The serial killer in France that shot 3 little children coming out of school, one of them an 8-year-old girl that was grabbed by her hair and shot in the head to make sure she was really dead, just wanted justice. As far as he's concerned, he was "avenging the deaths of Palestinian children," and he did it by murdering some Jews.
Is this some kind of novelty? Not really. For one reason or another, anti-Semitism has been around for more than 2,000 years. But let's not go back that far into history -- in the past century, Jews have suffered discrimination, pogroms, demonic rumors that everyone believed, and of course -- the Holocaust. What's happening today is just another wave in a sea of hatred that has been around for very long.
I'd like to clarify in advance, that I do not mean to underplay Palestinian rights or to say they don't deserve a state, because they most certainly do. But it's very comfortable for some people to overlook the facts and just plain hate Israel for Palestinian suffering. It doesn't seem to matter if the reasons are solid or not. If you'd like to know what I'm talking about, here are a few examples:
1. It's awful when Palestinian children get killed, but many choose not to understand what's behind the other side of the fence. Hamas uses children as human shields -- it shoots at Israeli cities from schools, hospitals and kindergartens. Hamas teaches toddlers to wear suicide bombs and makes them believe blowing themselves up in public places is noble and holy. These children are used to armed fighting from a very young age, but no one seems to be bothered about children being used as an army. Why?
2. Israeli peace offers have been rejected by the Palestinian leaders time and time again. Generous peace offers for 96 percent of all the territories in question and equal land-swaps for the rest, have been offered to the Palestinian leaders at least two times. Is it really a state they want? Because they could have had one long ago.
3. In 1948, after Israel had been invaded by all its neighboring Arab countries that wanted its annihilation before it was even born, as a result of the war, about 600,000 refugees fled into neighboring Arab countries. At the very same time, about 600,000 Jews were expelled penniless from neighboring Arab countries and settled in Jewish Israel. They never went back or asked for any of their property. The Palestinian refugees, on the other hand, never became citizens in countries such as Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and are being discriminated there by law until today. No one seems to care about their situation.
4. The worst breaches of human rights towards Palestinians are made by their own regime: Gaza is ruled by Sharia law, meaning women can be murdered for the honor of the family, thieves get their arms chopped off, and executions are no big deal. During the years of terrible rivalry between Hamas and PLO, Palestinians were lynched, tortured and executed without trials by their own regime. Their rights are breached in terrible ways in the neighboring countries, as well. But all we ever hear about is how Israel breaches Palestinian human rights, all the while forgetting to mention that their leaders have made Israel their declared enemy.
I would go on, but I think you get the picture. The point is that for many, the Palestinian problem has become a great excuse to hate Jews. It all seems "legitimate," since people tend to blame only Israel for the terrible situation that has become a status quo. The real picture is a lot more complicated, but not many are interested in the details. For some, it's just a lot more comfortable to have a politically correct reason to hate, than to search for the truth.
It's all just fine, except for two small problems:
1. It doesn't help solve the conflict. If there was more pressure on the Palestinian leaders to accept previous peace offers, for instance, it may have been a lot more efficient.
2. When hatred starts to rise and flood, you never know how far it will go. Three children were murdered in Toulouse this week. Is that the worst that it's going to get?