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Blaming Jews for the Paris Attacks

Blaming Jews for the Paris Attacks

In addition to the predictable fringe elements, some mainstream journalists are blaming the Jews for the world’s ills.


Mere days after the brutal terror attacks in Paris that left 17 people dead – including four Jews who were murdered in a kosher grocery as they shopped for Shabbat – some public figures are already seeking to blame Jews and Israel for the attacks.

Some of these smears are predictable, coming from marginal individuals who routinely find ways to blame Jews and the Jewish state for all the world’s ills. For instance, one regular contributor to Iranian-backed Press TV wasted little time in writing that Israel “orchestrated” the Paris attacks – and for good measure, ludicrously added that Israel was behind Malaysian airplane crashes, too. The founders of the Free Gaza Movement, which has been endorsed by public figures such as Desmond Tutu, echoed this slander, posting on social media the patently false smear “MOSSAD just hit the Paris offices of Char­lie Hebdo in a clumsy false flag designed to dam­age the accord between Pales­tine and France…”

It seems that some of these lies are drifting from the marginal fringe into mainstream publications. The ADL has reported that news outlets including The International Business Times India, Tunisia Times and the Cairo-based newspaper Al Dostor have all picked up the false claim that Israel orchestrated the attack. Other papers, including Jordan’s Rawafed and the Lebanese news agency Middle East Panorama have also fabricated theories of Jewish or Israeli forces being behind the attacks.

On Thursday, January 8, 2015, the day after gunmen murdered 12 people in their attack on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, the official Twitter account of WikiLeaks bizarrely blamed a “Jewish pro-censorship lobby” for giving motive to the attacks. (WikiLeaks dug itself deeper into a hole trying to justify its logic. In an argument that defies most attempts to follow it, they seemed to blame an incident in 2009 when an employee of Charlie Hebdo was fired for writing an offensively anti-Semitic article. How this justified the murder of the magazine’s staff by radical Islamists six years later was never fully explained.)

At CNN, in the hours after the massacre, senior international correspondent Jim Clancy was sending a series of surreal tweets, dragging Israel into debates about the Charlie Hebdo massacre, and leading many to question his judgment as a reporter. After asserting that Charlie Hebdo never published cartoons that insulted Islam, Clancy started sending bizarre tweets to followers who argued otherwise, responding to their statements by attacking them for being pro-Israel, even though no one mentioned the Jewish state. Other responses were rejected as being what he called “Hasbara”, the Hebrew word for education about Israel. After hours of ever-stranger and more hostile tweets, the senior reporter was seemingly obsessed not with the mammoth news story the rest of his colleagues were reporting, but with Jews and Israel, sending his followers feverishly angry rants on Twitter such as “You and the Hasbara team need to pick on some cripple on the edge of the herd” and “Everyone who stands for Human Rights is anti-Semitic”.

For BBC anchorman Tim Willcox, the murder of four Jews in Paris isn’t much of a tragedy. For him, it seems to be a justified response to Israel’s supposed crimes, real or imagined. Interviewing a Jewish woman identified as Chava at the million-strong march against terrorism in central Paris on Sunday, January 11, 2015, he asked if she felt unsafe now living as a Jew in France. When she replied that she did and how conditions in France reminded her of Europe in the 1930s, saying, “We have to not be afraid to say that the Jews are the target now,” Willcox responded with a bizarre change of subject. “But many critics of Israel’s policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well,” Willcox responded. Confused, Chava tried to explain there is no comparison. “We cannot do an amalgam between—” she started before Willcox cut her off. “But you understand,” he snapped, “everything is seen from different perspectives.”

Willcox’s hostile interview was reminiscent of the words of Raymond Barre, who was Prime Minister of France in 1980, when a bomb destroyed a Paris synagogue and killed four passers-by; Barre condemned the attack that sought, in his words, “to target Jews… and struck innocent Frenchmen” outside instead. Barre was roundly criticized at the time for implying that Jews are somehow less-than-innocent than others and that attacking them is somehow justified.

Thirty-five years later this slander is being repeated. As many call for his resignation, Tim Willcox has tweeted an apology for his words, calling his “poorly phrased” question “unintentional”. But to millions of viewers, his live interview appeared extremely intentional and his attempts to explain or justify attacks on Jews abhorrent.

We must stand up to these and other smears. As the world continues to reel from the attacks in Paris, we cannot let respected journalists and media outlets repeat justifications or outright lies about them. Stay informed. Read your local Jewish press, or check out Israeli newspapers online. Call your local media when you see slanted or biased – or just plain made-up reporting. Websites such as,, and can help you keep abreast of media developments. And reach out. Blog, use social media, connect with others. Encourage people in your community to stand up to biased or slanted reporting as well.

January 12, 2015

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 23

(17) Hilary Ostrov, January 20, 2015 4:33 PM

Mediocre western media

Just as blaming "climate change" for all natural disasters seems to be the unthinking reaction of the MSM, blaming the Jews and/or Israel for obvious Muslim terrorist acts seems to be increasingly (and alarmingly) common.

I have commented on this (at great length!) on my own blog. See:

(16) scott, January 17, 2015 11:50 PM

So...what's new?

The only acceptable racism left on the planet is Jew hatred. Did you expect different from an official of a religion that blames jews for killing their god? The blatant racist assumption that bigots like tutu make is that jews , because of our predominantly caucasion appearance, aren't the native people of Israel. The Arabs whose culture is rooted in the Arabian peninsula have to be the underdog because their skin is darker. The fact that Arabs living in Judea ans Samaria have more in common with white south Africans in that the Arabs are representatives of the murderous Arab colonization of Israel and jews are actually the equivalent of the black south Africans. The only difference is that there is no worldwide movement to assist us in attaining our human rights. We have to fight the whole world for ours. The difference is that we picked up rifles and took our native land back. Tutu is a racist. Maybe if bigots like him could look past skin color the world would be a better place.

Beverly Margolis-Kurtin, March 26, 2015 2:49 AM

Look at what WE did!

We Jews are one heck of a people. We are a mere 13.7 million people compared to the total number of people living on the earth right now is seven BILLION.

So if we divide the number of us by the number of the entire world is 0.001957% So how in the name of anything can a teeny-tiny people be doing anything to hurt the planet? ? ?

There are only 6 million Jews living in Israel. There are 389,917,000 Arabs in the middle east. It is incredible (really!) that we mean Jews are picking on the Arabs. They shake in their bowels whenever they see a Jew.

So what the world is trying to lie about us is simply bull dung.

Tutu has a very dangerous mental disease: Antisemitism. Nothing will change his mind, facts mean nothing to that arrogant little jerk. The sooner he dies, the better off we might become.

(15) KRIS KRISTIAN, January 15, 2015 4:32 PM


(14) Deborah, January 14, 2015 8:37 AM

False and Anti-Semitic

Whilst I disagree with both the Israeli and the Palestinian governments, the situation in the Middle East is not behind these attacks.

These people were killed in France for being Jewish, and that is unacceptable. And whilst I dislike many of Charlie Hebdo's covers, nobody should be killed for it.

People trying to blame Israel are way off the mark, but a lot of journalists these days lack integrity, so...

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