Let me suggest people read an ongoing series in tabletmag.com, "France’s Toxic Hate"
A recent post was about Mohamed Merah, perpetrator of the massacre at a Jewish school in Toulouse in March, 2012. When Merah received training from Islamists he at first objected to their orders; they had directed him to kill everyone who offended Islam as they interpreted it — "The gays, the homosexuals, the ones that kiss each other in public." But Merah reasoned that if he did that he would be written off as "just another crazy terrorist." So he decided, in order to be taken seriously, to "just kill militaries [police, army] and Jews."
This is a fraught time for Jews like me. Though hardly the first of such, it is unique in many ways. I oppose Israeli overkill in Gaza. I have always opposed Israeli settlements on the West Bank, and argued for a Palestinian state.
But Israel is not what concerns me here. To put it another way, Israel is at once crucial and irrelevant. What concerns me is revitalized anti-Semitism in the west. Some years ago I remarked to a friend that anti-Semitism in Europe had been reduced to a trope — a memory, a marker, a literary device built on potent negative space.
That's no longer the case. Anti-Semitism, the virulent kind, has been reborn. And Israel cannot protect me. For Jews confronting anti-Semitism Israel was once thought to be a possible answer. But Israel exists — and let me make it plain that I subscribe completely to its right to exist.
But I don't live in Israel. Haven't chosen to and won't.
In a way, I exist in a pre-Zionist world, actually, a post-Zionist world.
Anti-Semitism is reborn and it's unimaginable that Israel can protect me.