Murders in France Underscore Israel’s Importance for World Jewry - The Jewish Voice
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Friday, August 19, 2022

Murders in France Underscore Israel’s Importance for World Jewry

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The act of terrorism that left a rabbi and three young Jewish children dead has led to increased concern about the security of Jews around the world. Following the tragedy, a bevy of reactions from security officials in Europe and in the U.S. signified the extent to which the governments had opted to ramp up their defense measures.

In France, officers were installed at a number of religious centers around the country (no word on whether they deployed an equal number of police to protect local mosques, as has become the standard operating procedure when French Jews are assaulted or murdered by Islamists). In the U.S., the NYPD similarly intensified security around synagogues, as it often sees incidents abroad as reflective of an overall climate. Judging from these reactions, it is clear that Jews all over can no longer complacently live under the assumption that, far from Israel’s borders, they are secure from the slings and arrows (and bullets) of anti-Semitism.

In New York and New Jersey, recently, we have witnessed a number of incidents tied to neo-Nazi activity. The Jewish community—and happily, many of our non-Jewish neighbors—have not been afraid to speak out against these crimes. All in all, the disruption to Jewish life in New York by the graffiti, the arsons, and so forth, has been minimal.  But we should not be so provincial as to discount this latest incident, distant though it was, as irrelevant in terms of its security implications. Jews are being targeted (the details surrounding the murders in Toulouse bear this out, suggesting a premeditated and directed strike at yeshiva members), and it is important we recognize this threat as we go about our lives.

Another important lesson to be drawn from what took place in France is to understand how such incidents reflect the importance of the State of Israel. Anywhere in the world, Jews can be targeted for their faith. But in Israel, the Jews belong. In Israel, a person is no longer an open target simply for being a Jew, since the very ground on which he stands was sanctioned and sanctified as a haven for him and his brethren. Yes, the security of the State of Israel is not perfect. And yes, Jews in Israel may still run the risk of becoming the victims of a terrorist attack. But the bottom line is that in Israel, the Jews are one. Only in Israel can one be protected by a Jewish police force, a Jewish secret service, and a Jewish army. They are united under one government, one constitution. If you take on one Israeli, you’re taking them all on. And in a fight like that, our money is on the Israelis.

So, in response to the murder of the Jews in France, we should protect ourselves. Know that even Jews far from the battlefield run the risk of anti-Jew inspired violence. And know that, because of our deeply persecuted identity, the State of Israel must hold such paramount importance in our hearts. As Iran threatens with nuclear weaponry, and Israel is barraged with missiles from Gaza, remember the importance of the Jewish state to the Jewish people, and how we should all do what we can to seek her welfare. And in the merit of mutual support of the Jews of galut for the Jews of Israel, and the Jews of Israel for the Jews of galut, may the Messiah come speedily in our days and secure an eternal State of Israel, a kingdom where all recognize the kingship of G-d and the brotherhood of man, creating peace for us, Israel, and all mankind.

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