Europe is Not Israel

In Regional Analysis, Thought by Judith Bergman

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(Originally published on Israel Hayom)

“France must live with terrorism,” French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said after the massive terrorist ‎attack in Nice last week. Understandably, his statement infuriated the French, who took to social ‎media to express their opprobrium.‎

And French President Francois Hollande, sounding almost as if he was being forced to speak, said, “We cannot deny that it was a terrorist ‎attack.”‎

After the massive Islamic State attacks in Paris in November 2015, political leaders proclaimed ‎themselves “shocked.” Whether this shock was feigned or genuine, at least they made a point, pitiful ‎as it was, of pretending that these massive terrorist attacks were something extraordinary that did not ‎have a habitual place in Europe.

Valls’ resigned declaration of tired surrender after the Nice attack, on the other hand, ‎amounts to the waving of a white flag in submission to the jihadis and is an indication that France ‎has little will to fight.‎

Valls and Hollande sounded like bewildered children at the helm of a ship that they are too ‎clueless to navigate. Imagine Winston Churchill declaring, “Britain must live with ‎Nazism.” ‎

Under its current government, France has busied itself with meddling in Israeli affairs ‎and organizing Middle East peace conferences, instead of spending every waking moment ensuring ‎the proper protection of its own population. It is not ready to fight against the jihad that has been ‎launched against it.

One major factor in this is that its elites blame France.‎ French Ambassador to the U.S. Gerard Araud, for example, wrote on Twitter: “Why is France ‎targeted? History (former colonial power), geography (proximity), first Muslim community of Arab ‎origin sensitive to M.E. issues.”‎

In other words: Colonialism and Middle Eastern “issues” — a diplomatic euphemism for the Israeli-Arab conflict — ‎are to blame, not the Muslims who commit the atrocities and certainly not Islam. A ‎Twitter user from India responded to Araud: “We Indians have been colonized by all European powers ‎including your country. Ever heard of Indian terrorists? Shame on you.” Indeed.‎

One of the best indicators of how massive terrorist attacks have become the “new normal” is the financial markets, famously and hysterically sensitive as they are. One ‎observer concluded after the Nice attack, “Gold is down and the euro is up. Financial markets ‎don’t care because it’s no longer an extraordinary event. Even European travel stocks and French hotel ‎stocks are only down a couple of percent. Because continued terror attacks for years are already ‘priced ‎in.’ According to the stock market, France has now become Israel.”‎

The sentiment that France and Europe have “now become Israel” has become something of a trend on ‎social media in the wake of Nice. But it is very far from the truth.‎

Europe is a dying continent, one that is walking toward its own cultural suicide with eyes wide shut. ‎In Europe, self-loathing began to gain ground over most traditional Judeo-Christian ‎values as long as a century ago. We see the results of that long process today: Official Europe does not ‎believe in anything. The main European project in recent history has as its goal only a vague ‎multiculturalism and the working toward “an ever closer union,” a self-referential and self-serving ‎empty shell of a vision. Ostensibly, the EU was meant to prevent future wars in Europe, but while ‎Europe has lost its taste for war, war — now in jihad style — has not lost interest in ‎Europe. The problem is that Europe cannot fight jihadis — people who believe so strongly in their ‎cause that they will die for it — if it believes in nothing, least of all the legitimacy of its own fight against ‎them. This will not change, regardless how many reservist forces France now calls up to help ‎protect the country. The fight becomes especially tricky, tragicomically so, when it is fought while ‎intensely fearing the causing of any offence.‎

In contrast, Israel is a vibrant place of almost endless faith. Not just in the traditional and religious ‎sense but a general and secular faith in the worth and the future of the country pervades Israeli ‎society. Israel believes in itself and is more than willing to fight for itself, and this belief manifests itself in ‎myriad ways, not only in its military prowess and in the countless innovations for which it has become ‎so famous, but in its celebrations of its Jewish past, present and future at every given ‎opportunity. It is also evident in the high birth rate in the country, while Europeans are not having enough children to maintain their own populations.

Israel may be located in a neighborhood that is full of enemies and terrorists, but Israel is also ‎committed to dealing with those security issues, whatever it takes. Israel is here to stay, ‎and Israelis are determined to keep it that way, never even contemplating resigning themselves to whatever ‎malignant plans others may have in store for them.‎

No, Europe is not Israel. Not even close.


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