Monday, December 5th | 11 Kislev 5783

March 23, 2012 2:44 pm

When in Doubt, Kill a Jew

avatar by Yedidya Atlas


Authorities respond to Monday's killings at French Jewish school. Photo: screenshot via msnbc.

When in doubt, kill a Jew. That seems to be the de rigueur thing to do. Even after a cold-blooded and ruthless radical Muslim killer deliberately takes a sub-machine gun and mowed down three small Jewish children and a young rabbi-teacher in front of a Jewish day school in Toulouse, France, no one seems capable of just saying that an extremist Muslim murdered four Jews because they were Jews.

No. If it comes to Muslims killing Jews, and not merely Jews, but even targeting small school children, there are always mitigating circumstances. There is always a perspective with which to view this act of terrorist murder that begs us to “understand” why this person was “driven” to carry out these horrible acts. He is at fault, but not entirely, since he was “driven” to it by circumstances beyond his control. In brief, the murderer is a victim too.

A blatant example of this obsessive PC approach is the March 22nd editorial of The Washington Post Editorial Board that issued their official diagnoses: “French Attacks Highlight the Country’s Immigrant Challenge.” In other words, the problem just isn’t an Islamic jihadist killing Jewish school children in cold blood, it is a social issue.

The socially challenged Islamic killer, 24 year old Mohammed Merah, attacked the Jewish Otzar Hatorah day school  in Toulouse. First, he  opened fire at random at the parents, children, and teachers in the school’s courtyard before stepping down from his bike to kill four Jews in cold blood: Thirty year-old rabbi- teacher Jonathan Sandler, his two sons Aryeh (5) and Gabriel (4), and then he grabbed an 8 year-old girl, Miriam Monsonego, by the hair and fired a bullet in her head from point blank range.

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French journalist Michel Gurfinkiel, founder and president of the Paris-based think-tank the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute, reported: “According to various sources, Merah is primarily a thief who grew radicalized by jihadists while incarcerated. After jail he traveled to Pakistan and possibly Afghanistan, where he received first class combat training……. his systematic murders of French soldiers (especially Muslim French soldiers, seen as renegades) and Jews (including children) fit with jihadist and al-Qaeda ideology, strategy, and tactics.”

But for The Washington Post, facts are not enough. Merah, “a French citizen of Algerian extraction…. said he had traveled more than once to Pakistan and Afghanistan, and he may have been arrested and imprisoned in Kandahar.” The poor fellow.

The editorial continues: “When he returned to France, Mr. Merah became involved with a group of up to 15 extremists, authorities said.”  The impression one is given is Mr. Merah, the bloody murderer, is a poor soul who was arrested in Afghanistan where he was apparently a tourist. In fact, he was indeed arrested in Afghanistan, but not for loitering. He was caught bomb making.  And when he returned home to France he “became involved”, through no fault of his own, of course, “with a group of up to 15 extremists.” Should one wonder what kind of extremist, the answer is of the Islamic jihadist variety, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it from the Post’s editorial.

Mr. Merah, the poor victim of French immigration policy, who was influenced by these 15 extremists (and perhaps during his combat and bomb making training in al-Qaeda/Taliban training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan), according to The Post’s editorial: “also managed to accumulate weapons, including rifles, material for bombs and the .45-caliber handgun with which he allegedly executed the soldiers as well as three ­French-Israeli children and a rabbi.” There is no assumption that he was deliberately one of these extremists and that they comprised a terrorist cell.

Now, a simple review of the facts might lead one to believe that Mohammad Merah was a radical Muslim terrorist trained by al-Qaeda and the Taliban, who carried out his jihadi training and ideology and murdered, first several French-Muslim soldiers and then followed up with the daylight massacre of Jewish school children. But let’s not jump to conclusions.

True, he did all these things, but it is the reason he did them is what is important. After all, the Post editorial reminds us:

“In fact, Mr. Sarkozy’s government has not done enough to improve conditions for young French Muslims who often live in immigrant ghettos. Mr. Merah reportedly told the police besieging him that his killings were meant as revenge for the ban on the public use of the Islamic veil, which was supported by Mr. Sarkozy. Though such policies don’t explain or excuse the attacks, more discrimination against Muslim communities is hardly the right response.”

A rational person might read the qualifying words: “Though such policies don’t explain or excuse the attacks” and wonder if indeed that is the case, why write the rest of the paragraph unless one is trying to offer extenuating circumstances for acts that have none, by criticizing French government policy as if there is a justifying connection.

Had a French-Israeli Jew rode his motorcycle down to a Muslim Arab school in Toulouse, and deliberately and cold-bloodedly opened fire on young school children from point-blank range, one sincerely doubts whether The Washington Post’s Editorial Board would be offering the same sort of mitigating pontification.

While it is certain that the members of The Washington Post Editorial Board condemn the vicious killings in Toulouse, their editorial, whether intentional or not, can too easily mislead readers into thinking there are others issues at play besides what it is: a radical Islamic jihadist brutally murdering innocent Jewish children simply because they are Jews.

The author is a veteran journalist specializing in geo-political and geo-strategic affairs in the Middle East. His articles have appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Insight Magazine, Nativ, The Jerusalem Post and Makor Rishon. His articles have been reprinted by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the US Congressional Record.

This article first appeared in The Times of Israel.

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