Sunday, August 10, 2014

Le Monde on Gaza Firm

This is a translation of an article from Le Monde on the French group, Gaza Firm.  Again, thanks to Stephen Hastings-King for the translation.

An obscure “Gaza Firm” on the margins of pro-Palestinian demonstrations
 Le | 26.07.2014 à 11h08 • Mis à jour le 26.07.2014 à 11h21 |
Par Caroline Monnot

A screen capture from a video uploaded by Equality and Reconciliation show a group of about 30 people from the “Gaza Firm” marching down a small street in the 18th arrondissement of Paris on July 19.  Among their chants was, notably, “Israel out of France”

Present for a while on July 19 at Barbès during an banned pro-Palestinian demonstration and on July 23 at Denfert-Rochereau (during an authorized protest) was an intriguing new collective.  Called “Gaza Firm”, it takes its cues, as do others, from the culture of [sports] “ultra-supporterism.”  It is made up of former members of the “K-Soce Team,” “Microbes” or “Karsud” of the Auteuil fringes of PSG (but, of course, not at all).  “They’re very political types, but without much in the way of reference points” explains someone who knows the milieu well.

This collective benefits from fervent support and is affiliated with the “Equality and Reconciliation” movement.  The association started by Alain Sorel, an extreme-right polemicist close to Dieudonné, characterized them on July 20 in these words: “Gaza Firm, a Goyim Defense League” Equality and Reconciliation—which says much about this collective---confirms that “Gaza Firm”, which was not called by that name at the time, “was already illustrious after the Day of Rage, chasing ultra-Zionist provocateurs who came to cause trouble for public order.  Political power must shut down these dissident voices.”  The 26 January “Day of Rage” demonstration mixed the extreme radical and “Dieudonnist” Right and stands out in the mind because of their numerous anti-Semitic slogans.

“Anti-System” Cultural Platform on the Net
Equality and Reconciliation posted a video showing a group of about 30 people from Gaza Firm protesting in a spectacular way on July 19 on a small street in the 18th arrondissement of Paris.  Among others things, they shout “Israel out of France.”  Beyond the confines of Equality and Reconciliation, someone named Mathais  Cardet takes care of publicity for Gaza Firm.  He is their current father figure.  He describes himself as a former hooligan, and has lately achieved a certain notoriety for a book he published entitled “Rap: The Big Fraud,” which got him a number of television appearances.  A fellow traveler of Alain Sorel, who edited the book and with whom he has given some talks, Cardet has launched an “anti-system” cultural internet platform called “Bras d’honneur”  (Arm of Honor).  He was present Wednesday around the cortege along with some people from Equality and Reconciliation.  On Friday, July 25, Gaza Firm published a communique denying any political affiliation with anyone.  The authors write: “Gaza Firm is a group of friends from various backgrounds brought together by the Palestinian cause but also to confront the blind and unpunished violence of racist Zionist groups like the Jewish Defense League and Betar,” The author follows with the jaunty affirmation: “Gaza Firm is apolitical, which means that under no circumstances will it manipulate or be manipulated by either persons or political parties.”  Before claiming that there is “no link” to Dieudonné “or even” to Alain Soral.