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Geopolitics

Jihad Makes Anti-Semitism Deadly Again In Europe

Like the Toulouse shootings two years ago, the cold-blooded killings at Brussels' Jewish Museum show radical Islam mixing with anti-Semitism to target Jews 70 years after the Nazis' demise.

Tel Aviv funeral of the Israeli couple killed in the Brussels Jewish Museum shooting
Tel Aviv funeral of the Israeli couple killed in the Brussels Jewish Museum shooting

-Editorial-

PARIS — In early 21st century Europe, men, women and children are being killed for the sole reason that they are Jewish. These are not random attacks. They are targeted with precision and perpetrated against victims chosen for who they are, not for what they do or might have done.

The truth about the May 24 shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels is brutal and tragically simple. On the eve of the European Parliamentary elections, in the European Union's "capital" and just two weeks before the 70th anniversary of D-Day — a crucial step in the defeat of Nazism — anti-Semitism killed, again.

It will be up to a court to decide whether the Frenchman arrested yesterday in Marseille is responsible for last Saturday's killings. In mid-afternoon on that day, a man entered the Jewish Museum in Brussels' city center. He was carrying a bag from which he withdrew a gun before opening fire. He shot a dozen times before leaving, less than two minutes later. Four people were killed.

The events remind us of the March 19, 2012, crimes committed by Mohammed Merah at a Jewish school in the southern French city of Toulouse. He killed one teacher and three children in the school's playground because they were Jewish. As one girl tried to escape, Merah grabbed her by the hair and shot her in the head.

What's clear from both the Brussels and Toulouse shootings is that the pure racist hatred that is anti-Semitism is back.

The evidence strongly suggests that the suspect arrested Sunday is the killer. In his luggage, the police found an Kalashnikov assault rifle bearing inscriptions from a jihadist group fighting in Syria, a revolver, ammunition and a camera similar to that used by Merah to film and "sign" his crimes.

Like Merah, the young man seems to have combined gangsterism and jihadism, killing in the name of an al-Qaeda-inspired Islamist fight, for which Syria is the newest battlefield. He is said to have gone there for a year, like hundreds of other young Europeans, many of whom have north African origins. Syria has become a jihad training camp for these new terrorists.

The Internet, and more particularly Facebook, have served as recruitment and communication platforms. That's where jihadist groups broadcast their implausible ideological jumble, inspired by old-fashioned European anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories that flourish online. And these online meeting spaces are where they have resurrected the most horrific racist archetypes.

The liberalization of anti-Semitic rhetoric is a sign of the times, and it cannot simply be reduced to one or another geopolitical explanation. It is relayed by radical Islam and the diatribes of a too-famous French "humorist." Seeing it as mere police business would be like shirking our responsibilities.

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Ideas

How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

American and Southwest Airlines have been refusing to allow Cubans on board flights if they've been blacklisted by the government in Havana.

How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

Boarding a plane in Camaguey, Cuba

Santiago Villa

On Sunday, American Airlines refused to let Cuban writer Carlos Manuel Álvarez board a Miami flight bound for Havana. It was at least the third time this year that a U.S. airline refused to let Cubans on board to return to their homeland after Havana circulated a government "blacklist" of critics of the regime. Clearly undemocratic and possibly illegal under U.S. law, the airlines want to make sure to cash in on a lucrative travel route, writes Colombian journalist Santiago Villa:

-OpEd-

Imagine for a moment that you left your home country years ago because you couldn't properly pursue your chosen career there. It wasn't easy, of course: Your profession is not just singularly demanding, but even at the top of the game you might not be assured a stable or sufficient income, and you've had to take on second jobs, working in bars and restaurants.

This chosen vocation is that of a writer or journalist, or perhaps an artist, which has kept you tied to your homeland, often the subject of your work, even if you don't live there anymore.

Since leaving, you've been back home several times, though not so much for work. Because if you did, you would be followed in cars and receive phone calls to let you know you are being watched.

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