European Jihadists Are Targeting Christians

For many years, Jews in France, and other parts of Western Europe, have lived under the threat of Islamist violence. They are also accustomed to their governments’ apathy. More recently, some of this violence has been directed at Christians. Itxu Díaz writes:

Two years ago, Islamic State ordered its followers to attack churches in Spain. Now, it seems that the call is being heeded. On January 25, a Moroccan man attacked two churches in Algeciras, Cadiz, in southern Spain. Armed with a machete and clad in a djellaba, the man seriously wounded a priest at the church of Maria Auxiliadora y San Isidro, attacked those attending Mass, destroyed sacred artifacts, and praised Allah. At Nuestra Señora de La Palma, he killed the sacristan, likely mistaking him for a priest. The perpetrator then unsuccessfully attempted to break down the door of a third church. He walked through the city, brandishing the machete and inciting terror, until the authorities apprehended him.

Since 2014, around 60 jihadist terrorist attacks have claimed 300 lives in Western Europe. The attacks usually occur in waves; the recent aggressions seem to indicate the beginning of a new wave. Up until now, church attacks mostly occurred in France. Nice has suffered the most jihadist attacks on churches in recent years. But Spain is seeing more and more of these attacks.

The government has also been downplaying recent events. . . . We’ve seen all this before, especially in France: time and again, European social democracies minimize jihadist attacks and acts of vandalism against churches, to the detriment of both Muslims and Christians alike.

Read more at First Things

More about: European Islam, ISIS, Jihadism, Terrorism


Why President Biden Needs Prime Minister Netanyahu as Much as Netanyahu Needs Biden

Sept. 28 2023

Last Wednesday, Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu met for the first time since the former’s inauguration. Since then, Haim Katz, Israel’s tourism minister, became the first Israeli cabinet member to visit Saudi Arabia publicly, and Washington announced that it will include the Jewish state in its visa-waiver program. Richard Kemp, writing shortly after last week’s meeting, comments:

Finally, a full nine months into Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest government, President Joe Biden deigned to allow him into his presence. Historically, American presidents have invited newly installed Israeli prime ministers to the White House shortly after taking office. Even this meeting on Wednesday, however, was not in Washington but in New York, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Such pointed lack of respect is not the way to treat one of America’s most valuable allies, and perhaps the staunchest of them all. It is all about petty political point-scoring and interfering in Israel’s internal democratic processes. But despite his short-sighted rebuke to the state of Israel and its prime minister, Biden actually needs at least as much from Netanyahu as Netanyahu needs from him. With the 2024 election looming, Biden is desperate for a foreign-policy success among a sea of abject failures.

In his meeting with Netanyahu, Biden no doubt played the Palestinian issue up as some kind of Saudi red line and the White House has probably been pushing [Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman] in that direction. But while the Saudis would no doubt want some kind of pro-forma undertaking by Israel for the sake of appearances, [a nuclear program and military support] are what they really want. The Saudis’ under-the-table backing for the original Abraham Accords in the face of stiff Palestinian rejection shows us where its priorities lie.

Israel remains alone in countering Iran’s nuclear threat, albeit with Saudi and other Arab countries cheering behind the scenes. This meeting won’t have changed that. We must hope, however, that Netanyahu has been able to persuade Biden of the electoral benefit to him of settling for a historic peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia rather than holding out for the unobtainable jackpot of a two-state solution.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Joseph Biden, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship