France is dead, long live the era of the living dead. Blood suckers.
Naomi Ragen wrote me about Ilan Halimi long before reports appeared
in the newspapers and the crime was acknowledged as one more
atrocity against Jews.
Jewish friends in Paris whispered to her
in horror at the sheer barbarism of the
crime, in which an
man was held for twenty days, found with all his fingers cut
off, and burns and bruises over 80% of his body. Because he
was a Jew.
The Jews and other decent French people have taken to the
streets of Paris to finally, finally, openly protest Muslim
anti Semitism and
Nazi-like barbarism. But not a peep is heard here in
Israel, even though the murderers were connected to a
organization. Because official Israel just doesn’t want to
acknowledge this has nothing to do with land, or occupation,
or any of the
other excuses we’d like so much to believe. It doesn’t want
to acknowledge that every Jew is now a target, and that
Israel is the
Below, Caroline Glick, elaborates
Column One: Ilan Halimi and Israel
Ilan Halimi’s barbarous murder in France should awaken all
Jews to the most significant truth of our times: Today,
every Jew in the world is on the front lines of war.
As was the case 70 years ago, every Jew today is a target
for our enemies, who shout from every soapbox and prove at
every opportunity that their goal is the annihilation of the
Jewish people. From 1933-1945, the enemy was Nazi Germany.
Today, the enemy is political Islam. Its call for jihad
aimed at annihilating the Jews and dominating the world is
answered by millions of people throughout the world.
Among the lessons of the Holocaust, there is one that is
almost never mentioned. That lesson is that it is possible,
and indeed fairly easy to exterminate the Jews. The fact
that the Holocaust happened proves that it is absolutely
possible for the Jewish people to be wiped off the map –
just as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hamas
leader Khaled Mashal promise.
The story of Ilan Halimi’s murder at the hands of a
terrorist gang of French Muslims brings to the surface the
various pathologies now converging to make the prospect of
annihilating all Jews seem possible to our enemies. First,
there are the murderers who took such apparent pleasure and
felt such pride in the fact that for 20 days they tortured
their Jewish hostage to death.
This makes sense. Anti-Semitism in the Muslim dominated
suburbs of Paris and other French cities is
all-encompassing. As Nidra Poller related in Thursday’s Wall
Street Journal, "One of the most troubling aspects of this
affair is the probable involvement of relatives and
neighbors, beyond the immediate circle of the gang [of
kidnappers], who were told about the Jewish hostage and
dropped in to participate in the torture."
It appears that Ilan Halimi’s murderers had some connection
to Hamas. Tuesday, French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy
said that police found propaganda published by the
Palestinian Charity Committee or the CBSP at the home of one
of the suspects. The European Jewish Press reported this
week that Israel has alleged that the organization is a
front group for Palestinian terrorists and that in August
2003 the US government froze the organization’s US bank
accounts, accusing it of links with Hamas.
Halimi’s family alleges that throughout the 20 days of
Ilan’s captivity, the French police refused to take the
anti-Semitic motivations of the kidnappers into account. The
investigators insisted on viewing his kidnap as a garden
variety kidnap-for-ransom criminal case, which they said
generally involves no threat to the life of the captive. The
police maintained their refusal to investigate the
anti-Semitic motivations of the kidnappers in spite of the
fact that in their e-mail and telephone communications with
Ilan’s family, his captors repeatedly referred to his
Judaism, and on at least one occasion recited verses from
the Koran while Ilan was heard screaming in agony in the
background. The family alleges that if the police had been
willing to acknowledge that Ilan was abducted because he was
Jewish, they would have recognized that his life was in
clear and immediate danger and acted with greater urgency.
Like the police, the French government waited an entire week
after Ilan was found naked, with cuts and burns over 80
percent of his body by a train station in suburban Paris,
before acknowledging the anti-Semitic nature of the crime.
According to the press reports, the French government was at
least partially motivated to suppress the issue of
anti-Semitism by its fear of inflaming the passions of the
French Muslims who make up between 10 to 13 percent of the
French population and comprise a quarter of the population
under 25 years old. And yet, now that the French government
has acknowledged that the crime was motivated by hatred of
Jews, it is behaving responsibly in pursuing the murderers
and decrying the attack on French Jewry.
In addition to the exterminationist anti-Semitism of Ilan’s
murderers and the unwillingness of the French authorities to
acknowledge the anti-Semitic nature of the crime until it
was too late, there is one more aspect of the case that
bears note. That is Israel’s reaction to the atrocity. In
short, there has been absolutely no official Israeli
reaction to the abduction, torture and murder of a Jew in
France by a predominantly Muslim terrorist gang that
kidnapped, tortured and murdered him because he was a Jew.
