Just yesterday, a day after three suicide bombers blew themselves up all over Israel, killing five more innocent Israeli civilians, I sat writing how I longed for America. From my home in Jerusalem, it shone in the distance, a beacon of stability and safety, its shores so secure and inviting. Can it be that only twenty-four hours later my birthplace, the City of New York, the place that educated and nurtured me with its thrilling diversity and endless promise; the place my brothers and their families still live, is now a graveyard of thousands of innocent people cut down by the same murderers that have been bloodying the streets of my spiritual birthplace, Jerusalem?
“Vicious, cowardly terrorists,” is how Mayor Giuliani described them, “attacking innocent men, women and children going about their lives.. An attack on freedom and our way of life.”
And Tony Blair, who rose to the occasion, talked about this being an attack on the free world, on democracy.
How we in Jerusalem who have been under attack by the same terrorists for months have thirsted to hear these words!
In East Jerusalem, the Palestinian celebrations, the joy of the man — and woman — in the street at this savage act of barbarism, is now broadcast by CNN and the BBC which has been wallowing in sympathy for Palestinian suicide bombers for months, interviewing their parents; examining their delicate sensibilities, their noble motives…. How, I wonder, do these networks feel now? Are they embarrassed? Are they enlightened? I’d really like to know.
Just the other day in reporting Sunday’s multiple suicide bombings in Israel, the BBC reported: “Eight died in Mideast violence. “And this is what they meant: Three suicide bombers and their five Israeli victims who were murdered in cold blood. I imagine they won’t be counting the suicide pilots in the the body count of the American victims, or say that they died in a continuing cycle of violence. Not now when Britain itself feels that the ground beneath its own feet is suddenly less solid then before.
Why do we have to learn these lessons of history again and again: that tolerance for anti-Semitism and the murder of Jews inevitably leads to a hundredfold number of casualties among innocent people of all races and religions all over the world? That evil and immorality and racism always chooses the Jews as its first target, but never its last? If the attack is tolerated, it grows in strength and begins to devour the rest of the world.
Appeasement, Churchill said, is feeding a crocodile in the hope that he will eat you last. It doesn’t work. And now, just days after the debacle in Durban which unleashed the most vicious racism of modern times, comes the physical attack on the leader of the free world and its people.
I feel no satisfaction that the world which has been so blind, so wrong-headed, in its abandonment of the Jews of Israel, feeding us to the crocodiles, must now experience the horrors we have been living with on a daily basis for months, even years. But it is my hope, as I wearily type these words, that a new light will come out of the billowing evil smoke of destruction and darkness that has claimed so many innocent lives, destroyed so many, many innocent families. A light of determination and clear-headed moral thinking that will allow all the good people of the world to gird their loins and join forces to defeat the embodiment of evil -– fanaticism and disregard for human life dressed in religious clothing: Moslem fundamentalism.
I am so sorry enlightenment had to come at such a terrible price. Let it be the last we pay.
My prayers are with my fellow Americans. May God bless you and watch over you all.