During World War II my Auntie Olga who was living in Paris had to change her name to “Simone” and pretend to be Christian instead of Jewish.
Because she was terrified of the French handing her over to the Nazis. There were many collaborators in France who were not friends of the Jews. These Jews had been loyal Frenchmen and women who discovered that, alas, France was not the country of liberty, equality and fraternity.
This sentiment accounts for the many attacks on French Jews prior to the latest murders yesterday.
The problem lies in the fact that France has been prepared to appease Muslim terrorism until the Charlie Hebdo atrocity. Whether it is out of fear of its 10% Muslim population or whether previously it was only a problem for the Jewish community, it is only when the Media itself was attacked that France began to protest against the monstrous attack perpetrated by three or four of its own Muslims.
Freedom of expression was at stake here and this is one of the treasured values of democracy.
But I am sure that Emile Zola would also ask about the freedom to live in safety without being murdered for being a Jew.
Disregard for the safety of the Jewish population and even anti-Semitism are not new concepts in France. My Auntie Olga learned this tragic fact a long time ago.
I am outraged at the executions by the Muslim terrorists. I weep for the staff at Charlie Hebdo, but I am not surprised. Neither is the long-suffering Jewish community in France.
The four Jews who were assassinated in the Kosher store are most likely to be buried in Israel where I am sure they will receive a kinder welcome.