I was watching this old movie the other day called “The Omen.”
Released in 1976, starring Gregory Peck as the American ambassador in Rome and Lee Remick as his unsuspecting wife, the two await the birth of their first child in a rather creepy Italian hospital. It is inexplicably filled with priests, one of whom tells Peck his baby has died and offers him a newborn orphan to replace it.
Well, as in all good horror flicks, the audience knows a little more than the characters, and we are not entirely surprised when the adopted child, with the help of a sinister black dog, starts racking up suicides and other weird and horrifying ends to all those around them.
We soon realize the orphan actually has a living father. You guessed it: The Devil himself, who is only too happy to make the child an orphan again. Exit Peck and Remick.
Sequels followed, showing what happened to the world as the little devil grew up and took over mankind. In “The Omen 3: Final Conflict,” the screenwriters are tasked with imagining what the world would look like if the Devil gained control.
As I read the newspapers every day, it seems to me we are seeing exactly that.
The slaughter of 132 Pakistani schoolchildren and their teachers. The latest Boko Haram atrocity in kidnapping a whole village of women and girls. The admission of an Islamic State fighter that he personally murdered 150 women and girls who refused to be raped and “married” off to a murderer. The harvesting of organs for the black market by Islamic State from prisoners and their own fighters. The bloody, senseless butchery in a Har Nof synagogue. The “revenge” murder of two New York policemen in cold blood following a chorus of political and social incitement from politicians and “race pimps,” as actor James Woods so aptly called Reverend Al Sharpton.
The continuing efforts of so-called “liberals” to see Israel wiped off the map also fits into this context as pure evil. These efforts were out in full force this month when no less a body than the European “Court of Justice” (quotation marks my own, for obvious reasons) decided on December 17 to take Hamas off its list of terror organizations, in response to a Hamas petition which made the unbelievable argument that this designation had only come about because of information provided by the US, not evidence the court had garnered firsthand.
Say what?! The Europeans need more proof? That would mean they are the only ones in the world who didn’t see with their own eyes what Hamas did to Israel this summer; didn’t watch videos showing Hamas terror tunnels, the use of Palestinians as human shields, the stockpiling of weapons in UNRWA schools, Gaza mosques and hospitals.
That would mean they are claiming they don’t know, even as I write this, that Hamas is repairing its terror tunnels with humanitarian supplies we naive Israelis are allowing through again.
While the Europeans might feel they need further proof, the rest of us clinging to sanity do not, especially concerning European wrongheadedness – which was in abundant supply in a recent sharp exchange between Danish Ambassador Jesper Vahr and columnist Caroline Glick at the recent Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference. Vahr proudly assured us there was indeed a double standard towards Israel. After all, you’re “one of us,” wink, wink; Israel wouldn’t want to be viewed as Europe views our enemies. This cloying chumminess, with all its implied racism, actually took my breath away.
Glick spoke for all of us, not to mention sanity, when she argued: “This is not a double standard; this is a singular standard for Israel. It’s not about international law. It is about an obsessive, compulsive need to constantly pick at the Jewish state. And no, I don’t want to be proud that you are looking at us in a different standard from our neighbors, because you are not looking at our neighbors as human beings.”
If this is really how Europe feels about Muslims, then what does this mean for a Europe filled with millions of Muslims who are supposed to be equal citizens? The protests in Germany in which 17,000 people marched against the Islamization of their country sent chills up my spine.
While I certainly understand where they are coming from, who can ignore the reawakening of the xenophobic monster asleep in the hearts of the German people and not shudder? Especially happening as it is at such a time.
A screenwriter couldn’t have plotted it better. It is happening just at the moment when the free world can no longer look towards America for strength in upholding the traditional values of brotherhood and democracy; just at the moment when Americans have become as confused as their European counterparts.
A member of my extensive email list writes: “Do current events re: North Korea vs Sony and the implications of a terrorist threat if their demands are not met, give any thoughts to the [American] administration and the rest of the free world that rogue nations should not be allowed to get near nuclear weapons? Do we need to imagine what Iran will be capable of without even firing a single shot?” As the leader of the free world continues his six-year golf game, interrupted at short intervals by the need to increase his foreign policy and domestic mistakes, American leadership is at an all-time low. Close to the end of Barack Hussein Obama’s second term in office as president of the United States, America is the laughingstock of third-world warlords, its formidable armed forces demoralized by incompetence and stupidity. A recent Military Times survey revealed that only 15 percent of active service members approve of White House leadership.
The Cold War, that dinosaur, has again been cloned into life, rearing its ugly head with the help of the thuggish Vladimir Putin as he moves his tanks into Ukraine, contemptuous of America finger-wagging. And why not? America has drawn so many red lines trampled over by so many puny powers that no one takes it seriously anymore.
It doesn’t help that America, once the greatest economic power on earth, now owes China $1.2 trillion. The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave is slowly but surely being turned into a fearful nation of unemployed food-stamp and welfare recipients, with only an AWOL president, a disenchanted military and a police force under steady demoralization to protect them.
If it is true, as I learned in Hebrew day school, that God is compassionate and patient with sinners, and that he doesn’t punish children for the sins of their fathers, waiting to see if the children will continue a legacy of evil, it seems to me no mere coincidence that the world is now in the same position as the generation of the Holocaust: witnesses to unimaginable cruelty, widescale murder, rape, human trafficking and slavery, as well as many other forms of mayhem, injustice and evil.
As such, the world now stands in its grandparents’ shoes.
Will they raise their hands and salute this evil, as we have seen in anti-Israel, pro-terror demonstrations all over Europe and the globe this past summer? Will they shrug in helplessness and indifference? Or will they step forward with a helping hand to intervene, to protest, to use their individual political and economic power to counter this terrible wave of barbarism? Against hope, we must remain hopeful.
In this darkest of months, in this dark year, we Jews lit Hanukka candles reminding ourselves that however hopeless the situation seems, it is still possible for the weak to triumph over the strong, the few over the many, the just over the lawless, the righteous over the evil.
The consequences of the wrong choices by our generation are truly beyond the wildest imagination of even the most skillful horror movie screenwriters.
This article was first published in the Jerusalem Post on 26 December 2014.