Tag Archives: Algeria

A Missing Plane and a Frightening Scenario

Swiftair_-_Boeing_737-301(SF)In some ways it feels like we are watching the first 45 minutes of an epic disaster movie.  Of course we all know about the war in Gaza.  Israel, a free and democratic country fighting a government controlled by the terrorist organization Hamas.  That in itself is bad enough.  But my friends, when you look at today’s events, and what tomorrow is on the Muslim calendar, it could get a lot worse.  It is not in my nature to be alarmist or sensationalist, but we also live in a time when all things need to be considered, no matter how frightening they may be.

Earlier today we get word that Ali Hosseini Khamenei, the spiritual leader of Iran made the following comments regarding Israel:  “As said by Imam Khomeini [the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran] Israel must be destroyed…However, until that time with the help of God for this cruel and murderous regime to be destroyed, strong confrontation with steadfast armed resistance is the only solution against this destructive regime.”  He also stated, regarding the United States: “The anti-American and anti-West view in Iran is a logical view based on experience and a righteous calculation.”

His sentiments are not news.  We know he feels this way, as do millions of his followers.  What is different is the timing, and hopefully not, but possibly another difference is the biggest news story of the day.

First the timing.  Tomorrow is “Quds Day”.  Quds, Arabic for Jerusalem, is a day created by Iran since its revolution in 1979, celebrated on the last day of Ramadan, as a day to express solidarity for the Palestinians against the State of Israel.  Comments made by any Muslim leader today are at least partially designed to motivate and instigate the people into not only protesting and demonstrating, but to do so as violently as possible.  There is no question that Khameini is looking to incite as much violence against Jews as possible,  not only in Israel, but throughout the world.

And then there is the biggest news story of today.  A plane taking off from Algeria has gone missing.  Yes, you  read correctly, gone missing.  Algeria, a North African Muslim nation that donated money made in the World Cup to Hamas and a people who make up the majority of France’s Muslim population committing brutal acts of anti-Semitism.  It is from that country that a plane has gone missing on the eve of Quds Day.  It’s an awful day in world history when one must say, let’s hope the plane only crashed.

It is possible that tomorrow comes and goes and is a repeat of many of the days of the past few weeks.  Awful, but not catastrophic.  But the days of underestimating the enemy’s brutality and capabilities are behind us now.  We no longer have that luxury.


Does the World Cup Unite us?

cr

Quick answer; it could.  If only the politicians and power mongers would let it.  In a world filled with violence and hatred, I am one of those who truly believes that the majority of the people watching care more about their country scoring a goal than any territorial conflict or prejudice against people.  Despite my belief that FIFA may very well be corrupt, a belief somewhat influenced by The Netherlands’ inability to break through and win it all, I truly believe this tournament, FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brasil, can do a lot more good than harm.  In fact, I don’t even think it is close.  I am not naive.  As a Jew and as an American, I know there are people who hate us.  But wouldn’t it be great if all the battles and anger could be left on a soccer pitch?  I know my prejudices towards countries like Holland, America and England are based on personal experiences that make me root in favor of their success, just as my prejudices against Iran, Algeria and France are also based on my experiences or perceptions.  However, wouldn’t it be great if it stopped there for everyone.  I wouldn’t gloat over the death of Iranians, but I certainly gloated over their defeat in a World Cup match.  When I say I hate Cristiano Ronaldo and I hate Portugal, it is because he strikes me as arrogant and I see Portugal as a villain in international soccer tournaments, not because I hate the country or people.  On the contrary, I have Portuguese blood.  My mother’s maiden name is Rodrigues-Lopes, a Portuguese name.  And my hatred for Ronaldo wants me to see him fail in football, excuse me, soccer, not fail in life.  And yes, as a Jewish man and Zionist I would much prefer Palestinians dancing in the streets because Israel didn’t qualify or because the U.S. got eliminated, not because of a successful terrorist attack that killed Jews.

The good news, I believe the majority of the planet would agree with this sentiment.  They just need to fight to create governments that feel the same way.  It may be a pipe dream, but to quote my favorite line from the movie Flashdance, “when you lose your dreams, you die.”