As everyone knows, an attempt to replicate the Charlie Hebdo murders took place in Copenhagen yesterday, a meeting with the cartoonist who drew Muhammad as a dog was attacked and one person murdered. A security guard died in a separate attack at a nearby synagogue.
Is it stupid to ask why Muslim fanatics keep murdering Jews? Is it about Palestine? If so, why not kill Indians because of Kashmir? Or Serbs because of Bosnia?
A friend of mine, who is a member of the Liberal Democrat Party in England and holds achingly politically correct views on everything, especially the Middle East, shocked me a couple of days ago. He said he assumed Israelis would not find employment in Azerbaijan because it is a Muslim country. I wondered whether, as sometimes happens, I had missed something. And even odder, my friend, like most British people, considers racism a sin of sins and islamophobia another sin of sins. I wonder how he squares these circles. I should ask him except that I know I wouldn't get a clear or useful answer.
In the murder spree in Paris last month a kosher supermarket was attacked. In May last year a Muslim gunman opened fire at the Jewish museum in Brussels, killing four Jews. In the 2008 terrorist attacks in Bombay the terrorists found the one small, obscure synagogue in the mega-city, where they tortured and murdered the rabbi and others. And so on and so on.
Mehdi Hasan, a prominent British Muslim left-wing journalist, wrote in 2013:
‘It pains me to have to admit this but anti-Semitism isn’t just tolerated in some sections of the British Muslim community; it’s routine and commonplace. Any Muslims reading this article – if they are honest with themselves – will know instantly what I am referring to. It’s our dirty little secret.’Mehdi Hasan was congratulated by other journalists for his courage in writing that. Had someone from UKIP said it he would have been denounced. Had someone from EDL said it... oh my fur and whiskers!
One or two British Muslims I have known loathed Jews - one Bengali friend, when I pressed him hard, turned out to be Hitlerian on the subject - and I wish I had asked them why. I suspect they did not hugely esteem other white British people but they did not say so to me. One or two British Jews I have known returned the favour. But then they disliked all non-white immigrants and colour prejudice is a separate issue. I really do not understand this Muslim dislike of Jews. Can anyone explain?
And why are people not asking this question? It's the elephant in the drawing room.
Whatever the explanation, what a hole we find ourselves in because of post-war mass migration into Europe, including the huge movements of people in the last fifteen years. The first law of holes is: when in one, stop digging. But few people seem to be saying this, either. It's another elephant in an increasingly crowded room.
The Arabs' huge anger is their great political strength in their conflict with Israel. Perhaps the anger is not just against Israel but against the modern world. This anger is shared by many Muslims who are not Arabs. My best guess at why Muslim terrorists like to kill Jews is that Jews in Israel represent modernity, as they did in Europe in the late nineteenth century and first half of the twentieth.