THE BLOG
01/13/2015 12:57 pm ET Updated Mar 15, 2015

The Paris Massacres and Israel: The Role of Unintended Consequences

PM Netanyahu of Israel initially rejected the idea of participating in the Paris march of protest against the slaughter of 17 innocent people there. Then he heard that his Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced his travel to Paris, and so did the third contender to leadership of the Israeli Right Wing, Naftali Bennett. What followed was a typical Israeli political farce, as the PM decided that he would not be overshadowed by his partners/rivals and flew to Paris, where he was cheered loudly by the Jews who assembled in the Paris synagogue to participate in a memorial for the victims. Alongside him was French President Hollande, who was politely received. The little Israeli political spiel was the only light element in an otherwise a very sad tale.

This is, first and foremost, a tale of blind hatred, terrorism in the name of a great religion. Islam is a great religion, and that should be stated loudly and clearly even in these dark days. Yet Islam is a religion in danger of being taken over by zealots, who desecrate their own religion and great prophet. This is definitely a sad tale, moreover a real big danger to world peace. This is a universal danger, probably to Muslims in the first place.

Here comes another sad tale, and this is the reaction of many Muslims in France and outside to the atrocities in Paris. Starting with Hamas, continuing with certain influential imams, the condemnation was only to the 13 Frenchmen murdered in the initial attack, not a word about the four innocent Jews slaughtered in cold blood by a terrorist who was a member of the same cell responsible to the outrage at Charlie Hebdo. I have no illusions that the western supporters of Hamas will take the Gaza terrorists to task over their initial formal praise to the Charlie Hebdo carnage, which was replaced only after some time with a mild condemnation. Surely Hamas supporters will not complain about the complete lack of reference to the slaughter of the Jews in the Kosher grocery.

This is where Israel is entering the picture.There, the PM and just about every responsible leader condemned the Charlie Hebdo massacre, but a day after many Israelis, in fact Jews in France and all over the world, could not but notice, much to their dismay, that yet again the Kosher grocery massacre was not receiving the same level of media and political attention as the earlier massacre. To be sure, it was not ignored, neither before the Paris march nor during it, but it was not the same.

The sense that a distinction was made between the acts of crime is always a bad reminder for Jews and Israelis, that the Jewish people is Am Levadad Yishkon (a lone people among the nations of the world), and if it is an issue in normal times, it is all the more so these days, when Israeli politics are focused on the upcoming elections. A campaign which seemed to be somewhat dormant, focused on domestic issues, may have turned upside down -- and irreversibly. It is now and may very well continue to be focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, on Israel's standing in the world, on antisemitism. Whereas domestic issues seem to give an edge to the Netanyahu rivals from the center and left, the reemergence of terrorism is a possible push to the right wing.

Every sane Israeli would have given up on this intervention in the campaign, wishing NO ONE dead in Paris and elsewhere, but the deed cannot be changed. All the four Jewish victims have relatives in Israel, members of the huge community of North African Jews whose ways parted 60-70 years ago, with the majority going to Israel, and a sizable minority to France. By and large, Jews from North Africa tend to vote to the right wing in Israel, whether to Likud or to the religious parties, and Netanyahu will not stay in power unless getting this vote.

But then there is another unintended consequence of all that. 2014 was a record year of Jewish immigration from France to Israel -- 8128 people to be precise. People who saw the writing on the wall and decided to go to Israel. The four Jewish victims of the massacre will be buried in Jerusalem, per the request of their families. But many, many thousands of French Jews will not wait for another outrage, and a massive wave of Aliyah (immigration) to Israel will be the big story of 2015.

An unintended consequence, a defeat to the terrorists, a victory to Israel.