Toulouse and UsMar 19, 2012 at 12:47:19 PM
The world is recoiling from the horrific slaughter at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France that killed Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, his two sons, and a young girl.
Rabbi Sandler, age 30, was sent from Israel to strengthen the Jewish community in France. He was teaching at the same Ozar HaTorah School that he attended as a child.
We now know this was an anti-Semitic act. Which means this is a wake-up call for Jews worldwide.
Some mistakenly think that only the Jews of Israel are in danger ― from Hezbollah in the north, Hamas in the south, and Iran in the nuclear skies above.
Yet while Israel does indeed bear the brunt of anti-Semitism, the fact is that Ahmadinejad and his cohorts view all Jews as equally valid targets. As Hezbollah leader Sheikh Nasrallah so bluntly put it: "If the Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide." (Lebanon Daily Star, October 23, 2002)
One chilling detail being reported is that 3-year-old Gabriel Sandler, gunned down at point blank range in Toulouse, was named after Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, the Chabad emissary who was murdered by terrorists in Mumbai, India, in 2008.
Here in Israel, we are living under tremendous pressure as the threat of nuclear annihilation looms. Yet sometimes I get the feeling that Jews abroad still perceive the threat as "somewhere out there."
In truth, it is right in your backyard.
Rafah, the Iranian news site affiliated with Ahmadinejad, has threatened to "take the war beyond the borders of Iran, and beyond the borders of the region." Last month, Islamists hit Jewish targets in Georgia and India, plus two Iranian-perpetrated blasts in Bangkok, Thailand.
So what's the solution? Can we expect much in the way of international protection (an element which was sorely lacking during the Holocaust)? No, not if the United Nations is any indication. It is the U.N. Human Rights Council that originally scheduled a speech ― today, the very day of the Toulouse slaughter ― by Ismail al-Ashqar, the same senior Hamas official who described the killing of Osama Bin Laden as "state terrorism that America carries out against Muslims."
And in a speech just hours after the murders, Catherine Ashton, one of the highest-ranking European Union officials, juxtaposed "what happened in Toulouse" with "what is happening in Gaza..."
The world is descending into a new round of moral confusion and chaos. The sooner we realize one inalienable truth, the better off we will all be:
Every Jew, no matter where s/he is, cannot separate himself from Israel. We are all one, intrinsically bound for eternity.
Today, let us join together to mourn the murder of Rabbi Sandler and three young children.
And let us feel the pain of the bereaved widow who moved to France with the purest of intentions, and now returns to Israel to bury her husband and two sons.
And let us pledge to take the plight of every Jew fully to heart.