For many of my fellow Europeans, terror has suddenly become a reality. It’s not the first terror attack in Europe, but this time it has made terror real in a way that the previous attacks haven’t (at least judging by the reaction of people around me). People ask themselves whether they should do this or that. Tourists return from Paris in panic.
What will this mean for Israel? My boyfriend hopes that it will make the world understand Israel better, but I doubt it. I see double standards everywhere. France is bombing Syria in vengeance for Friday’s attacks, hitting civilians. How would the world react if this were Israel doing the bombing? The Muslim leaders in Europe are finally taking position against terror. Why didn’t they do that when the victims were "only" Jews, Christians or Yesidis? Solidarity with France is everywhere. Where is the solidarity with the terror victims of Lebanon (44 dead last Thursday) or Russia (224 dead two weeks ago), not to mention Israel? I don’t really think anything will change.
What will this mean for the Jews in Europe? The year 2015 started for my community with soldiers and machine guns in front of the synagogue because of the January attacks in Paris. I haven’t been there last Shabat, but I guess they are back. Will Europeans turn against Muslims? Or the refugees? And in the end against everything foreign, including the Jews (who after all because of Israel are responsible for everything in the Middle East)?
And finally, what will it mean for Europe? Will it turn into a mess of small paranoid, xenophobic, nationalist states? Will it be able to handle a constant threat and still uphold the values of freedom, democracy and all that? Will we have big-brother-type surveillance all around? How many people actually trust in Europe and have positive associations with it?
According to an Urban legend, a Chinese curse says "May you live in interesting times" — I fear we are living in interesting times indeed.