This week saw some terrible news: In France, a gunman attacked a Jewish school, and killed 4 people, including 3 children
Often when news appears like this we get caught up thinking "That's so far away", "it's completely different there". For New Zealanders, most will not know of any local Jewish schools. These are schools that receive regular threats via phone and post. Schools that have to employ full time security guards. As recently as 1990, there was a serious knife attack on students at Kadimah college in Auckland by a deranged woman.
Australia has much worse threats. As a parent of children at Jewish Primary schools and kindergartens, it is very worrying. We have terrorists in jail now that were planning attacks on Jewish Community centers. This article eerily appeared in The Age in January. Sadly, threats against Jewish lives, including children is very real here.
Whilst condemned the Muslim community in France stated they would "pray for the victims", it is sadly clear that many regard him as hero.
In Australia and NZ, we have seen a few generalised condolence messages. Mostly, it has been quiet. Lets hope we never see a tragedy of this kind, that we need to ask ourselves the hard questions of how to prevent it. Especially in the light of the Urewera trial.