In the beginning the news were confusing...French police was saying that the gun utilized in the killing was tied to a neo-Nazi and that it wasn't clear who the perpetrator was. What was clear was that the assassin came in shooting, killing initially a Rabbi and two young children. When a third child started to run, he grabbed her by the hair, put the gun to her head and shot her. This is an image that brings indeed to mind the Nazi atrocities of over 60 years ago.
But the perpetrator was not somebody intent on reviving the ideology of Adolf Hitler, but somebody with his own Nazi-Fascist ideology. The murderer was Mohammed Merah, a 24 years old French citizen of Algerian descent who claimed to be "avenging Palestinian children". He was trained in Pakistan and invoked the name of Al-Qaeda. His brand of Nazi Fascist ideology clothes itself as a religion, pretending to be Islam when in fact is nothing but an ideology of hatred blind to the most basic Human morality and oblivious to the teachings of the very same Holy books they pretend to represent.
The victims were Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30 years old, his children Gavriel (3) and Aryeh (6). Eight year old Miriam Montesango was running away when she was grabbed by the hair and shot point blank.
The assassin was chased and kept under siege until March 22, when the French police reported that he had been killed. May the trial he avoided on Earth await him at a higher court...
Yet my original idea of writing about 1992 is still valid. On that day, Hezbollah operatives detonated a car bomb in front of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, and yet most of the victims were children from a nearby school. This is what Nazis do - they target the innocent in the name of their own self-deceptive ideology.
Comments have already been made by some European politicians to the effect that "The Toulouse shooting is not worse than what Israelis do to Palestinian children". Israel never targeted civilians nor does it ask her children to take the front row on a military confrontation as Palestinians do. Palestinians act out of uniform from the midst of civilian populations using them as Human shields, and recruit well meaning but misguided youth from Western countries to also serve as Human shields. Israelis act openly, in uniform, in defense of their civilian population under fire. the situation is not, and cannot be, symmetrical. Legitimate self-defense can never be equated with killing children in the name of hatred.
The victims were put to rest in Jerusalem with thousands of Israelis in attendance. Most of those in attendance did not know them, but they were their own husbands, children, siblings... their own mishpoche, as they were mine and as they were yours.