The Paris Terror Attacks and Israel

(Tablet) After a solidarity rally on Sunday brought an estimated 1.5 million people into the streets to declare their support for free speech and their opposition to Islamist terrorism, French President Francois Hollande entered the Grand Synagogue of Paris, followed 40 seconds or so later by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who unlike Hollande was greeted by loud and spontaneous cheering. The fact that the crowd cheers when Netanyahu enters the synagogue has nothing to do with whether the people gathered inside are socialist or conservative. As in every Jewish crowd, there are no doubt people in all camps. The reason they are cheering is far more basic, and it has to do with the harsh lesson that history has engraved into the souls of every conscious and self-aware Jew in the world today. We know, whether overtly or in a dark half-acknowledged corner of our minds, that there is one state in the world - however imperfect it is in some of its particulars - where we and our children will be welcome, and whose government will do its best to protect us, with all the force at its disposal. One of the great lessons of the Holocaust for the Jewish people, and for all other peoples who have since been threatened with genocide by fanatics, is that the world will always talk a good game but will do precious little to save you. The fact that the State of Israel exists means that the Jewish people will never be radically alone. That's why the people in the Grand Synagogue of Paris are cheering.

2015-01-13 00:00:00

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