The murder of four helpless French Jews, and four French soldiers, by radical Islamist Mohamed Merah, represents tragic and barbaric acts of terror. But some have read more into these murders. Laura Rosen Cohen, a Toronto-based writer (and occasional contributor to the National Post) took to her blog to denounce these shootings as yet more proof that Jewish life in Europe has no future.
"There ... can only be Jewish death in Europe. For those willing to see it, we can see that Jews have reached a fork in the road of our existence as a people," she wrote. "Europe, with France leading the way, has sealed the future of Jewish 'life' in Europe. Those who can leave, should."
She's not the first conservative to worry about the future of Jews in Europe: The idea that the continent has become an anti-Semitic hellhole has attained a curious popularity in the media - and especially the right-wing media - since 9/11. In many cases, the pattern is the same as the one display here: A single episode of violence against Jews is taken as a standin for the views of the entire continent, or at least much of it.
In fact, this week's events suggest the opposite: France's entirely appropriate response to a crime committed by an isolated, hate-addled extremist should be cause for reassurance, not despair...Gurney goes on to say that
A terrible crime was committed. But Jews weren't the only target, or even the first. The French state, despite a history of anti-Semitism during the 20th century, found their man and shot him to death. President Sarkozy was quick to call Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to offer sympathy, attended a memorial service for the Jewish victims at a Toulouse synagogue, and the entire country held a minute of silence to honour the victims.
One can read political motivation into President Nicolas Sarkozy's very public support for the Jewish victims. But even that is telling: He's fighting for his political life, and sees value in standing behind his Jewish citizens. Doesn't exactly signal a country taken up by a flurry of Jewhatred, does it?I have four words for Mr. Gurney: al Dura blood libel. For not only is France a land that has long been suffused with Judenhass (does the name Alfred Dreyfus ring any bells, Matt?), is the place where not very long ago ago French journalist Philippe Karentsy, a Jew, issued a Zola-like "J'accuse" against French media for fabricating a hoax--film showing Israelis purposely targeting and killing a young Palestinian lad named Mohammed al Dura. Of course, they did no such thing, but that didn't stop the media accused of the subterfuge of suing Karentsy for smearing its good name. Karentsy ended up being acquitted on appeal, but incalculable harm had already been done, and continues unabated. The al Dura blood libel lives on, as have all blood libels since the very first one got going in England all those centuries ago. So not only are President Sarkozy's words completely disingenuous--not once did he mention that the al Dura libel, which continues to flourish in the Muslim press, may have provided incentive for the jihadi who claimed he wanted to "avenge" Palestinian children---in asserting that "to look for an explanation ... would be a moral fault," Sarkozy, you should pardon the expression, is full of merde.
France's long-standing Judenhass has segued with elan, panache and great savoir faire into Zionhass. For Gurney to fail to see it, and to insist that France's response to this horror "has done its citizens proud" is a moral failing. But I'm sad to say it's Matt's.
Update: Glick, unlike Gurney, gets it:
Ignoring and denying the openly expressed aims of jihadists like Merah is of course only part of the problem. The second aspect of the West's effective collusion with these killers is Western elites' justification of their crimes. After initially pinning the blame for the Toulouse massacre on Nazis, when French authorities finally acknowledged Merah's jihadist identity, they also provided his justification for murder. Speaking to reporters, French Interior Minister Claude Gueant gave us Merah's name and his excuse at the same time. Gueant told us that Merah was associated with al Qaeda and he was upset about what he referred to as Israel's "murder" of Palestinian children.
It should be unnecessary to note the simple truth that Israel doesn't murder Palestinian children. Palestinians murder Israeli children. But then, if Merah got his news from the Western media there is a reasonable chance that he wouldn't know that.Update: Listen to Laura Rosen Cohen speaking to Charles Adler (scroll down to "Adler - March 22 p2).