A year has passed since the tragic murders in Toulouse

By on March 18, 2013
Jacob Kimchy

A year has passed since the tragic murders in Toulouse, but from the Jewish community of France’s perspective, nothing much has changed.  In the city of Toulouse, located in Southern France, this year marks the massacre at the Jewish school “Otzar Hatorah,” in which a Rav and three children were murdered by a Muslim extremist, identified as Mohammed Merah.

France’s president, Francois Hollande, who likened the incident to the days of the Holocaust, said that, “The children in Toulouse died for the same reason-because they were Jewish.” The question we need to ask ourselves is, has anything changed since last year, and why are Jewish leaders not expressing the same, strong sentiments as Francois has?

Last year, we were roused by the shocking attack, which clarified to all of us that we are living in a reality in which the next attack on the Jewish community is just a matter of time. A Frenchman, by the name of Mohammed Merah, came to the Jewish day school-Otzar Hatorah, and murdered Rav Yonatan Sandler (29), and his two sons, Aryeh, (6) and Gavriel, (3) as well as Miriam Monsonego, aged 8. Mohammed has since admitted to perpetrating the killings.

However shocking and difficult it is to digest, this incident is not at all surprising, certainly not to many of European Jewry. Francois Hollande’s comparison of the murder of Jewish people to the events of the holocaust, in fact, symbolizes a harsh reality  that our brethren on the streets of Europe live in and know quite well. The same individuals know that if, in the same measure, they were to dress in the garb characteristic of observant Jews, they too, could be targets for immediate attack.

The anti-Jewish/Israeli force that is growing stronger before our very eyes, is occurring without any disruptions and is exploiting the democratic and liberalistic spirit, paving the way for incitement, that in the end we see as hatred for a people, prompting attacks and other extreme cases like that of Toulouse, which ended in bloodshed.

We are one nation. A small people scattered in the Diaspora, emotionally and historically bound to the State of Israel. The relationship between Diaspora Jewry and that of Jews living in Israel is two-way. buttressing the global-Jewish circle and bolstering the power and might of us all. Jews living in Toulouse, London or Malmo, Sweden, deserve  the outcries of Israeli leaders and of representation before world leaders. If France’s president can compare modern attacks on Jews to those of the Holocaust, should not Jewish leaders be required to stand tall and draw the line here? This is not just in the wake of physical attacks, but also in the light of the global incitement that is sweeping thousands of individuals against the State of Israel and the Jewish people at large, every year.

Given the latest arrest of a Muslim terrorist cell in France, Israeli leaders must be roused from their extended sabbatical of the last several years, to drastic, diplomatic action.

The encouraging data that has come from the United States, in correlation to Americans stance and support of Israel is not necessarily positive and also explains what is currently transpiring in France. In fact, if we relate the data coming from America’s youth, we are receiving a discouraging image, that in my opinion, is a direct result of anti-Israel activities that are gathering strength on university campuses, as well as many Facebook pages. The same young, educated community bases its anti-Israel views in a worrying way and provokes extremists to carry out cruel attacks, as shocking as the one we have seen just a year ago in Toulouse.

I send my condolences to the bereaved families in Toulouse and wish them both support and deserved understanding from their extended Jewish family and from the community that surrounds them.

Jacob Kimchy lost his father, Rami Kimchy Z”TL in a suicide attack in Rishon L’Tzion, Israel. Kimchy heads the victims-of-terror organization, OneHeart. www.oneheartglobal.org and is the founder of www.TLVfaces.com




  1. אורן

    March 18, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    הצרפתים יגיעו כולם לישראל. אין להם עתיד שם

  2. Hadas R

    March 19, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    צודק. הקבילה בצרפת לא מוגנת ואני לא יודעת איך הם מצליחים להמשיך ולהתגורר שם