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Sitting Ducks

Yesterday we reported on the three French soldiers who were stabbed by a terrorist while guarding a Jewish community center. Today, Dr. Daniel Pipes writes of the larger problem of Islamist violence and deeper and longer-range solutions that are needed:

Another Islamist immigrant from Mali named Coulibaly has attacked another Jewish ‎institution in France. The first one, Amedy Coulibaly, murdered four Jews at a kosher supermarket in Paris on Jan. 9; ‎this second one injured three soldiers on Tuesday as they protected a Jewish community center in Nice.

Police say Moussa Coulibaly, about 30 years old, with a record of theft and violence, and apparently not ‎related to Amedy, pulled a knife about 8 inches long out of a bag, injuring one soldier in the chin, one in the ‎cheek, and one in the forearm.

Coincidentally, I left Nice about four hours before this attack and had passed by that Jewish center a ‎few days earlier, in the course of a tour of Muslim-majority areas in 10 cities across France and Belgium. Those ‎travels brought me repeatedly in proximity to the heavily armed soldiers who protect Jewish institutions and ‎prompted several skeptical conclusions on my part about their presence:

  • They are soldiers, not police, and so not trained to be alert to street problems.
  • They tend to get distracted by their smartphones or pretty girls passing by.
  • They clutch their assault rifles across their bodies, which leaves them vulnerable to someone ‎driving by and shooting at them.
  • As confirmed by today’s attack, the ostensible protection they offer actually provokes Islamists ‎and other anti-Semites.
  • They are only posted temporarily to the Jewish institutions in the aftermath of the Hyper Cacher ‎attack a month ago and before long will leave.
  • They protect only the institutions themselves, not the people who come and go to them, who ‎remain as vulnerable as ever.

In short, the soldiers are sitting ducks whose deployment does little to protect the Jewish community or ‎solve the larger problem of Islamist violence. But it does offer another instance of emotionally satisfying ‎‎”security theater” which temporarily gives everyone a constructive sense of doing something.

A real solution will require much deeper and longer-range steps that concern national identity, ‎immigration policy, integration efforts, and effective policing.

Tags: Terrorism , Europe

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