Tag Archives: Belgium

Why it’s Too Late to Stop Terror

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It’s somewhat encouraging to see the victories taking place against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.  Taking out their second in command and capturing the town of Palmyra are both significant accomplishments in the war on the territorial front. That part of the war can be won in somewhat conventional fashion.  The only question is what the best course of action is to win it.  Even the lesser military minds can see an end game.  The main questions are what strategy to use and how long it will take?  With the ongoing terrorist attacks in the west, operations have increased and have so far proven to be relatively successful.  The second war, the terror war being brought to Europe and as of yet on a lesser scale to North America is not a war that can be won any time soon, if at all.  The sad news is, it’s just too late.

It’s a harsh reality, one that may or may not ever impact people directly, but it’s a reality nonetheless.   Even if somehow ISIS would be wiped out in its various bases of operations, the exported terrorists, sitting and waiting for the best opportunities to strike are so spread out and in such large number, even if we were to just wait it out, be vigilant, and stop numerous attacks, there will are still likely to be numerous attacks that will be successful and wreak maximum havoc and suffering.  Just look at Israel, a nation dealing with terror for decades and arguably the most prepared and most adept at dealing with terrorism.  Yet despite the expertise there are still numerous terrorist attacks resulting in the deaths of innocent men, women and children.

There might have been an opportunity a few years back to stop the growth of ISIS, but the sad fact is that until terror hits home, or close to home, western nations are far more accomplished in rationalization than in positive results.  Terrorist activities against Israeli citizens have been rationalized as a fight for liberation.  Attacks against Israelis, Iraqis, Libyans, Pakistanis, just to name a few, are not viewed by the west with the same anger and horror as attacks against the French, Belgian or American. Even today, after 63 people, most of them women and children were killed in a terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan, CNN and FOX are providing minimal coverage and discussion.  In fact, a half day later, the terror attack isn’t even the top story.  That’s been changed to a story of how Donald Trump claims to be better for women than anyone and is accompanied by a picture of him kissing his wife Melania. Incidentally, the victims in Pakistan were Christians attacked by a splinter group of the Taliban and purposely done on Easter Sunday.  Iran, a nation with far greater experience and success in the development and exportation of terrorists is allowed to make a deal for nuclear energy and is somehow rewarded with the release of billions of dollars.  Even if somehow we do outlast what we say are hundreds but are more likely thousands of ISIS operatives ready to strike, if the entire approach towards terror doesn’t change, if we do defeat ISIS, we are likely to be left with another group, or even worse, country to fight.  For people who take the view that they can’t be worried about what happens to the “people over there”, they need to understand that it is the sons and brothers of those people the terrorists are radicalizing and mobilizing  against the west.

As is the case with many of my fellow Jews and many pro-Israel citizens in the west, I have argued for years that there is not enough value put on Jewish life.  I still maintain that, but the difference now is that I believe there is not enough value put on any life lost east of Germany.  I am not making a bleeding heart plea for sympathy, rather a legitimate call to arms against global terrorism, not just the flavor of the moment.  ISIS is by far the most active and dangerous organization in the world, but it is joined by so many other groups ready to take over prominence if they get defeated that without a long term global strategy against terror, we are doomed to live with it for the rest of our lives and very likely see it continue for further generations.

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The Party may be cancelled but Purim lives on

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I’ve always loved Purim.  The whole concept behind it is a beautiful one.  It saddens me, as it does so many others, that the terror attacks and subsequent atmosphere in Brussels has caused the cancellation of Purim celebrations.  But make no mistake. With or without festivities, there is no cancellation of Purim and what it represents, especially in these times.

Purim is a holiday based on events that took place in ancient Persia, now known as Iran, during a time when Persian leadership sought to wipe the Jewish people off the face of the planet.  Sound familiar? It should.  Besides being something that tends to happen far too often, a nation looking to rid the world of Jews, modern day Iran is testing missiles decorated with the words “Israel must be wiped out”.   Hard to believe that a nation like Iran could not have evolved further from its hatred of over 2,000 years ago, yet here we are again.

Of course what makes matters worse is that the cancellation of festivities is not directly connected to Iran.  After the most recent brutal attack by ISIS and the attacks in Paris, it is a wise bit of caution to consider European Jews to be in some significant danger. That too should sound familiar, as I am sure it does.  Europeans need to wise up to the dangers facing them, because last time they took a “levelheaded” and patient approach to rising fascism and violence, the continent was left in shambles.

The most beautiful thing about the story of Purim for me was always the fact that it is a story in which the Jewish people did not have to suffer greatly before their redemption. It’s impossible to know how today’s travails will end up, but if history is to repeat itself, my prayer for this Purim, is that the establishment of liberty and freedom for all people in the world, not just Jews, can happen with limited additional suffering.  In the meantime to my fellow Jews I urge you to remember this.  Even when the celebration is cancelled, Purim never is.

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ISIS-ISIL-IS: The only Constant is Islamic

isis-2No matter what you call the terror group now running an area of land the size of Belgium, the one thing you must call them is Islamic.  I wish this was the worst of it, but the whole name thing is making me a little crazy. First they were called ISIS:The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.  Then they were called ISIL:The Islamic State of Syria and the Levant. Finally they are IS:TheIslamic State.  Or are they? Depends on who you listen to.  Even then pronunciations seem to change.

In the beginning everyone called them ISIS, pronouncing it as one word sounding almost identical to the English world Ices.  Back then, when the administration saw them as the JV(Junior Varsity) team, they went along with calling them ISIS as well.  Even when the terrorists started calling themselves ISIL, initially most people  still called them ISIS.  Now however, the administration has such an insistence on calling them ISIL they won’t even acknowledge the name ISIS when mentioned.  What makes it even more bizarre, or even irritating is that the President and Secretary of State call the group ISIL and pronounce close to the English words, ICE-ILL, while the President’s Press Secretary and Pentagon Spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby spell it out, referring to them as  I-S-I-L.   This all creates an annoying distraction at press conferences.  A CNN reporter might ask: “What’s the next move against ISIS (ICES)?” Then, depending on who answers, “We must degrade and destroy ISIL(ICE-ILL) or I-S-I-L.”  One area in which the administration is coordinated though is that they never respond using the name ISIS anymore.

Despite the theories from those most suspicious of the President’s motives, I don’t believe the insistence on calling it ISIL is based on something dangerously devious, rather an acknowledgment that it is a threat to a greater area, since the IL covers significant more territory than the IS.  The last IS that is.  The first IS, whether you call it ISIS or ISIL stands for Islamic, which means very simply this group is an Islamic group, no matter what anyone including the President might want you to believe.  And more importantly, no matter what you call them, they are very dangerous.  This is a war.  Oh wait. Not sure if that’s what it’s being called either.  It just might also depend on who you ask.  At least I hope what we have now is a coordinated effort to conduct this whatever they’re calling it against whatever it is they call them.

 

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