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Double Life – Three voices, one little Jew

fubiniBy Daniela Fubini

When you have a double life like me, even triple at times, there are moments when you really risk a personality disorder. For example, during and after the Charlie Hebdo and Hypercacher terror attacks. Like many, I was glued to any possible screen after the massacre at the magazine, and just when I started coping with the idea that someone can decide to murder in the name of a god intellectuals not holding weapons beyond the usual pencils, the Jewish chapter of the horrific saga begun.

As a former New Yorker, I wondered whether Europe would stand together now, like the US did after September Eleven. But somewhere deep down the line-up of leaders who took part to the massive march in Paris didn’t raise much hope. No super-national commission was created, no summit was planned, nothing: marching like an orderly class of polite children evidently was enough, and that worries me.

Meantime, as an Israeli, I was embarrassed by my Prime Minister, who used aggressively the stage given by terror for his own political campaign – and got it really wrong apparently, because is now facing a drop in surveys ahead of the Israeli elections. Nevertheless, I am proud to say that Israel remains the one place for Jews to feel completely at home, if not safe at least we can say we are masters of our own fate. Here, the embarrassment brought by the politician was balanced by my own Zionistic quite pragmatic stand. Come to Israel if you want, French Jews, and we will share the same bomb shelters during the next war. A hell of a community-building experience, if you ask me.

But then, as a European born and bred, I am immensely proud of the history and culture developed in about two millennia by the Jews of the diaspora and cannot accept that extremists of any kind try to wipe that whole world away again. Other very different extremists succeeded about 70 years ago, and until today we mourn the loss of a whole world. Jews of Europe stay strong, anti-Semitism will not prevail.

There you go: three different voices, one little Jew.

*Daniela Fubini (Twitter @d_fubini) lives and writes in Tel Aviv, where she arrived in 2008 from Turin via New York.