Paris: An Atrocity Foretold

After January’s attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket—not to mention the jihadist attacks on New York, Madrid, London, and Mumbai, and the decades of terror in Israel—nobody should be surprised by Friday’s horrific events. Adam Kirsch writes:

There [is], in fact, a kind of syllogism of terror at work here: a movement that begins by targeting Jews and writers will end by targeting the West at large. Those who extenuated those earlier attacks by pointing to Israeli policies or cartoonists’ provocations may now realize that terrorism is not a form of critique, but a form of attack. Religious pluralism and free speech are the glories of liberalism, and so they are what the enemies of liberalism attack first.

By the same token, in the terrorists’ decision to target a football stadium and a concert hall, they declare a puritanical hatred for Western pleasures—just like the terrorists who blew up the Dolphinarium disco in Tel Aviv in 2001, and a nightclub in Bali the next year. This dimension of the Paris attacks seems especially resonant, since for Americans the French capital has long stood for a particular kind of pleasure—the pleasures of civilization, of cosmopolitanism, of the cultivation of grace. . . .

Fourteen years ago, after the 9/11 attacks, France joined much of the world in declaring “We are all Americans;” if Americans now say “We are all Parisians,” that is not just gratitude or sympathy or homage, but simple acknowledgment of fact.

Read more at Poltiico

More about: 9/11, France, ISIS, Jihadism, Politics & Current Affairs, Terrorism

Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security