According to the band’s statement:
This song was written in January 2015 shortly after the news of the attack on Charlie Hebdo’s office, and a Kosher supermarket. During the course of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the murderers targeted only one woman: the Jewish writer, Elsa Cayat ” In November, Paris faced a shocking reprise of terror. These acts of slaughter, as bookends to 2015, presage an era of horror, and a shift within our culture, that impacts us all.
Long-time readers of Harry’s Place might spot the familiar names of some former writers for this site.
It is fitting that the late Elsa Cayat is specifically remembered, as The Independent reported following her murder along with her colleagues at Charlie Hebdo’s office:
In the month before she died Elsa Cayat received a pair of identical phone calls: “You dirty Jew. Stop working for Charlie Hebdo. If you don’t, we will kill you.” Concerned, this eminent Parisian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, who contributed a fortnightly column to the satirical magazine, discussed these messages with her family. “We decided they were only verbal garbage,” said her younger brother, Frederick. “We didn’t think it could actually happen.”
On the morning of Wednesday 7 January, however, Elsa Cayat was the only woman singled out to be murdered in the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo. “It seems she was selected to be executed because she was Jewish,” said her cousin Sophie Bramly, a film producer and author. “They had a list of who they wanted to shoot and said they weren’t killing the women. But she was the only woman who wasn’t spared.”
The new editor of Charlie Hedbo, Gerard Biard, is under no illusions as to what that means. He writes:
“We are so used to Jews being killed because they are Jewish,” Gėrard Biard wrote. “This is an error, and not just on a human level. Because it’s the executioner who decides who is Jewish. Nov. 13 was the proof of that. On that day, the executioner showed us that he had decided we were all Jewish.”
As the song says, depressingly: “This is the present day. This is contemporary.”
It’s a powerful track, so consider shelling out £1 (for two versions of the song) and that Pound goes straight to to Campaign Against Antisemitsm.