The BBC tells us today that far right activity is at its weakest in 20 years, but that is not the experience of the hundreds of Jews who emigrate to Israel from the UK every year. Anti-Semitic attacks have increased over the last year, and in a recent YouGov poll over 40% of people (everyday ordinary peope like you and me) were found to hold anti-Semitic bias. French Jews are fleeing France for the UK, only to find that the racism they experience here means that this nation is no longer a safe haven for them either.
My 12 year old asked about the latest, post-tragedy, edition of Charlie Hebdo – was I going to buy a copy? I had thought about it, becasue I want to affirm their right to free speech. But the magazine has been consistently abusive to everyone of faith – Christians, Jews (a cartoonist was prosecuted in 2009 for anti-Semitism), as well as Muslims. And just becasue they can publish a picture of the Prophet on the front of the magazine, should they? Is it appropriate?
For my 12 year old, to flaunt the power of free speech and the moral high ground (as well as the publicity of the awful tragedy they have experienced) is unnecessarily offensive as well as provocative. I agree. And the publication does nothing to honour the memory of the Jews and the Christians and the Muslim who also died in the Parisian terrorist attack. Enough already, Charlie Hebdo!