WSJ Columnist: ‘I’m Almost Grateful’ For Attack That Killed Four Jews

One neoconservative writer for the Wall Street Journal said on C-Span that he was “almost grateful” for January’s attack on the kosher supermarket in Paris that killed four Jews. Bret Stephens’ reasoning? Because it exposed growing anti-semitism.

Now with the attack on the kosher supermarket, I think [the anti-Semitism is] at last out in the open, and in that sense I’m almost grateful that this happened, that at last I think Europe is coming to recognize that it has a real problem with anti-Semitism that can’t be denied or can’t be passed off as a function of a reaction to Israeli policy.

Source: Mondoweiss

Naturally, even hinting that you could be “grateful” for the deaths of four innocent people is insensitive and pretty much every other adjective you could throw at him, however, he is right in saying that Europe has an anti-semitism problem. The world has an anti-semitism problem, but it’s not as he says, from a “clash of civilizations.”

He also discounts that the anti-semitism would have anything to do with U.S. occupation in the Middle East or with Israel’s policies.

Stephens, a neoconservative who is also deputy editorial page editor of the Journal, said the attacks on the supermarket and the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo proved that the rightwing understanding of terrorism is right: it comes out of a “clash of civilizations,” because Arab and Muslim societies have fundamental differences with the west on such core values as freedom of speech. The attacks disproved the leftwing view of radical Islamism: that these attacks grow out of western policies in the Middle East, from support for Israel to the invasion of Iraq.

While Stephens might like to believe that the problem lies solely at the feet of Muslims, even Jewish people disagree. The Guardian spoke to the Jewish Community Trust, a charity that records incidents of violence. Not only have attacks risen 25% from the worst year, which was 2009, they directly trace the case to the actions of Israel.

CST said in 2014 there were 81 violent assaults, 81 incidents of damage and desecration of Jewish property, and 884 cases of abusive behaviour, more than double the number in 2013, several hundred of which involved social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. CST’s logs include a letter sent to a Jewish organisation which read: “Gaza is the Auschwitz. The inmates are fighting back. The Jew wears the jackboot and armband now.”

The charity said the surge in antisemitism was fuelled by reactions to the conflict in Gaza in July and August that claimed the lives of 2,131 Palestinians and 71 Israelis, according to the UN. It appears to reflect an international trend. Last year in France and Austria the number of incidents doubled, according to reports by the Service de Protection de la Communauté Juive and the Vienna-based Forum Against Antisemitism.
Source: The Guardian

The video can be seen here. His speech starts at about the 30 minute mark.

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Image via screenshot of C-Span video.