Je suis Charlie: Kumbaya won’t save us from Islamist terror and hate

The warm feelings on display in Paris and elsewhere around the world Sunday in response to the horrors of the past week, unfortunately, will do next to nothing to change the tide against Islamist terrorism. That explains why world leaders who support terrorism have no problem supporting Paris.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, now entering the eleventh year of what was originally billed as a four-year term, turned up to represent a would-be Judenrein state, where terrorism and the absence of the rule of law are the order of the day.

White words on a black background are not the reason Charlie Hebdo cartoonists are dead.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu flew into Paris to glad-hand with free expression enthusiasts, notwithstanding recent arrests of teenagers in his country for “insulting” President Erdogan.

White words on a black background are not the reason Charlie Hebdo cartoonists are dead.

The terrorist organization Hamas even issued a press release claiming that it “condemns the attack against Charlie Hebdo magazine and insists on the fact that differences of opinion and thought cannot justify murder.” Setting aside the fact that Palestinians living under Palestinian authority do not have freedom of opinion and thought, gunning down Jews while shopping for food wasn’t mentioned in the statement.

Add all those “Je suis Charlie” signs, in solidarity with the magazine’s victims. Except that the words on these signs are white on a solid black background, and the Hebdo images of the prophet Muhammad are nowhere to be seen. White words on a black background are not the reason Charlie Hebdo cartoonists are dead.

And then there is France’s Jewish problem. There is no getting away from the fact that to be Jewish in France in 2015, you might have to hide in a basement freezer if you want to survive a trip to the grocery store.

Attacks on Jews in France in recent times – including torture, assaults, robbery, firebombing, rape, and murder – are too numerous to mention, each one soon forgotten by everyone but French Jews who continue to emigrate to Israel for refuge and solace. Evidently, France forgot ‘first they came for the Jews.’

In theory, it should be simple to connect the dots between slaughtering journalists, police officers, and Jews, in the same country over a mere three days. Freedom of speech, personal security, equality and freedom of religion are pretty much the essentials of democracy – and inextricably linked to one another.

Standing in the way of this revelation, however, is an apparent widespread incapacity to distinguish trumped-up, irrelevant or misplaced grievances from real ones.

Over the days of carnage, CNN regaled listeners with complaints about “unemployment” and “disaffection” among Muslim youth. We also swiftly heard detailed analysis of such things as the early loss of parents of the Kouachi brothers and the failed rap musician ambitions of Cherif Kouachi.

And, of course, there is the elephant in the chambre – Israel. As terrorist Amedy Coulibaly put it to his Jewish captives – quoting Usama bin Laden – “we are the ones who will get peace in Palestine.”

That ought to sound familiar to French President Francois Hollande. On December 30, 2014 France voted for a Palestinian resolution in the Security Council, along with such bastions of democracy as Russia and China, and against the United States. The resolution trashed a negotiated path to a Palestinian state (and thus genuine Arab acceptance of a Jewish state). France explained its vote with the same arrogant message as Coulibaly.

Now, the French President says Coulibaly’s choice of a kosher market on behalf of Palestinians was “an appalling antisemitic act.” But French Ambassador Delattre told the U.N.: “the cycles of violence are accelerating from Gaza to the West Bank via Jerusalem.” That accusation came just four months after Israelis were forced to respond to 4,564 one-way rockets or mortars and 32 terror tunnels aimed at its civilian population from Gaza. Comparing the Israeli exercise of self-defense to the onslaught of a terrorist organization is an appalling act of modern antisemitism – and a green light to the Coulibalys of this world.

It is clear why the leaders of Islamic states – where there is no democracy or freedom of religion or equality – were at a rally about the values of democracy, freedom of religion and equality. They understood that their contrived throne of perpetual victimhood was in danger. Sympathy for Jews and journalists is perceived competition. So they came out to thump their chests and cry “me too!”

When everybody is “je suis” somebody, nobody is anybody at all.

Anne Bayefsky is director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust. Follow her on Twitter @AnneBayefsky.