No Israeli government minister, official or spokesman has
condemned his murder. No Israeli official has demanded that
the French authorities investigate why the police refused to
take anti-Semitism into account during Ilan’s captivity. No
Israeli official flew to Paris to participate in Ilan’s
funeral or any other memorial or demonstration in his
The Foreign Ministry’s Web site makes no mention of
his murder. The Israeli Embassy in Paris – which has been
without an ambassador for the past several months – only
publicly expressed its condolences to the Halimi family on
February 23, 10 days after Ilan was found. This, when the
French Jewish community considers Halimi’s murder to have
been the greatest calamity to have befallen it in recent
years; when aliya rates from France rose 25% last year; and
when Ilan’s mother has told reporters that her son had
planned to make aliya soon and was just staying in France to
save money to finance his move to Israel. For its part, as
Michelle Mazel pointed out in The Jerusalem Post Thursday,
the French press has noted that the Israeli media has not
given the story prominent coverage. Halimi’s murder has not
appeared on the front pages of the papers or at the top of
the television or radio broadcasts.
Although appalling, the absence of an official Israeli
outcry against Halimi’s murder is not the least surprising.
Today, the unelected Kadima interim government, like the
Israeli media, is doing everything in its power to lull the
Israeli people into complacency towards the storm of war
raging around us. Against the daily barrages of Kassam
rockets on southern Israel; nervous reports of al-Qaida
setting up shop in Judea, Samaria and Gaza; the ascension of
Hamas to power in the Palestinian Authority; and Iran’s
threats of nuclear annihilation, Israel’s citizenry, under
the spell of Kadima and the media, appears intent on
ignoring the dangers and pretending that what happens to
Jews in France has nothing to do with us.
Israel’s societal meekness accords well with Kadima’s
ideology. Its creed was best expressed by Foreign Minister,
Justice Minister and Immigration Minister Tzipi Livni last
month at the Herzliya Conference and is best characterized
as "conditional Zionism." In her speech, Livni explained
that Israel’s international legitimacy is conditional.
Unless a Palestinian state is established in Judea, Samaria
and Gaza, she warned, Israel will lose its legitimacy as a
So for Livni, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Shimon
Peres and the rest of the Kadima gang, unlike every other
people in the world, the Jewish people does not have an
inherent, natural right to exist as a free, sovereign and
independent people in its homeland. For Kadima, the Jewish
people’s right to self-determination in our land is
conditional on our enemies’ acceptance of our right to be
Kadima’s conditional Zionism finds expression in its
policies in Judea and Samaria. There, the gist of the
government’s actions is that the only people with inherent
human rights in Judea and Samaria are the Arabs.
Throughout the areas, the government, backed by the
post-Zionist courts, prohibits Jews from building on land
that Jews own. Today, as Moshe Rosenbaum, the mayor of Beit
El explains, even receiving a permit to build an extension
on a standing house or additional classrooms in a school is
all but impossible.
While Olmert and Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra have
repeatedly condemned Jews for allegedly cutting down trees
owned by Arabs in Judea and Samaria, the government has said
nothing and done nothing to stop the wholesale destruction
of Jewish orchards and national forests in the areas by
Palestinians. Over the past several months, in the vicinity
of Gush Etzion alone, thousands of Jewish-owned trees have
been chopped down by Arab vandals. Two national forests have
been laid to waste. Busy directing their energies and
attentions at delegitimizing the Israelis who live in Judea
and Samaria, the government has ignored Israel’s enemies.
And so, as Kassam attacks against Israel multiply by the day
and Hamas leaders hold Jew-hating love-fests with
Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenaei in Teheran, Olmert
assured us Wednesday that Hamas is not a strategic threat to
When the Israeli government itself is claiming Jewish rights
are not inherent but rather defined and granted by others,
it can surprise no one the government has ignored Halimi’s
Luckily for both Israel and the Jews around the world, the
current leadership is not our only option. We have other
leaders, the most prominent among them being Likud Chairman
Binyamin Netanyahu and former IDF chief of General Staff
Lt.-Gen. (res.) Moshe Ya’alon. Both of these men understand
well that the two most important lessons for the Jews from
the Holocaust are that we must never grant anyone else the
authority, legitimacy or power to define who we are or what
our rights are, and we are all responsible for one another.
On Tuesday, Ya’alon, who is currently based at the
Washington Institute for Near East Policy, came to Jerusalem
for the day to speak at a conference on the strategic
implications of Hamas’s takeover of the Palestinian
Authority. There Ya’alon explained what he considers to be
the key to Israel’s security. Israel, he said, has the
military capability to defeat its enemies. But for Israel to
be able to take the steps it needs to take to win the war
being waged for our destruction, first we need to accept the
fact that we have an intrinsic, unconditional right to our
land and our sovereignty. Once we understand that our rights
our unconditional, we will understand that we have an
obligation to wage war against those who work for our
destruction. That is, Ya’alon explained that for Israel to
survive, we need to return to our unconditional Zionism.
Sir Martin Gilbert, perhaps the preeminent British historian
of World War II, has said, "The interesting thing about
history is that it always repeats itself."
As was the case in World War II, today the Jewish people in
Israel and throughout the world is being targeted for
annihilation by an enemy bent on world domination. Ilan
Halimi’s monstrous murder is just the latest sign of this
disturbing reality. Today, as 70 years ago, the Jews are
disserved by poor and weak leaders who refuse to see the
But if we learn from history and we assess our options, we
will see that history needn’t repeat itself. It is within
our power to reverse the course of our all too repetitious
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