Sunday, February 26, 2006

Israel and Jewish responsibility

Israel is the self-declared 'Jewish State' and has undertaken throughout its short history to help Jews worldwide if in trouble. Be it the raid on Entebbe, the arrest of Eichmann, sending investigators to a bombing of a Jewish centre in Argentina, Israel has always accepted the responsibility to assist Jews and Jewish causes in the diaspora.
However, a Jew in France was brutally murdered by a Muslim group and the Israeli government is painfully quiet. This isn't an average case of a Jew being murdered, but a vicious anti-Semitic act that consisted of a week of unspeakable torture. The Israeli government could have stepped in and exerted pressure on the French government to call this an anti-Semitic act, something they were loathe to do.
For a week the French authorities treated it like a regular kidnapping and ransom case which meant the French police did not expect Ilan Halimi to be killed. All evidence showed that this was an anti-Semitic crime and thus Halimi's life was in immediate danger as was proved. Phone calls to the family were riddled with Koranic sayings and anti-Semitic diatribes all the while Halimi's agonising cries couyld be heard in the background.
Israel should have stepped in and assisted the family in convincing the French authorities to take this case more seriously and perhaps have saved Halimi's life. Perhaps this is even more deserving as Halimi was attempting to make Aliyah and was just making a bit more money before moving to Israel.
It is time that Israel once again took on its role as guardian for the Jews everywhere seriously again. Israel can not get involved with every murder involving a Jew, but a clear and unprovoked attack on a person because they are Jewish (and in a Western country) should send the Israeli authorities into overdrive to make sure they do all they can to assist.

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