I sent an email of sympathy to a French friend of mine who replied that they died as heroes, pen in hands, not a slow death in hospital. Understandably the country has been transformed by a wave of emotion. One country so far omitted from the debate is Israel. When Israel is attacked, as it has been from within 3 hours of its formation in 1948, it is not expected to defend its democratic way of life as its response is generally castigated as disproportionate and the perpetrators of any horror victim of oppression that have nowhere to go. As far as I know the Israeli Defence Force has not been brutalising Muslims in the estates in northern Paris. Talking of disproportionate, the news item on the attack was quickly followed by the latest on Ched Evans, sorry the convicted rapist Ched Evans. For me the story is less interesting for its facts than for the witchhunt of a man entitled to be rehabilitated and not to show any public contrition pending Appeal. Our democratic values are also under attack in a less violent but just as insidious way. Perhaps the Court of Appeal will be replaced by the Supreme Court of Social Network over which Chief Tweeter Piers Morgan will preside.
Given that Australia and France have suffered attack in recent months, it’s safe to assume that the UK will too. According to my information from Jewish groups that monitor the situation, Jihadists are now working in much smaller groups – making it harder to second guess them. It’s clear from the reports that this this attack was well organised. I would not be at all surprised if, on a secret level, countries not backward in criticising Israel are enlisting their support in dealing with the threat. They need to do so as there is a real threat to the democratic values we take for granted or, as Voltaire so rightly put it, “I abhor what you say, but I defend to the hilt your right to say it.”