(Originally published on Israel Hayom)
“France must live with terrorism,” French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said after the massive terrorist attack in Nice last week. Understandably, his statement infuriated the French, who took to social media to express their opprobrium.
And French President Francois Hollande, sounding almost as if he was being forced to speak, said, “We cannot deny that it was a terrorist attack.”
After the massive Islamic State attacks in Paris in November 2015, political leaders proclaimed themselves “shocked.” Whether this shock was feigned or genuine, at least they made a point, pitiful as it was, of pretending that these massive terrorist attacks were something extraordinary that did not have a habitual place in Europe.
Valls’ resigned declaration of tired surrender after the Nice attack, on the other hand, amounts to the waving of a white flag in submission to the jihadis and is an indication that France has little will to fight.
Valls and Hollande sounded like bewildered children at the helm of a ship that they are too clueless to navigate. Imagine Winston Churchill declaring, “Britain must live with Nazism.”
Under its current government, France has busied itself with meddling in Israeli affairs and organizing Middle East peace conferences, instead of spending every waking moment ensuring the proper protection of its own population. It is not ready to fight against the jihad that has been launched against it.
One major factor in this is that its elites blame France. French Ambassador to the U.S. Gerard Araud, for example, wrote on Twitter: “Why is France targeted? History (former colonial power), geography (proximity), first Muslim community of Arab origin sensitive to M.E. issues.”
In other words: Colonialism and Middle Eastern “issues” — a diplomatic euphemism for the Israeli-Arab conflict — are to blame, not the Muslims who commit the atrocities and certainly not Islam. A Twitter user from India responded to Araud: “We Indians have been colonized by all European powers including your country. Ever heard of Indian terrorists? Shame on you.” Indeed.
One of the best indicators of how massive terrorist attacks have become the “new normal” is the financial markets, famously and hysterically sensitive as they are. One observer concluded after the Nice attack, “Gold is down and the euro is up. Financial markets don’t care because it’s no longer an extraordinary event. Even European travel stocks and French hotel stocks are only down a couple of percent. Because continued terror attacks for years are already ‘priced in.’ According to the stock market, France has now become Israel.”
The sentiment that France and Europe have “now become Israel” has become something of a trend on social media in the wake of Nice. But it is very far from the truth.
Europe is a dying continent, one that is walking toward its own cultural suicide with eyes wide shut. In Europe, self-loathing began to gain ground over most traditional Judeo-Christian values as long as a century ago. We see the results of that long process today: Official Europe does not believe in anything. The main European project in recent history has as its goal only a vague multiculturalism and the working toward “an ever closer union,” a self-referential and self-serving empty shell of a vision. Ostensibly, the EU was meant to prevent future wars in Europe, but while Europe has lost its taste for war, war — now in jihad style — has not lost interest in Europe. The problem is that Europe cannot fight jihadis — people who believe so strongly in their cause that they will die for it — if it believes in nothing, least of all the legitimacy of its own fight against them. This will not change, regardless how many reservist forces France now calls up to help protect the country. The fight becomes especially tricky, tragicomically so, when it is fought while intensely fearing the causing of any offence.
In contrast, Israel is a vibrant place of almost endless faith. Not just in the traditional and religious sense but a general and secular faith in the worth and the future of the country pervades Israeli society. Israel believes in itself and is more than willing to fight for itself, and this belief manifests itself in myriad ways, not only in its military prowess and in the countless innovations for which it has become so famous, but in its celebrations of its Jewish past, present and future at every given opportunity. It is also evident in the high birth rate in the country, while Europeans are not having enough children to maintain their own populations.
Israel may be located in a neighborhood that is full of enemies and terrorists, but Israel is also committed to dealing with those security issues, whatever it takes. Israel is here to stay, and Israelis are determined to keep it that way, never even contemplating resigning themselves to whatever malignant plans others may have in store for them.
No, Europe is not Israel. Not even close.