January 10, 2015
If you check the Drudge Report right now, you’ll see a screaming headline:
EVERY JEW I KNOW HAS LEFT PARIS
It links to an article in the Daily Mail. The claim was made by Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle.
Mr. Pollard, it is perhaps true that every Jew you know has left Paris. But it is clearly true that you do not know every Jew in Paris.
I have not left. And I will not. And neither will my father. That is at least two of us. And I know many more.
It is true that in the end, the Nazis managed to drive my family out of France. But not before my grandfather killed thousands of them. If these eighth-rate savages think they’ll succeed in getting my family out of France twice, they will discover that I am my grandfather’s granddaughter.
I’ve been told today that “the odds are against me.” By well-meaning people, I’m sure. First, they are not. That’s absurd. What happened was a horror, and it is by no means over, but if these people think they can win against a determined modern nation-state–once it’s woken up–they are even more out of their minds than it seems. Yes, it’s a war–and that was only the opening shot. But they are not the Nazis. They’re just dumb thugs with a taste for blood–and while France may be quite a sane place overall, God help them if they push the Germans so far that they find out what real Nazis are like.
And if you want to talk about odds, I’ll tell you about odds: In my grandfather’s regiment of 1,250 men, only 250 survived. So don’t tell me about the odds: It just makes you sound like a hysteric with no sense of history or proportion.
And while we’re at it: Let’s remember who won that war.
I am Jewish. I am in France. And I am not leaving–not because of a handful of terrorist swine, and not even if there’s an army of them. This family of Jews will not be driven out of Europe twice. And as far as I’m concerned, the response a Jew should have to this outrage is the one we should have had before–when up against a far more fearsome enemy. We may die, but we’ll die fighting, and you’ll be amazed how many of you we take down with us.
So let me speak personally now to anyone who thinks he’ll get me out of here: We will always have Paris. I will always have Paris. As will all the people who belong here. You, however, will die.
I have much more to say. But there is one more thing that strikes me as more important than all the other things on my mind. There are also many terrified Muslims in France right now. And yes, some of them are my friends–and close ones.
They too are the victims of these savages. They are victims in a double sense: Terrorists are as eager to kill them as they are eager to kill anyone in France. One of the cops they killed happened to be as Muslim, as has widely been reported. And they are victims in the second sense in that they this is only country they have. They will be associated forever with those animals–but they are French citizens. They have no Israel to go to. They have nowhere else to go to. So they will stay here too.
Time asked me to write a short piece about the irreplaceable staff of Charlie Hebdo. It is hard to explain all that they meant to France. But this part is important:
In 2012, in an interview with Le Monde, Stéphane Charbonnier, Charlie Hebdo’s director, was asked if he was tempted to tone down the publication’s inclination toward the inflammatory.
“It may sound pompous,” he replied, “but I’d rather die standing than live on my knees.”
It hardly sounds pompous at all. Especially given that this is precisely what he did.
That is what he did, and it is exactly what I feel.
So no, Mr. Drudge, you got this one wrong. I am a Jew. I am in France. I am not leaving. Neither are many terrified Jews in France. Neither are many terrified Muslims. Nor are we even that terrified, to be honest. In fact, I think I’d enjoy killing these kinds of people every bit as much as my grandfather did, and rather relish the thought.
I will stay here with my Jewish friends; I will stay here with my Muslim friends, and I will stay here for all the journalists at Charlie Hebdo–who were what the West is supposed to be and what I hope it will be again. I will stay here for Charb. I will stay here for all of his colleagues. I will stay here for my Grandfather. And I will stay here because too many Jews have been driven out of Europe–and I will not be one of them.
Never again has many meanings: One of them is that.
I will not be driven out. Not even if I have to personally teach the entire French police force which end of the gun to shoot from. If they’d like some advice about that, I’m happy to offer it; if not, I will confine myself to the obvious and say: Get your act together, and quick, because you need to up your game. But I’m sure you will–practice makes perfect–and Vive La France.
I will not be leaving.