Danish police respond to shooting.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
They wanted to have a bat mitzvah party at a synagogue in central Copenhagen. As is normal in Europe today they had to have armed guards and security similar to those protecting a head of state. It wasn’t enough, though. On Saturday a man walked up to the entrance of the building and shot Dan Uzan, A Jewish community guard working security at the event. The murderer also shot and wounded two policemen.
Later the suspect in the synagogue attack would be shot and killed by police. The police assume he is the same man who fired a hail of bullets at the Krudttonden café hours earlier, killing Finn Nørgaard, a film director.
Norgaard had been attending an event with Lars Vilks, a Swedish cartoonist, and French Ambassador to Denmark Francois Zimeray. It was perhaps ironic or symbolic that the event was centered around a debate on whether artists could “dare” draw blasphemous cartoons, a reference to the murderous attacks on Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January. The event at the café had to be heavily guarded, because these days even to debate free speech one must have men with machine guns for protection – but the guards didn’t help. Three police were wounded in the hail of gunfire and the suspect fled easily, continuing his crusade with the attack against the Jewish target later in the day.
Once the attacks had taken place, the usual coddling, cowering and whitewashing by the media and politicians took place. Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning- Schmidt claimed that “we as a nation have lived through some hours which we will never forget... we don’t know the motives of the suspected perpetrator’s actions... we are not in a battle between Islam and the West. It’s not a battle between Muslims and non-Muslims.”
Of course not. Just like the attack on the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris was described as a “random attack” by the US president, and other media made sure to suggest that the market may not have been targeted because it was Jewish.
The Paris and Copenhagen attacks are not unique events, they are part of a pattern whereby the Islamist murderers seek out Jews as part of their war against humanity. In the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed 164 people, the Pakistan-trained murderers attacked 12 targets, one of which was the Nariman house, a Jewish community center. Out of a city of 11 million people, with probably less than a thousand Jews in it, the Islamists sought out a Jewish target.
The 23-year-old perpetrator of the Toulouse Jewish school killings began his spree by killing three French soldiers. This is the new normal in Europe. First they come for a European symbol, whether it is a soldier or a free speech event, and then they kill the Jews. Then the media and politicians help to cover up or twist the nature of the crime.
Remember the BBC’s Tim Willcox, at a January 11 memorial vigil for those murdered in Paris, badgering a woman with the question (for which he later apologized): “Many critics of Israel’s policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well.”
For the Western media somehow the targeted killings of Yohan Cohen, Philippe Braham, Francois Michel Sa’ada and Yoav Hattab had to be hidden behind a sickening excuse.
Already we are hearing the usual cycle of announcements about upgraded security at Jewish sites in Europe and the canceling of events. A football practice with a Stockholm Jewish football team was called off for “security reasons.”
There are a lot of nice speeches being made in Europe about the threat. Eric Pickles, the UK secretary of state for communities and local government, said there was a “creeping cultural acceptance of anti-Semitism.” Pickles connected the current anti-Semitism with old-style Jew hatred, “for those Jew-hating jihadists, well, they hate everybody else too. But there’s a problem: there is no distinction.”
The January 13 speech by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was powerful; he said there was a “reawakening” of anti-Semitism and asked how long could the Republic stand so long as people say “death to the Jews” in the streets.
“How can we accept that a Tunisian citizen sent to France by his father to be protected can be killed while going to buy his bread for the Sabbath?” That is a good question. Valls connected the rising hatred to the fact that in many French suburbs populated by immigrants and their descendants there was a caving in to and acceptance of anti-Semitism.
“How can we accept that in certain institutions and middle schools and high schools, we can’t teach what the Holocaust was?” It was a rousing speech, but it did not penetrate outside the walls of the National Assembly.
In many ways the murderers have already won.
George Orwell said, “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” Now we live in an Orwellian world in which the opposite is true; people do not sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence against them.
If we do not want the current siege mentality of Europe to become the new normal and slip quietly into a new dark age, we must be prepared for a major shift in our current reaction to the situation. “L’audace, l’audace, toujours l’audace” – audacity, audacity and always audacity, a motto coined by French Revolution leader Georges Danton before the French National Assembly in 1792.
We must have the audacity to call murderers what they are. Jews must have the audacity not to cancel events and surrender to fear. Surrounding events about free speech with security is not protecting them, it is admitting failure.
Consider this question: Were the bodyguards and security provided to Martin Luther King by the Memphis police department on his visit to Memphis an indication of the US Civil Rights movement’s success? Of course not. If black churches in the US needed round-the- clock police protection what would that say about racism in America? It is madness that it ever got to the point where Jews need heavily armed police protection. If any other community had to have men and women with machine guns outside their houses of worship and schools there would be an outcry. And now free speech has been silenced with the barrel of a gun. There is a crusade being waged in Europe, and it cannot be confronted by flowery speeches. It has to be uprooted the way the KKK and hateful, shadowy racist extremism was uprooted in America. We are being candlelight-vigiled to death.
Candlelight will not dispel the shadow of racism and hate casting a pall over too many parts of Europe. Europe needs a real plan in the streets to stop this scourge or we will see more and more Paris- and Copenhagen-style murders.
Follow the author on Twitter @Sfrantzman