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What the papers said 16 May 2018

rfi English, May 16

The papers vent outrage at Israel’s shooting of Palestinians protesting the US embassy transfer from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac gets off lightly, and “Go Marseille!”

We begin with reactions by the commentators to the Israeli army's killing of 60 Palestinians in what experts describe as the bloodiest day of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza war.

In the wake of the Trump administration's decision to formally move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Libération speaks of at least 2,700 other Palestinians wounded by gun fire from the Israeli forces.

The paper says the overwhelming use of force against demonstrators has sparked widespread condemnation, and demands an independent investigation from the UN and European Union, Britain, Germany and Switzerland.

There is a consensus among the commentators that Trump's latest move leaves the Middle East without any perspectives for peace.

That's the view upheld by Le Monde which claims that Washington's alignment to the policies of the ruling Likud party is not the gift to Israel, contrary to the widespread belief by the Israelis.

By encouraging the Netanyahu government's war mongering, it argues, Trump has simply given the young Jewish state the illusion that it is not alone at a time when it has never been so isolated on the international scene.

According to Le Monde, nobody will be fooled by Donald Trump's talk about a peace plan which it claims brings no prospects for peace and instead condemns Israel to live in fear.

La Montagne Centre France points to an irony of sorts, the fact that the continued spilling of innocent blood has not convinced some of the hardline ideologues to lay down weapons. For the publication, all of the militant groups opposed to Israel's current policy are not anti-Semitic.

Républicain Lorrain claims that despite the courageous struggle waged by the Palestinians from generation to generation, and the martyrs dying for the homeland cause, they themselves are fully aware of their inability to change the course of history.

L'Humanité for its part urges France not to head to the other direction and work towards international recognition and protection for a Palestinian state based inside internationally recognised borders, and living side by side in peace with their Israeli neighbours whose security is guaranteed.

Paris has the credibility to do so argues the Communist daily. Yet it voices scepticism about the ability of the authorities in Paris to champion such a cause.

As French Muslims prepare to begin the holy month of Ramadan, Le Figaro wonders why it is still necessary for the faith to continue bringing in Imams from abroad, despite the established influence of foreign predicators in the Islamic radicalisation in France.

The front page article comes just days after the bloody knife rampage in Paris by a naturalised Chechen Jihadist in which one man was killed and four others wounded,

Le Figaro blames it all on the absence of clerical hierarchy and theological authority in the Sunni school of Islam with up to 5 million Mohammedans on French soil.

According to the conservative daily, it is hard to imagine any solutions without considering a revision of the 1905 law on the separation of the church and state. Still from the publication's point of view, the legislation is a Pandora’s box so inflammatory that it could reignite a war of religions, if anyone tampers with it.

Former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac gets off lightly

Another hot topic for debate is the rather lenient verdict handed down to former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac who operated an overseas account while leading the government's crackdown on tax evasion.

Le Parisien reports that instead of the initial three years behind bars he got from the first trial, Cahuzac was handed two years with two more suspended, meaning that his sentence could be reduced to community service under the provisions of French law.

L'Opinion says that the verdict didn't go far enough to teach him a lesson for bringing his office to disrepute and trampling on the law.

According to La Croix, even if Cahuzac escapes being held behind bars, he will carry the shame of being one of the cheats who deprive the country of 60 to 80 billion euros of revenue every year.

La République des Pyrénées urges citizens outraged by Cahuzac's "escape", to understand that he's already condemned to social and professional death and banished from the high circles of society where he held sway, by the huge financial penalty of 300,000 euros he has to pay.

According to Le Journal de la Haute-Marne, the gravest error committed by Cahuzac is to have brought into disrepute the entire French political class - the publication pointing to several opinion surveys, regularly showing the awful image the French have for politicians especially in the large appetite for money.

“Go Marseille!”

"Allez l'OM!" "Go Marseille" is another big splash on the front pages this Wednesday as the French football giants face Atletico Madrid in the final of the Europa League in Lyon tonight.

"Against all odds for history crows l'Equipe. The sports daily is betting for an upset by the French side, despite the coming up against the formidable Spanish side who are the favourites, having won the Europa League twice in the last decade and also narrowly lost two Champions League finals to Real Madrid, in 2014 and 2016.

Libération has a large edited photograph of President Emmanuel Macron and Unbowed leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon hand in hand and clad in Marseille shirts.

The newspaper says that who are sparing no opportunity to proclaim their passion for l'OM have political points to win this Wednesday if the untouchable Marseille ends up defeating Atletico Madrid this Wednesday.

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