18 July '16..
"France must live with terrorism," French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said after the massive terrorist attack in Nice last week. Understandably, his statement infuriated the French, who took to social media to express their opprobrium.
And French President Francois Hollande, sounding almost as if he was being forced to speak, said, "We cannot deny that it was a terrorist attack."
After the massive Islamic State attacks in Paris in November 2015, political leaders proclaimed themselves "shocked." Whether this shock was feigned or genuine, at least they made a point, pitiful as it was, of pretending that these massive terrorist attacks were something extraordinary that did not have a habitual place in Europe.
Valls' resigned declaration of tired surrender after the Nice attack, on the other hand, amounts to the waving of a white flag in submission to the jihadis and is an indication that France has little will to fight.
Valls and Hollande sounded like bewildered children at the helm of a ship that they are too clueless to navigate. Imagine Winston Churchill declaring, "Britain must live with Nazism."
Under its current government, France has busied itself with meddling in Israeli affairs and organizing Middle East peace conferences, instead of spending every waking moment ensuring the proper protection of its own population. It is not ready to fight against the jihad that has been launched against it.
One major factor in this is that its elites blame France. French Ambassador to the U.S. Gerard Araud, for example, wrote on Twitter: "Why is France targeted? History (former colonial power), geography (proximity), first Muslim community of Arab origin sensitive to M.E. issues."
In other words: Colonialism and Middle Eastern "issues" -- a diplomatic euphemism for the Israeli-Arab conflict -- are to blame, not the Muslims who commit the atrocities and certainly not Islam. A Twitter user from India responded to Araud: "We Indians have been colonized by all European powers including your country. Ever heard of Indian terrorists? Shame on you." Indeed.
One of the best indicators of how massive terrorist attacks have become the "new normal" is the financial markets, famously and hysterically sensitive as they are. One observer concluded after the Nice attack, "Gold is down and the euro is up. Financial markets don't care because it's no longer an extraordinary event. Even European travel stocks and French hotel stocks are only down a couple of percent. Because continued terror attacks for years are already 'priced in.' According to the stock market, France has now become Israel."
The sentiment that France and Europe have "now become Israel" has become something of a trend on social media in the wake of Nice. But it is very far from the truth.
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Judith Bergman is a writer and political analyst living in Israel. Twitter @judithbergman.
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