By Giulio Meotti
There have been many hypocrisies these past few days: the US newspapers which didn’t republish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, the French intellectuals who pointed their corrupted fingers at “Islamophobia”, the Muslim leaders and the French president Hollande who said that Paris’ massacres have nothing to do with Islam.
I was talking with Roger Scruton, the most famous British conservative philosopher. He added another hypocrisy: “In the slogan ‘We are all Charlie Hebdo’ lies Western appeasement. It is like saying to the terrorists: ‘leave us in peace’. It happened after the 7/7 bombings in London, when British public opinion said: ‘We will not change our way of life'”.
I want to add another hypocrisy as well. Everywhere, from Rome to London, there is now a spontaneous and important wave of solidarity with the journalists and cartoonists and to some extent the shoppers slaughtered in Paris last week. You now hear world leaders condemning Islamist terrorism from Indonesia to London, but Jerusalem never gets mentioned. It’s as if the Jews deserve it, as if Israel brought this on herself, as if there is no room for Israel’s blood and cries in the European and Western frivolous conscience.
A New York Times article, titled “Israelis link attack to their own struggles”, just confirms this: in Paris it was terrorism, in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem it is a “legitimate struggle” against “occupation”.
It is the case with the tragedy two years ago. The day after the murderous attack in Tolouse, many held signs saying “We will never forget”. But two years after the carnage, Toulouse’s Jews have been forgotten. Who recalls the name of Miriam Monsonego?
Even for some of the Charlie Hebdo journalists who were murdered by the terrorists, Israel had become the main source of pollution in the Mediterranean. The European anti-Semitism of nationalistic character, the one that hated the Jews as rootless people unable to have a state and to defend it, gherim, has come to see Israel as the evil avenger, the great destroyer, the biggest colonialist, the bloodiest usurper of homes and land.
The French 1/7 can become a day of evil remembered worldwide, but Israel’s suffering has been deliberately forgotten and justified.
In the last year, terrorists have shed Western blood in the Canadian Parliament, in the Syrian desert, in an Australian cafè and now in a French daily newspaper and grocery. For that innocent blood, cries and solidarity have come to support the struggle, at least nominally, against terrorism. But what about the suicide bomber in Rishon Lezion who massacred a group of elderly who were enjoying the cool air on a patio, where they had no protection?
What about the shopping malls like in Efrat, the pedestrian areas like in Hadera, the bus stops like in Afula and Jerusalem, the train stations like in Nahariya, the pizzerias like in Karnei Shomron, the nightclubs in Tel Aviv, the buses of students like in Gilo, the bars and restaurants like in Herzliya, and the cafes like in Haifa? Oh no, that blood, the Jewish blood, is not innocent and the terrorists’ rage and profanity of the Jewish dead was totally justified.
The Charlie Hebdo killers didn’t plan specifically how to inflict further pain on the survivors. In Israel, pieces of metal were added to the explosives in the terrorist’s vest or backpack, with blasts often severing limbs completely.
But again, for these Jews there is no pity or understanding, while now the entire world is asking how Charlie Hebdo’s survivors are feeling and coping with the massacre. The widow of Charlie Hebdo’s editor is now on all the French televisions as she should be. But where is the Western media when Israel counts so many widows weeping because of terrorism?
In the most influential quarters of France, which now mourn Charlie Hebdo, Jews are regarded as a group not entitled to defend itself from genocidal terrorism. The Jewish victim, but above all the Israeli victim, must accept not only his fate of being murdered, but also of being swallowed in the general amnesia.
September 11 and January 7, as before them, the Spanish March 11 and the British July 7, should be remembered forever as turning points in world history.
But Israeli civilian victims should be honored not only with the same global sorrow we have seen these days, but with an even deeper and more dramatic respect since the Israeli Jews endured this every day in the last seventy years.
The writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book “A New Shoah,” which researched the personal stories of Israel’s terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He has just published a book about the Vatican and Israel titled “J’Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel” published by Mantua Books.