Like It or Not, Paris and Jerusalem are Connected

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 |  Tsvi Sadan

In the wake of the ISIS attack on Paris, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that "militant Islamic terrorism attacks our societies because it wants to destroy our civilization," which is why "all terrorism must be condemned and fought equally with unwavering determination." 

Netanyahu is among those who find no excuse for Islamic terror. Some European leaders, on the other hand, are doing what they have done all along - blaming Israel and the West for Islamic violence.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom was rebuffed by some Israeli officials, like Yair Lapid, who misunderstood her as justifying Palestinian terror while condemning ISIS terror. While that is not necessarily the case, what Wallstrom did was just as bad: She justified both types of terrorism

"To counteract the radicalization we must go back to the situation such as the one in the Middle East of which not the least the Palestinians see that there is no future: we must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence," she said. According to Sweden at least, the Paris attack is the outworking of Muslim desperation that the West is responsible for.

Wallstorm wasn't the only one to draw Israel into the fray in trying to understand and explain the Paris attacks. Chairman of the Dutch Socialist Party, Jan Marijnissen, was more specific in making this connection between the supposed Palestinian despair and the Muslims who killed 132 people in Paris. 

This type of behavior, explained Marijnissen, "is connected also to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict" because those who carried out the attacks are probably coming "from a group of outraged people from the French suburbs.”

Such views, which can also be heard from Israelis who blame "occupation" for Palestinian terrorism, are condescending and patronizing in that they fail to engage the reasons given by those who have taken full responsibility for the attacks. 

The ISIS communique that followed the Paris attacks explained very clearly that not desperation, but hope is what motivates Muslims to wage war against the Crusaders (Europeans) and Jews. This hope, they say, comes from victory after victory their god gives them in the Middle East and now in Europe.

"In a blessed attack which Allah facilitated the causes," says ISIS, "a group of believers from the soldiers of the Caliphate … targeted the capital of abomination and perversion." This is similar to the way the Palestinian Authority has framed the conflict with Israel in Islamic terms, claiming the Land of Israel as "Ribat" – holy Islamic land. 

This means that the "Wallstorms" and the "Marijnissens" and their Israeli counterparts are in fact contributing to the alleviation of Muslim desperation by giving them the hope that their holy war is justifiable and winnable.

PHOTO: Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat in front of the wall of the Old City, which was lit up with the colors of the French flag in a show of solidarity with Paris.

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