We are living in an age where the past seems to fuse with the present, so that we seem to be reliving old stories and events in modern cloak. In times like these the lessons of history are more urgently needed, for as it said, that for while we in the present may currently know the beginning and middle of the story, history has the unique finality of revealing also its end. In times past, the Amalekites and the Nazis, the Egyptians and the Romans, have dishonored the Jewish faith and sought the annihilation of Jewish votaries. They have never realized their grim designs, yet the damage they have inflicted is all to real.
What will be the reaction of the French Jewish community? In France, this crime is unfortunately not without precedent either. The tidal wave of Muslim immigration and the subsequent rise of the Nationalist Front are combining to squeeze Jews between a rock and a hard place. From this 2000 article in the Weekly Standard:
On the Richter scale of anti-Semitism, France has just registered a major quake. From October 1 to October 18, in the space of just two and a half weeks, 6 synagogues were burned down and another 24 synagogues and Jewish schools were targets of attempted arson. Stones were thrown at people outside synagogues, and Jewish kids were hounded or molested on their way to school. There was even a rare shooting: On October 9, a sniper fired an M-16 automatic rifle into the Paris Great Synagogue during the Yom Kippur service. Fortunately, nobody was hit. The police quickly sealed off the Rue de la Victoire and searched the building from which the shot had come, but the sniper was gone, leaving behind only some shell casings.Since then, we have witnessed the kidnapping, torture, and murder of the handsome Jewish teen, Ilan Halimi. There are still Jews in France, but real damage has already been done. There is no future for Jews in a society where the most vulnerable parts of the weakest communities are targeted for bullying and violence. The Jews of France have no real power and no tangible ability to fight back against their murderers. We can be sure that if a French Jew slaughtered 4 Muslim religious students and an imam in cold blood, French Jewish business, homes, children, and other symbols would be attacked. The entire community would sense, if they were lucky enough not to feel, the paralyzing fear of retribution. The good Jewish citizens of France must resort to the French judicial and penal systems, where just recently the mastermind of the Halimi torture was found to be gloating over the killings in YouTube videos made from his jail cell.
Already, Israeli hardline ministers are calling for the Jews of France to emigrate. The future survival of the Jewish community in France is a very real question. For those that do stay I hope they will learn the primary lesson of post-temple Jewish history, that if Jews do not defend themselves, no one will do it for them. The Jewish State of Israel is of course the shining beacon of this principle, and its survival and prosperous strength should be a lesson to the French Jewish community and the Diaspora as a whole. How can Jews ensure that "Never Again" will their children be murdered in cold blood? In times like these, unity, preparedness, and strength must be the guiding principles of the French Jewish community in the uncertain and tragic decline of the French Republic.