Let me start by making something very clear. I am by no means making light of the horrific and graphic murder of journalist James Foley. I am however asking two very important questions. My first question is why did it take till now for everyone to take the threat of ISIS as seriously it should have? And my second question is, as the United States debates bombing a second country after the beheading of one journalist, why has it been so hard for the world to accept Israel’s reaction to the murder of three teenage boys?
The questions seem very different but the answer may be the same. Regarding the subject of terrorism, Muslim extremism and the threat it poses to the entire civilized world, the Israeli government and its supporters, in Israel and throughout the world, are ahead of the curve. As much as I dislike them on a personal level, the celebrities who proudly display their anti-Semitic sentiments through opposition of Israel’s actions don’t understand how much they are hurting themselves in the process. I dare say that to some this is a new Muslim Chic. Captivated by the culture, the music, the hum of the call to prayer, the smooth talking Palestinian leaders have them taken in by what they see as the Palestinian’s plight. I am not going to berate Liam Neeson for expressing his attraction to Islam because he did so in a positive context, but I may also want to say to him, come take a look at Judaism. We don’t have large factions within our ranks looking to take over the planet through brutal violence.
Criticizing the realities that exist within Islam is not racist, its realistic and practical. Celebrities and politicians who have bent over backward to ignore those realities until now are partially to blame for James Foley’s death and for those who will be murdered by these factions in the future. When the two young stars, Rihanna and Selena Gomez tweeted messages along the lines of “Free Gaza” or “Free Palestine”, did they ever stop to consider how young women like them are treated by the Hamas government and the society they are defending? In contrast are they aware of the equality and opportunities provided to young women in Israel, even going as far as being important contributors in the military? I am sure they didn’t. They posted it on Twitter because it seemed like a fun, neo-humanitarian thing to do at the time. Not so much fun anymore when there’s a video of an American journalist being beheaded on YouTube is it?
If the rest of the western world had put the same value on the lives of Naftali Frenkel, Eyal Yifrach, and Gilad Shaar as Israel did, and supported the operation in Gaza as it should have and understood its importance, it would have sent a message to groups like ISIS and Hamas, and even the oft ignored ringleader Iran, that it understood what is at stake. But not only did they not do it then, some continue to not do it today. But to those who needed to see it in front of them to make it real, the beheading of James Foley was a wake up call. Not so Chic anymore is it?
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