The horrific terrorist murders in Paris have led to much thinking and opining about the root causes of the attacks and Muslim hostility towards the West and the Jews. The prime root cause in my humble opinion is Western denial about such hostility in the first place. The Blaze for example has a detailed article about President Obama’s denial of the link of Islam to any one of the multiple terror attacks that have taken place around the world in recent years.
David Horovitz in an excellent article (all his articles are excellent) in the Times of Israel really hits the nail on the head in The death cult ideology that France prefers not to name:
The obsession with Netanyahu’s words and deeds in Paris, and with what Hollande did or didn’t want, might seem trivial in the context of the day’s great exhibition of determined resistance to terrorism. The question of whether France would have mobilized in the way it did solely for Jewish victims might seem jaundiced and small-minded after a day of such grand display.
But now that the 3.5 million marchers have all gone home, we are left with the question: What are the French actually going to do about the mounting challenge of Islamist terrorism? More security? Evidently so. More vigilance? Doubtless, at least for a while. More substantive action, truly designed to eliminate the danger? Don’t bet on that.
France promised the world to its Jewish community after the murderous Toulouse attacks. Hollande vowed time and again that France would do everything to counter anti-Semitism, to fight hatred, “to tear off all the masks, all the pretexts.” This time, too, he pledged unity and vigilance in the battles against racism and anti-Semitism. What he didn’t explicitly promise, then or now, however, was to tackle violent Islamic extremism. On Friday, indeed, he asserted in an address to the nation that “these terrorists and fanatics have nothing to do with the Islamic religion.”
It would be nice to think that they didn’t. But it is their perverted interpretation of obligation to that religion that they invoke in carrying out their acts of terror and fanaticism. And it is the growing brutal resonance of their kill-and-be-killed ideology, and the failure of mainstream Islam to effectively challenge it, that led Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to appeal to Muslim clerics in a remarkable speech on January 1 to promote a more “enlightened” interpretation of Islamic texts. As things stand, el-Sissi warned, the Islamic world is “making enemies of the whole world. So 1.6 billion people (in the Muslim world) will kill the entire world of 7 billion? That’s impossible … We need a religious revolution.” [I blogged about Sisi’s speech last week -anneinpt.]
Islamist jihad cannot and will not be defeated if it is not honestly acknowledged. The enemies of freedom will not be picked out at border crossings, tracked on the internet, targeted, thwarted and ultimately marginalized if insistent self-defeating political correctness means those enemies are not even named.
Jonathan Spyer, writing in “Reflections on the murders in Paris” in Middle East Forum provides some background to the motivations of political Islam which lead to Jihad and offers some remedies:
The Islamic world is currently in the midst of a great historic convulsion. This process is giving birth to political trends and movements of a murderously violent nature. These movements offer a supposed escape route from the humiliation felt at the profound societal failure of the Arab and to a slightly lesser extent the broader Muslim world.
The escape is by way of the most violent and intolerant historic trends of Islam, into a mythologized and imagined past. The route to this old-new imagined utopia is a bloody one. All who oppose or even slight it must die. The simple and brutal laws of 7th century Muslim Arabia are re-applied, in their literal sense. The events of last week in Paris were a manifestation of this trend.
The political trend in question is called political Islam. It manifests itself in its most extreme form in the rival global networks of the Al Qaeda movement and the Islamic State. But these, alas, are only the sharp tip of a much larger iceberg.
Political Islamists are not all, or mainly, young men from slums. On the contrary, its adherents include heads of state, powerful economic interests and media groups, and prominent cultural figures. Some of these, absurdly, were even present at the “solidarity rally” in Paris.
They rendered this event an empty spectacle by their presence.
Political Islam is a reaction to profound societal failure. It is also a flight into unreality. It has nothing practical to offer as an actual remedy to Arab and Islamic developmental problems. Economic, legal and societal models deriving from the 7th century Arabian desert are fairly obvious impediments to success in the 21st.
Where they are systematically imposed, as in the Islamic State, they will create something close to hell on earth. Where they remain present in more partial forms — as in Qatar, Gaza, Iran, (increasingly) Turkey, and so on — they will merely produce stifling, stagnant and repressive societies.
