A woman holds a candle as she pays her respect at one of the attack sites in Paris, November 15, 2015. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Charlie Hebdo/Jewish supermarket attacks of January 2015 followed years of anti-Semitic terrorism in Europe and Israel which have now led over the edge of the abyss into general mayhem.
Despite the French government’s welcome measure of placing armed military personnel outside vulnerable Jewish targets, a cognitive disconnect has continued in media and political rejection of the features common to European and Israeli victimology.
A London Metropolitan police official at September’s Counter-Terrorism Summit in Israel expressed his concern with Islamic State, al-Qaida and Boko Haram, but admitted that Hamas and Hezbollah did not reach his radar screen.
Yet all jihadists view the Jew as a tactical target within a consortium of enemies that include America, Western values, Christianity, moderate Muslims, women and homosexuals. The strategic target is the delicate fabric of democracy itself.
In the slum belts around French cities, twin cries in Arabic now resonate among native-born Islamists,fired up by jihadist imams and Internet sites: “Maut al Yahud” (Death to the Jews) and “Na’al Fransa” (Curse France).
These young Europeans, recruited to IS in Syria/Iraq or Pakistani Koranic schools, are now returning home as trained murderers.
The political sophistication of the Friday 13 Paris atrocities lies in the total lack of sophistication in the choice of targets: a sports stadium, restaurants, a theater. Not ministries, banks, stations, military installations, but coordinated attacks on the general public.
These black-uniformed, suicide-belted, “Allahu Akbar” shrieking “martyrs,” crouched and swiveled their Kalashnikovs in 360 degree turns, for maximum carnage. Multiple locations for simultaneous assaults augmented general panic and confusion, especially for security and first responders.
These are the appurtenances of Middle East terrorism – honed over years against Israel – now transplanted to European soil.
Yet Europe appeases these forces of evil by supporting and endorsing the demonization subsets underpinning the terrorism against Israeli civilians: boycott, now called “labeling” of Jewish export products; a defensive fence labeled “apartheid wall”; a “right to return” campaign for the great-great grandchildren of refugees from 1948 British Mandate Palestine; their current leaders’ theft of Jewish heritage and the constant attrition of anti-Israel UN resolutions disproportionate to the condemnation of any other member state.
Paris is only a way station as London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels and Rome take preventive measures. As Europe rebuilds its border fences, profile-sifting trained and potential jihadists among the current refugee wave, perhaps opinion will now bridge that cognitive synaptic association, that was so axiomatic for Simon Wiesenthal, “what starts with the Jews never ends with them!” A maxim that can be paraphrased as: “The suicide bombings, intifadas, knife stabbings, car rammings that began in Israel do not end there!” Anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, anti-Israelism in Europe only serve the mutual enemies of both Israel and Europe.
The author is director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.