One sequel of the French terrorist attack that targeted Jews and killed four is the use of the attack by Israel’s Prime Minister to say that Jews around the world need the Jewish state for their security.
Yes, some Jews are genuinely questioning their security in France; the New York Times reported that anxiety here, including the art store owner saying she feels more secure in Tel Aviv than Paris. But hard-core Zionists have appeared at times to revel in the commemoration of the murders as an opportunity to proselytize Jewish insecurity in the west. Natan Sharansky, the head of the Jewish Agency, boldly predicted to the Times that more than 10 percent of France’s 500,000 Jews will emigrate to Israel in coming years.
And here is an excerpt of Netanyahu ‘s speech at the funerals yesterday of French Jews slaughtered in Paris and buried in Jerusalem. He stresses the alleged unity of the Jewish people worldwide– “the entire Jewish nation” — and their dependence on Israel:
And there, in Paris, I witnessed once again the strength of spirit and the warmth of the Jewish community in France, a community that has made a great contribution to France, and is connected with every fiber of its being to the people of Israel, the Torah of Israel and the Land of Israel – the three-ply cord that has never been severed, which has ensured our existence and is the secret of our resurrection.
Therefore, at this time, we should focus on the great spirit that is present here, the spirit of Israel which is saying: you will never, ever defeat us. The secret of our nation’s strength is our internal unity, our faith and the mutual responsibility that binds us together. This is the source of our power, our resilience – the resilience of an ancient people that has overcome every obstacle and adversity, and has risen from the dirt.
Look around here in the mountains of Jerusalem. Today, thankfully, we have a state of our own – a thriving, modern state; a state that shines a bright light, like a moral beacon for the world; a state that takes responsibility for its own fate. And our President was right when he said that Jews have the right to live in many countries, and it is their right to live in perfect safety. But I believe that they know deep in their hearts that they have only one country, the State of Israel, the historic homeland that will accept them with open arms, like beloved children.
Today more than ever, Israel is our true home, and the more numerous we are, and the more united we are in our country, the stronger we are in our one and only state – and that is the hope of the entire Jewish nation.
More on Netanyahu’s appearance in Paris the other day. The Israeli ambassador to Britain has objected strenuously to a Liberal Democrat politician’s expression of anger at Netanyahu’s presence at the head of the freedom march in Paris. First, here are the tweets from David Ward:
#Netanyahu in Paris march – what!!!! Makes me feel sick
— David Ward (@DavidWardMP) January 11, 2015
And the other:
Now here’s the Israeli ambassador (his letter is below) saying that it is unfortunate that anyone sought to politicize the occasion! The Guardian transcribes:
“At a time when leaders were united in condemnation of extremist atrocities, Mr Ward’s statement is a disgraceful attempt to politicise suffering, delegitimise Israel, and justify acts of terror.
“It also exhibits a callous disregard for the Jews of France, many of whom look to Israel as they are increasingly targeted merely because of their religion.”
I’d note that the ambassador conflates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. In the New York Times piece, too, French Jews said that criticism of Israel was on the rise, suggesting that this was the same thing as targeting Jews in France. But at +972, Orly Noy says that French anti-semitism is fostered by Israeli actions (just what Bruce Shipman suggested last summer) and these Jews are being recruited in a structure of Jewish privilege over Muslims. “Why Netanyahu wants French Jews to move to Israel:”
Why move to country whose belligerent actions are partially responsible for the growing lack of security among Jewish communities in Europe and other places?
Here’s that letter from the Israeli diplomat: