French press review 23 July 2014

France is still simmering with news of the riots from this weekend, while Le Monde lashes out at Putin and the Reds remember Laos.


According to the conservative Le Figaro, 62 per cent of the French want upcoming pro-Palestinian protests to be banned.

This is surprising, given that the riots this weekend were blamed by some commentators on the government's ban. French President François Hollande has sanctioned further protests, with another one organised this afternoon.

Dossier: Gaza 2009

If you ask Le Figaro, the country isn't being strict enough with its trouble-makers either.

Judges meted out sentences to a handful of people arrested this weekend - the longest being five months suspended for assault on an officer. Voices from the right have claimed that this is not nearly severe enough.

Leftie Libé wonders where France's fresh wave of anti-Semitism is coming from. Is it really new? Or is it merely recycled?  This time the trend has united dhijadists, pan-African supremacists, anti-Zionists and the traditional radical right. The paper looks into how cultural figures like controversial stand-up comedian Dieudonné and essayist Alain Soral have become poster-children for a new kind of hatred towards Jews.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is still on the front pages, with Le Monde running an original report on the Bedouins of the Negev desert.

A couple of hundred Bedouins with Israeli citizenship live in the desert in the south of Israel, not far from the border with Gaza. Some of their villages have been destroyed by Palestinian rockets. Aiming for Beer-Sheva or other Israeli territory, Hamas in fact misfired on its supposed allies.

The desert is not protected by Israel's Iron Dome defense system and the state has called on the Bedouins to evacuate the area. But many, according to Le Monde, are loath to leave, having lived there for generations and suffering from acute discrimination in the rest of the country.

The leading daily also has an analysis of Russian President Vladimir Putin's misdemeanours. The Russian leader is increasinlgy trapped in a web of his own lies. His reputation as a world leader has been irretrievably marred by his poor handling of the MH17 crash.

Dossier: Sharia wars - Boko Haram v the military in northern Nigeria

The paper lists all the things he could have done: behave responsibly towards its Western neighbour, react speedily to the crash, set a good example, boost Russia's global standing. He chose to do none of the above.

The paper warns that his propaganda campaign will tripp him up in the end with the last fanciful confabulation being that the Malaysian aircraft attack was a foiled attempt to shoot him down from the skies.

Whether or not Russia was directly involved in the crash, it 's clear that its influence with the seperatists in Ukraine is rocky at best.

Le Monde soberly notes that Putin will end up making a fool of himself, citing examples of the press worldwide already aggressively lampooning him.

Catholic La Croix marks the anniversary of the Boko Haram kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls.

It says that international mobilisation was ineffective and did nothing but give the extremists even more media attention, thus promoting their agenda. The paper reports that, although the Bring Back our Girls campaign took off dramatically on social media a few months ago, it is now practically forgotten. This is mostly due to rival fractions and political parties in Nigeria accusing each other of manipulating mobilisation over the issue in their favour.

L'Humanité marks the 50th anniversary of the US bombing of Laos, reporting that some ammunition can still be found on the ground. Such as cluster bombs which are easily confused with the balls used in pétanque, a popular game there. They still wound approximately 300 people a year. The Communist paper says it will take another 50 years before Laos's ground is entirely safe again.

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