Melanie Phillips: Jews, Not Cartoonists, are Islam’s Real Enemy

San Francisco 'Charlie Hebdo' Memorial (AP / Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP / Marcio Jose Sanchez

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in today’s edition of The Times

Even now, people are still not joining up the dots. The massacre at Charlie Hebdo gave rise to claims that the French magazine was responsible for the attack by publishing cartoons insulting Islam. This predictable canard was appallingly confounded two days later by the slaughter at a Jewish grocery store in Paris, where shoppers were taken hostage and murdered by members of the same al-Qaeda gang, one of whom said he had specifically targeted Jews.

French Jews have been under sustained onslaught from Muslims for years. In January 2006, 23-year-old Ilan Halimi was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in Paris by Islamic radicals. In 2012, four people, including three children, were murdered at a Jewish school in Toulouse.

Muslims repeatedly single out French Jews for stabbings, fire-bombings, robbery, rape and vandalism. Yet in the west all this has been largely ignored. Why is freedom of expression deemed more important than Jewish lives?

The French have been slow to address this rampant Jew-hatred. Until his original act was finally banned last year, the stand-up Muslim comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala wowed French audiences despite inciting anti-Jewish hatred.

The decades-long targeting of French Jews has barely been reported in the British or western media, which subscribe instead to the mantra that the main evil is “Islamophobia”. They ignore the fact that, rooted in Islamic doctrine and appropriating obscene Nazi motifs, demonic Jew-hatred pours daily out of the Muslim world.

This is not just a threat to Jews. It is the principal driver of the Islamist onslaught against the west. From the founder of modern radical Islamism, Sayyid Qutb, through the writings of Osama bin Laden to the Hamas charter, Islamists contend that the Jews have created the evils to be eradicated: America, modernity and the west.

Yet paralysed by their phobia about “Islamophobia”, hung up by their obsession with “Palestine” and twisted by Holocaust guilt into a profound reluctance to acknowledge Jewish victimisation, Britain and Europe have failed to grasp that the fate of the Jews, in both Israel and the diaspora, is inextricably bound up with the fate of the west.

For more than a decade, western Jews have been living through the nightmare of the demonisation of Israel based on a unique set of Muslim-inspired distortions but whose anti-Jewish characteristic is denied. As a result, British synagogues have been vandalised, cemeteries desecrated, Jews attacked.

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