But the remedy for failure that political Islam offers is not a material one. It offers in generous portions the intoxicating psychological cocktail of murderous rage and self-assertion, and the desire to strike out and destroy those deemed enemies — infidels who transgress binding religious commandments, Jews and so on.
In contemporary western European societies, political Islam meets a human collectivity suffering, by contrast, from a profound loss of self. No one, at least in the mainstream of politics and culture, seems able to quite articulate what western European countries are for, or what they oppose — at least beyond a sort of vapid belief in everyone doing what they want and not bothering each other.
The result is that when violent political Islam collides with the satiated, lost societies of western Europe, the response is not defiance on the part of the latter, but rather fear.
This fear, as fear is wont to do, manifests itself in various, not particularly edifying, ways.
The most obvious is avoidance (“the attacks had nothing to do with Islam,” “unemployment and poverty are the root cause,” “the Islamic State is neither Islamic nor a state,” etc etc).
Another is appeasement — “maybe if we give them some of what they want, they’ll leave us alone.”
This response perhaps partially explains the notable adoption in parts of western Europe of the anti-Jewish prejudice so prevalent in the Islamic world.
The ennui of the western European mainstream will almost certainly prevent the adoption of the very tough measures which alone might serve to adequately address the burgeoning problem of large numbers of young European Muslims committed to political Islam and to violence against their host societies.
Such measures — which would include tighter surveillance and policing of communities, quick deportations of incendiary preachers, revocation of citizenship for those engaged in violence, possible imprisonment of suspects and so on — would require a political will which is manifestly absent. So it wont happen. So the events of Paris will almost certainly recur.
And lastly, since the elites will not be able to produce resistance, it will come from outside of the elites. Hence the growth of populist, nationalist parties and movements in western Europe. But Europe being what it is, such revivalist movements are likely to contain a hefty dose of the xenophobia and bigotry which characterized the continent of old.
Both these articles clearly illustrate the West’s problem with facing up to the awful brutal reality of religiously inspired political Islam which leads to the Jihadism that we are facing today on the streets of Europe and Israel.
The BBC’s Tim Wilcox hit a new low by comparing Palestinian deaths to the murder of the French Jews, and then compounding the insult by claiming the Palestinians deaths were “at the hands of the Jews” – not Israel. BBC Watch reports:
Tim Willcox interrupts an interviewee talking about the recent antisemitic attacks in France to inform her – forty-eight hours after four Jewish hostages had been murdered in a terror attack on a kosher supermarket – that:
“Many critics of Israel’s policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well.”
He then goes on to lecture her:
“But you understand; everything is seen from different perspectives.”
Here’s a short clip of his interview:
Wilcox later apologized but the “apology” was such a travesty that it itself became a further insult:
The reporter later took to social media platform Twitter to offer an apology of sorts. “Really sorry for any offense caused by a poorly phrased question in a live interview in Paris yesterday – it was entirely unintentional,” Willcox wrote.
Campaigners against anti-Semitism were unimpressed, however. “Tim Willcox is right to have apologized for the question, but the thinking behind it was just as problematic as the way he phrased it,” Dave Rich, Deputy Director of Communications for the Community Security Trust, the official communal security body of British Jews, told The Algemeiner. “There are simply no grounds on which to suggest that random Jewish shoppers in a Paris kosher grocery might be responsible for the fate of the Palestinians.”
Michael Salberg of the Anti-Defamation League accused Willcox of engaging in “anti-Semitism, plain and simple,” describing the reporter as “a proponent of anti-Jewish conspiracy theories and stereotypes.” As The Algemeiner reported last November, Willcox caused a separate furore during a BBC television panel discussion when he suggested that Jewish voters uncomfortable with British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband’s stance on Israel were motivated by financial concerns. “A lot of these prominent Jewish faces will be very much against the mansion tax,” Willcox said, referring to a Labour proposal for an additional tax on properties worth $3.5 million or more.
Wilcox is a disgrace and the fact that he hasn’t been fired by the BBC reflects as much on the BBC as on himself.
