Never Again?


During the second week of January the world witnessed two horrendous terrorist attacks in the name of radical Islam. On the morning of Jan. 7, gunmen forced entry into the Paris offices of a French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. In the name of the Prophet Mohammed, the terrorists took the lives of 12 men and women in Paris. One of the three gunmen, 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad, voluntarily surrendered himself to police and the other two men, Cherif and Said Kouachi, were later killed in a standoff with police forces outside of Paris where they had claimed they wished to die as martyrs. Two days after the Charlie Hebdo attack, another two gunmen entered a kosher grocery store in a French suburb and took 19 hostages. Police were able to apprehend Amedy Coulibaly during the standoff, but his accomplice, Hayat Boumeddiene, has reportedly fled France. Four of the 19 hostages in the kosher grocery store had been murdered.

The anti-Semitic attack on the kosher grocery store is not the first sign of anti-Semitism in France: over the past few months, there has been a reported increase in hate crimes against French-Jews. Attacks on synagogues and Jewish places of business, along with riots, have become so commonplace that they have resulted in a mass exodus of Jews from France to Israel.  Aliyah, the Jewish homecoming to Israel from other countries, is not uncommon (as Israel is the Jewish homeland and offers citizenship to all Jewish people), but the numbers leaving France have recently skyrocketed. According to the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigration Absorption, the number of Jews immigrating to Israel from France in 2010 was a little over 2,000, but as of the year 2014, it rose to 6,658. The issue is not simply linked to France. There has been an increase in anti-Semitism across the entirety of Europe (recall the Jewish Museum of Belgium shooting), as well as Canada and the United States, which has resulted in an overall increase in Jews seeking aliyah. Quite simply: Jews are once again fearing for their lives.

But what is the root cause of the spike in anti-Semitism in France, as well as the rest of the Western world? There seems to be a strong correlation between an increasing Muslim influx into the Western world and the creation of a Muslim sympathetic media. Recall the Israel-Gaza conflict this summer? Almost all American media outlets, whether considered Left or Right leaning, painted Israel as overbearing, persecuting, war mongering, child murderers. Hamas, the terror organization that openly advocates for the annihilation of Israel and all Jews, was treated much differently. For example, Hamas had, at one point, kidnapped and murdered three innocent Israeli teens—but this fact was quickly forgotten. Hamas’ launching of some 40 rockets from Gaza into Israel had also been overlooked. The ordeal created an extensive tunnel system from Gaza into Israel in order to facilitate a ground invasion and additional terrorist attacks.

Hamas might have lost the Israel-Gaza conflict, but they most definitely won the much larger publicity war. As a result of coming out on top in the global media, Hamas had gained airtime, sympathy and the ear of world leaders; The European Union (EU) has gone as far as to remove Hamas from their list of known terrorist organizations, although they now plan to appeal the move, according to a statement made on Jan. 19.

Take a look around the Middle East and at countries where Islam dominates: Islam does not prove itself to be a very tolerable religion. Witness the Islamic States genocide against Christian Arabs in Mosul, the Muslim Brotherhood’s attacks on Egyptian Copts, or the burning of a Pakistani couple for supposedly desecrating the Quran. Islam is becoming increasingly synonymous with religious intolerance, as well as anti-Semitism and anti-Christian sentiment.

Sure, there are quotes from imams and other religious leaders that “condemn” the actions and attacks of these jihadists and terrorists, but actions speak louder than words. If the wider Muslim population most definitely opposes this kind of violent intolerance, then where are the protests and demonstrations in the streets showing brotherhood and peace toward the other “People of the Book”?

This  lack of dissent on the part of Muslims and Muslim leaders is perhaps why the double standard that states those practicing Islam must defend their religion or else be associated with terrorism, while Christians, Jews and members of virtually every other faith are not subjected to this kind of interrogation, exists. Christians, for example, don’t have to explicitly dissociate themselves from the Westboro Baptist Church or the Ku Klux Klan (KKK): the KKK is rooted in racial hatred, but popular American Christian culture vehemently condemns their actions. More often than not, the KKK is made a mockery of, as is the Westboro Baptist Church. In addition to this, no government is outwardly approving of either of these groups’ actions (i.e. Pakistan).

What happened to our global motto of “Never Again?” Over 60 years later are we truly willing to allow our global society to revisit the horrors of the Holocaust? It seems the global community is turning its back on Israel and the global Jewish population and opening its arms to terrorist Islamic governments. Every person on this Earth has a right to exist, no matter the color of his or her skin, his or her ethnic background or his or her religious preference. I stand with Israel, as well as for freedom, liberty, justice and equality.