What's blue and white and red all over? An Israeli after a touch too much charif on the shwarma? Or maybe, the French after 11 nights of rioting across 15 cities?
Red in the face with exasperation, embarrassment and frustration. I mean, we the French were all so nice. We and the rest of Europe with our borderless existence and our happy-go-lucky immigration policies. How could this all have gone so wrong? Hmmm, ask Tony Blair, he'll explain it all!
Another French Revolution to match the real one? Maybe not. Another wake up call to Europe. Maybe. Poverty and inequality are always claimed to be the sparks for such violence. Regardless of sparks and from where they arrive, nothing can excuse barbaric behavior - not in terms of homicide bombers in Israel, massacres in Dafur, terror in the UK or in USA and not even in terms of wild destruction, petrol bombing and gunfire on the streets of France.
Other Europeans states have already started to crack down on their open immigration policies - slowly. French Jews have been afraid of the French Moslem explosion for years and have recently been buying up 'rescue real estate' in Israel.
Look, don't get me wrong, I am no white supremacist or anti-Moslem. Quite the contrary. Yet I am a big believer in 'when in Rome'... and this means that regardless of your personal religious beliefs, one must commit loyally to the state in which one dwells. Jews are taught as such worldwide and prayers are said for the local government in every synagogue.
When individual Jews have betrayed that understanding, they have faced the fullness of the law.
We have lived honestly and calmly in our adopted homelands and contributed equally to them. Jews have been proud to be Americans, British and New Zealand patriotic, full-blown citizens. Only persecution and the miraculous return of the Jewish homeland to our hands has encouraged us to move out.
I do not dislike Moslems or Islam. Still, is it just a coincidence that so many of today's world conflicts involve Moslem fighters? It does not matter whether or not it is the execution of a Moslem plan to take over the world or rather an illustration of young Moslems' frustration. It might be a mix of the two or one taking advantage of the other. Regardless, unless its leaders enjoy Islam's increasingly negative public image, the Moslem world would do well to take stock of itself and begin to redirect the obvious overflow of Moslem emotion, frustration, fundamentalism (or whatever it in fact is) towards more beneficial and honest endeavors.
At least one of yesterday's Israeli dailies screamed out "French Intifada" as its main headline. It's not at all surprising that there is more than a little Israeli interest in the situation, especially as France has been a great critic of Israel's handling of Palestinian violence. Warnings, advice and a sense of irony fill the Israeli street too.
We should not get too smug about it all though. We have proven to be no experts in quelling riots either - not without having to injure and kill. With shots fired at police overnight and a 12th night awaiting, the French may be about to embark on an uneasy educational Israel experience. Let's hope that the red of the French flag does not come only to symbolize spilt blood.
A little KICprediction (which I make with trepidation) - with riot encouragement spreading across websites and blogs, would anyone else be so chutzpahdik to predict that other Moslems in Europe might soon also give in to the urge for a good night out?