circles, it is getting harder to do, as ISIS terrorists use techniques employed by Palestinian terrorists, such as the truck-ramming on Bastille Day in Nice this month. Basically, the fact that Palestinians own the intellectual property of so many of the mass-murder methods makes it very difficult to distinguish between terrorist groups.”
Describing David Gritz as an accomplished musician and “a product of the very cosmopolitan Paris” that was targeted at the Bataclan Theater in November 2015 — his mother is an artist from former Yugoslavia and his father a New York Jew – Ohana said wrily, “ISIS would have loved to kill him, but Hamas …read more
Source:: The Algemeiner