On CNN, meanwhile, reporters Chris Cuomo and Isa Soares implied that the assault on kosher supermarket Hyper Casher had not intentionally targeted Jews since the store was located in an “ordinary” part of Paris and Muslims also shopped there.
WATCH the CNN video below:
It was only a “surprise” to anyone who has not been following the huge rise in antisemitism in France. CNN is a prime example of politically-correct blindness.
CNN’s Jim Clancy went on a total anti-semitic meltdown in a Twitter screed documented by the Elder of Ziyon, yet Clancy, like Wilcox, is still employed by CNN. Again, this reflects as much on CNN as on Clancy.
Meanwhile the New York Times found the eve of the funerals of the Jewish victims the perfect timing to publish an anti-Israel op-ed by an Israeli:
Even a week of terrorist outrages in Paris wasn’t enough to convince the New York Times editorial page to temporarily suspend its obsession with the supposed evils of Israeli policy.
On Monday morning, alongside a piece signed by the Times Editorial Board which discussed anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment in France in several places – but did not deign to mention the fear among French Jews of rising anti-Semitism – readers of the “newspaper of record” were confronted with another article, entitled “Why I Won’t Serve Israel.”
Gilead Ini, a senior analyst with media watchdog CAMERA, slammed the Times for “perversely using the emigration of over one percent of the French Jewish population as an occasion to do what the newspaper does so often: Undermine Israel’s right to exist or, in this case, its ability to defend itself, by giving the country’s most marginal and hateful critics a platform.”
Added Ini: “It is a reminder that the New York Times opinion editor recently admitted to treating Israel with a harsher standard.”
For Rabbi Cooper, however, the publication of the piece “inadvertently highlighted an important truth.”
“Israel the only democracy in the neighborhood,” he said. “Good luck to the author if he had dared pen such a piece from Beirut, Damascus or Tehran.”
Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post quotes Canadian PM Stephen Harper and Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu’s statements on the terror attacks and then notes:
Israel is the beacon of light, the representative of democratic values and civilization itself in the Middle East. This is obviously why jihadists seek to destroy “Little Satan”; it is a warm-up to taking on Big Satan, the United States.
Like it or not, the Europeans and the left more generally have taken up anti-Israel doctrine as part of their creed, not realizing that Israel is essential to their survival and the values of democracy, pluralism and tolerance. It is not merely that Israel battles the jihadists in the Middle East, although this is crucial to the West. More important, Israel’s existence is confirmation that the West will defend itself, that those who yearn for a new caliphate do not get a free pass. Its presence is a refutation of the Islamists’ vision.
Killing Jews as the first step in a barbaric onslaught is, alas, not unique to the Islamic terrorists. It is an uncomfortable truth that whatever the latest “ism,” forces of tyranny and suppression target Jews, whether it is Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union or the jihadists in Gaza and Tehran. If ever there is confusion about who is the enemy of civilization itself, look at who is seeking to kill Jews.
The trouble is that the West, its leadership and its media, are having great difficulty in internalising and acknowledging that Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Israel or Jews per se, nor with anything Israel is perceived to have done.
The West has a problem understanding or agreeing that those same Hamas terrorists that Israel is fighting in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon are of the same jihadist mindset as the Paris murderers or the 9/11 terrorists or the Muslim terrorists who blew up buses and trains in Madrid and London on 7/7, and committed mass murder in Bali and Mumbai, and who killed hostages in an Australian cafe. Israel’s building settlements or demanding the right to pray on the Temple Mount is irrelevant to the Jihadis, no matter what they say to willing ears in the Western media. The Muslim terrorists’ problem with Israel is that it exists, full stop.
It’s long beyond high time that the world stopped hectoring Israel on what it “must” or “must not” do. As long as Israel exists we will be the target of terrorism, and Western antagonism to us only encourages the terrorists.
Moreover this Western hostility to Israel makes the Jihadists miscalculate and think that since the world blames Israel for the terrorism targeting it, they can similarly get away with targeting the West. And thus the roundabout continues. As one Twitter user observed: