The terrorist attacks in Copenhagen bear the same hallmarks as the  attacks in Paris in January: an attack by Islamist fundamentalists on a symbol of free speech critical to Islamist radicalism, followed by an assault on a Jewish site.

 Behind the Headlines: Terrorist attacks in Copenhagen

 

Copyright: Reuters

The terrorist attacks in Copenhagen on Saturday, February 14, 2015 bear the same hallmarks as the murderous attacks in Paris in January: an attack by Islamist fundamentalists on a symbol of free speech which is critical towards Islamist radicalism, followed by an assault on a Jewish site.

The rise of antisemitism in Europe in recent years, as indicated by recent surveys, finds its expression both in words (hate-speech and incitement) and deeds (physical assaults on Jewish individuals and attacks on Jewish sites, such as the vandalism in a Jewish cemetery in eastern France as recently as yesterday). History requires Europe to be particularly vigilant on the issue of antisemitism and to protect its Jews, guaranteeing their physical security and enabling them to exercise their religion freely.

The issues at stake when Jews and symbols of free speech are being targeted are the same: these are assaults against the basic values of freedom, democracy and tolerance. Today, these values are being undermined by a jihadist ideology, spreading fear through violence and aiming at whoever disagrees with them or thinks differently. The western liberal democracies and the Jews have been designated by them as ‘privileged’ targets.

The recent events show once again that Islamist radicalism has nothing to do with the so-called "Israeli-Palestinian conflict". It is not the absence of a Palestinian state that bothers the jihadists but rather the presence of free, pluralistic and democratic states. The threat of jihadist terror is global. Therefore, the struggle against it must be global too. It has to encompass political, operational and intelligence cooperation.

This acknowledgement, which enabled the free world to cope with a similar menace after the attack of 11 September 2001, is vitally needed again today. Democracy has the duty to defend itself against undemocratic forces seeking its destruction.

Israel expresses its solidarity with all the victims of the terrorist attacks and their families, with the Jewish communities and with the peoples and leaders of the countries targeted by terrorism.