Monday, 15 June 2015

United with Israel: I Cannot Be Charlie Hebdo

The natural response to the attack against Charlie Hebdo is to stand in support of those who were terrorized. The challenge, though, is that, while one can defend Charlie Hebdo's right to do what it does, in response to this terror, are we also called upon to agree with it? This is an issue I address in my latest blog on United with Israel at (with 2 comments). It can also be found on Facebook at where it has 159 likes, 22 shares and 14 comments (including one of my own). Feel free to comment here or there.

A further issue that I did not address in the UWI blog but would like to mention here, in that it must also be addressed, is the balancing of Western values with Torah values. In the blog, I speak as one who favours the Western value of freedom of religion which includes the respect of variant religions. I therefore inherently have problems with Charlie Hebdo's mocking of Islam. How, though, we can ask, does Torah values actually look at this mocking? It would seem to me clear that Torah values would look upon Charlie Hebdo's mocking of Judaism negatively. The question is actually not how Torah would view the mocking of Islam in a vacuum but, rather, how to view it within the context of living within the Western world. This explains my approach with the UWI blog but the full position is actually much more complex

Rabbi Ben Hecht

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