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The Great Synagogue, Copenhagen: On February 15, a gunman attempted to attack here (Jerrye & Roy Klotz MD)

The pan-European response to the slaughter of four Jews at a Parisian kosher supermarket in January was commendable. But let's face it—had it not been for the massacre of the Charlie Hebdo journalists two days earlier, it is doubtful that France would have taken to the streets; world leaders would not have flocked to Paris; and the French army would probably not have deployed 10,000 personnel to protect Jewish institutions. Nothing similar happened when a lone jihadi gunman murdered a rabbi, two of his children and a third pupil at a Jewish school in Toulouse in March 2012, or when another graduate of the Syrian jihad murdered two workers and two visitors at the Jewish Museum in Brussels last May.

It is only when radical Islam went beyond the murder of Jews (or Israelis) that Europeans felt outraged. This time Jewish deaths were part of a larger drama, involving a sustained assault on Western freedoms by radical Islam. But those who marched cried for freedom, not necessarily for its Jewish martyrs. Responses will now focus on the jihadi threat and will probably seek to explain anti-Semitism as its by-product.

The response to the shootings in Copenhagen last month followed a similar pattern. The attack on a synagogue, in which a young Danish Jew died preventing much worse slaughter at a bar mitzvah, was treated  by the media as an afterthought.

Viewing Europe's anti-Semitism as mainly an Islamist problem is an honest mistake. After all, of late the deadliest instances of anti-Semitism in Europe all involved Muslim fanatics killing Jews. But to focus alone on the rampant anti-Semitism of the Islamic world and its spread to Europe's Muslim communities is to paper over the responsibilities of European societies at large, where anti-Semitism was alive and well long before Europe's Muslims became exposed to jihadi ideology. But it is a mistake caused by selective hearing.

The Jewish experience across Western Europe since the beginning of the second Palestinian intifada in September 2000 is one of eroding security and growing isolation. Long before the armed atrocities of Marseille, Brussels and Paris, Jews have felt that they were biding their time, and for good reasons. The annual data on anti-Semitism in the United Kingdom, recently released by the Community Security Trust, show a staggering increase of incidents in 2014, involving both verbal and physical abuse, the likes of which Anglo-Jewry has no living memory of. The numbers are higher than at the height of the second intifada more than a decade ago, when they were already higher than at any time on record.

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