Who is responsible for the terror attacks that murdered and maimed hundreds of Parisians on Friday, November 13, 2015?

That might seem like an obvious question. French President Francois Hollande himself announced that France was “at war” after the attacks, and he quickly launched an ambitious military assault on ISIS in Syria, which has admitted it trained the attackers and helped organize the assaults. But some people insist that other actors or motives were behind the murderous rampage.

Incredibly, several international figures have blamed Israel.

The Palestinian Authority asserted – in an op-ed in its PA daily newsfeed – that Israel was behind the Paris attacks – as well the large terror attack in Beirut the day before. The “reason”? Israel’s frustration with the European Union’s recent decision to label Israeli products from outside the 1967 armistice lines. As to how Israel could supposedly do something so nefarious – and keep its involvement hidden – the PA piece had an explanation: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu somehow “hides in his soul enough evil to burn the world”.

That Israel somehow orchestrated the attacks was hinted to by Mary Hughes-Thompson, the co-founder of the Free Gaza movement. “I haven’t accused Israel of involvement” she tweeted while the attacks were still going on; “Still Bibi (Prime Minister Netanyahu) is upset about the European settlement boycott. So who knows.” (Ms. Hughes-Thompson similarly accused Israel of being behind the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo magazine in January 2015 as well.)

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad managed to blame Israel not only for the attacks – but for the advent of terrorism itself. Before the establishment of Israel, “there were no such terrorist attacks anywhere” he helpfully (and erroneously) explained.

Sweden’s Foreign Minister, Margo Wallström, went a step further, linking Israel to the massacres, and explaining that violence like the Paris attacks is inevitable – even understandable – given Palestinian opposition to the Jewish state. “To counteract the radicalization, we must return to the situation such as the one in the Middle East, in which, not at the least the Palestinians, see that there is no future….We must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence” Ms. Wallström told Sweden’s SVT television. (Sweden’s Embassy in Tel Aviv did send out a tweet saying Ms. Wallström did not mean to blame Israel for the Paris attacks; the Foreign Minister herself declined to retract her words.)

The idea that the attacks were somehow inevitable and the product of legitimate grievances was expressed by crowds at the site of the carnage the day after the attacks. “They’re stupid, but they aren’t evil,” one resident of the 11th arrondissement told a reporter from Israel’s Haaretz newspaper. “They are victims of a system that excluded them from society, that’s why they felt this doesn’t belong to them and they could attack. There are those who live here in alienation, and we are all to blame for this alienation.”

“These are people the government gave up on, and you have to ask why,” another mourner explained. Virtually no one in the gathering the day after the attacks had anything negative to say about the attackers. One lone woman singing the Marseillaise was scorned, the crowd refusing to join her in France’s national anthem.

This apathy isn’t shocking to seasoned observers. A 2014 poll found that as support for traditional Western values erodes in France, support for radical Islamism is growing. The survey, conducted by ICM for Russian state news agency Rossiya Segodnya, found that over a quarter of French people between ages 18 and 24 have a “favorable” or “very favorable” opinion of ISIS: with only 7-8% of French society Muslim, this support for ISIS seems to have spilled over into non-Muslim communities as well.

Unwillingness to condemn terrorists isn’t limited to France. Just about the time the murderers in Paris were strapping on their suicide vests and shouldering their high-powered rifles, I was standing in my kitchen, thousands of miles away, listening to Diane Foley being interviewed on the radio. Her son, James Foley, was killed by ISIS in 2014; the group released a video of him kneeling, wearing an orange jumpsuit, before a masked man who was about to behead him. United States forces had just announced they’d killed the masked man – a British citizen by the name of Mohammed Emwazi – in an airstrike, and journalists were asking Ms. Foley for her reaction.

“Sad,” Ms. Foley replied – not sad that her son was gone, she hastened to add, but “sad” that his killer – she described him as a poor, confused young man – was now dead too. She wished her government hadn’t killed him, she explained. If he was in different circumstances, she insisted, her son and his killer would have been friends. Her son was a “peacemaker” she told journalists later; he’d want to know “why all this is happening”. In her world view, it seemed that we all share some of the blame for her son’s death and ISIS’s actions.

Facing today’s threats requires moral clarity, not outlandish conspiracy theories, lazy thinking, or fuzzy moral equivalence.

For France’s President Francois Hollande, the struggle is clear. “France is at war,” he told the National Assembly on November 16. “We’re not in a war of civilization” Hollande explained, “because these killers don’t represent one.” Instead, he warned, France is now at war with radical jihad: with a dangerous, murderous enemy who cannot be negotiated with. France is locked in battle with killers that can’t be placated, with murders opposed to their very existence.

France finds itself in a situation that one other nation knows too well: Israel, which also is struggling with its own frequent deadly terror attacks that target ordinary citizens going about their daily lives. (In fact, the day of the terror attacks in France saw another terror attack in Israel, when a family car was fired upon, killing the father and son. The family’s daughter, who survived, was planning to get married four days later. Instead, she will spend what was to be her wedding day mourning her father and brother.)

Israel, plagued by murderous terror, has a lot it can teach others coping with the same fear. After the attacks, Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat offered advice to Anne Hidalgo, his counterpart in Paris.

“Be good with the good guys and bad with the bad guys,” Mayor Barkat wrote: “From our experience in Jerusalem, sharp moral clarity is critical to ensuring the safety and security of our citizens. Make a very clear distinction between residents peacefully going about their day-to-day lives and coexisting alongside the diverse populations in the city and those who aim to wreak havoc and bloodshed. The peaceful residents are our partners in fostering peace and security...There is no room for moral obfuscation.”