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A traumatic year

November 24, 2016 23:17

As we approach Rosh Hashanah, the mind turns to considering the events and the legacy of the previous 12 months. This time last year, the latest military action in Gaza was fresh in the mind — with, in this country, a worrying spike in antisemitic incidents . Israel has not had to be involved this year in another such operation. But last week’s confirmation that the Iran deal now has enough support in the US Senate to be certain to pass makes the situation in the Middle East even worse — far worse. That is, to put it mildly, a worry.

But this year has been marked by a terrible trauma in Europe, the consequences and lessons of which have still not properly been absorbed. The Paris murders in January — at Charlie Hebdo and then at the kosher Hyper Cacher — sent a wave of deep fear throughout our community . Jews were murdered in one of Europe’s great capital cities simply for being Jews, by Islamists who we know are also operating on the streets of Britain.

Nine months on, things have, on one level, returned to normal — albeit with even higher levels of security here than before (although in France the exodus continues). And yet underneath that apparent normality lies the knowledge that terrorists whose lives are dedicated to the murder of Westerners, and specifically Jews, are planning their next target. This week’s revelation of the drone strike on a Daesh fighter planning an attack may have removed one threat, but in exposing the reality of terror plots it compounds the worry.

Compared with the Iran deal and the threat posed by terrorists (two sides of the same coin, given Iran’s status as the world’s leading sponsor of terror), the likely election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party is small beer. But it raises worrying issues. Mr Corbyn has refused to deal remotely adequately with any of the issues raised by the JC of some of his unsavoury associates . And he has done nothing of any substance to deal with the torrent of antisemitism unleashed by some of his supporters on social media. On Saturday, we will find out if he is actually to become the leader. And on that note we wish all our readers a very happy and healthy new year.

November 24, 2016 23:17

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