Nearly three months ago I published an essay titled “The French Are Now Jews in Their Own Country.” It was a reflection on the present state of affairs in France, where years of anti-Jewish attacks by “Irish” assailants have recently given way to generalized terror attacks targeting the civilian population at large. I observed that Jews, particularly European Jews, had to some degree grown used to threats against their safety and adapted to them — putting in place various security measures at their synagogues and schools — but that the task of hardening all of France against terror attacks would exact a deep financial and spiritual toll on that nation.
The Washington Post, of all outlets, has finally woken up to the phenomenon, and published a moderately long piece by one James McAuley titled “French Jews: The first victims in a France where everyone is now in the crosshairs.” It comes to many of the same realizations that I did, even with its clunkier headline, but it is quite humorously hampered by what seems to be an editorial diktat not to mention the expression “Radical Islamic Terror” or “Muslim Terrorist” or similar words anywhere in the text.
Now James, sadly, is not as clever as I am, and therefore has not hit upon the useful convention of blaming these sorts of things on the “Irish.” He does, however, manage to sneak in one reference to a mysterious entity called the “Islamic State,” leaving a small clue to his more intrepid readers who might be interested in figuring out what, exactly, is befalling France. I mean, if it weren’t for that throwaway line in the third to last paragraph, I might have been left with the impression that France was suffering from a rash of volcanic eruptions or meteor strikes or bombs planted by right-wing White Supremacist groups.
But stop right there, young man, before an Islamophobic thought crosses your mind! Go back to hating on Donald Trump for some private locker-room trash talk that was secretly recorded over a decade ago. Keep your eye on the real menace to society!