Sunday, November 15, 2015

Another Paris Massacre, Part II

After the Paris attacks Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this: "The time has come for countries to condemn terrorism against us to the same degree that they condemn terrorism everywhere else in the world." And in light of all the recent stabbings and other attacks against Israelis, Netanyahu said this: "We are not to blame for the terrorism directed against us, just as the French are not to blame for the terrorism directed against them."

These attacks in Paris were horrific and savage. Every human being should have sympathy for the victims and their families and friends. The perpetrators are/were evil. But I have bad news for Netanyahu - the French do not and will not connect the dots. The French government often leads the EU in their criticism of Israel, and yes - blaming Israel for the terrorist attacks inflicted on them by radical Muslims. But, because the radical Muslims attacking Israel are "Palestinians" they get a pass from France and the EU.

The West Bank and Golan Heights are far from being the only disputed land areas in the world. But with Jews on one side, it is the only one to which France and the EU pays attention. Why is that? Because anti-Semitism remains rampant throughout Europe. What about Kashmir, disputed territory between India and Pakistan? What about the dispute between China and Japan over islands in the South China Sea? And what about Russian aggression in taking the Crimea from the Ukraine? These are just a few of many land disputes in the world. But France and the EU saves its condemnation for the one Jewish state.

What have the French and EU learned as they take in increasing numbers of Muslims, and as Jews are leaving, often for Israel, in increasing numbers? Jews are leaving because life in Europe has become increasingly dangerous for them, especially in France. France no longer labels Hamas a terrorist organization, but they do label goods from Judea and Samaria. So while I feel for all the individuals affected by the Paris attacks, I do not have the same feeling for the French government. They remain steadfast in their inability/refusal to connect the dots; to see that Islamic terrorism against Israelis is no different than Islamic terrorism against the French.

Said one writer in the Jewish Press (Ari Fuld): "We (Israelis) told them (Europeans) this (Palestinian terror) was not about land or occupation, but they didn't listen! They pressured us to make deals with those who shoot us, blow us up and stab us, and when we refuse to do so, they condemn us." In fact, France continues to push for a resolution at the UN Security Council establishing a terrorist Palestinian state on the so-called 1967 borders. That would establish a Palestinian state within miles of Israel's main population centers in and around Tel Aviv. And, of course, the resolution would require Israel to relinquish the holy sites in so-called "East Jerusalem," because we know the Muslims have such a great history of protecting Jewish holy sites.

I am in favor of the French government having to surrender "East Paris" to Muslim control. If ISIS and Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups enter, then oh well. That is what they are asking of the Israelis.

The French news agency, AFP (Agence France-Presse), posted a list of some of the large scale terror attacks by radical Islamists since the 9/11 attacks here. Somehow, the list made no mention of any of the numerous terrorist attacks in Israel since 9/11. Not the 1/5/03 attack at a Tel Aviv bus station killing 22 and wounding 120. Nor the 8/19/03 bus attack killing 23 and wounding 130, to name just 2 omissions from the list.

Ordinarily, this is a blog about politics and culture, not religion. But one reference to the Torah is apropos here. G-d told Abraham to leave the home of his ancestors and travel to the land of Canaan (later known as Israel). And G-d told Abraham, recognized as the first Jew, "I will bless those who bless you, and those who curse you I will curse." Maybe the secular French and Europeans should take note.

Another Paris Massacre, Part I

This past Friday ISIS terrorists attacked innocent civilians at various venues in Paris. The attacks occurred outside the Stade de France during a soccer match, with the French President in attendance; at the Bataclan during a rock concert by a Southern California band; and at popular restaurants. The terrorists had assault weapons, grenades and wore suicide/homicide vests. It was clearly a well planned and coordinated attack, leaving at least 132 dead, and over 350 wounded.

Today, French jets were bombing ISIS targets in Raqqa, Syria, an ISIS stronghold. This, of course, was the second Islamic terrorist attack in Paris this year, the first being in January at Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish kosher market.

At the Democratic debate last night, the candidates were asked if they agreed with Marco Rubio's assessment that "we are at war with radical Islam." As is typical for Democrats, including Obama, Clinton did not agree. Clinton said she did not find that phrase to be "particularly helpful." Why is it not helpful to identify the enemy? Said Clinton: "I don't think we're at war with Islam," and "I don't think we're at war with all Muslims." Who said that we are? No one. Clearly, however, we are at war with radical Islam/Islamism.

Why is it so hard for these Democrats to tell the truth? Are peaceful Muslims unable to understand the difference between themselves and the radical ones who want to destroy Western Civilization? What is the problem? Clinton did go on to say that "I think we're at war with jihadists." Jihad is an Islamic concept, not a Christian or Jewish or Hindu one. Why can't they acknowledge the connection?

The other two candidates, Sanders and O'Malley were no better. In fact, it gets worse. Both Clinton and O'Malley said that the US should accept 65,000 refugees from the Middle East, with the qualification that they be carefully screened. Just how is that possible? Will we send FBI agents to run background checks on 65,000 people from Syria and Iraq? Just how reliable would any of that information be? And how many FBI agents would we need? They may as well use the approach jokingly suggested by my daughter - give them all a 3X5 index card asking "Are you an ISIS member or supporter, please check "yes" or "no." That ought to work.

Sanders also agreed that we need to take in Middle Eastern refugees. And, never one to disappoint, Sanders said this: "climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism." If this were said on Saturday Night Live it would be funny. Coming from a serious Presidential candidate, it is moronic. You know what's directly related to the growth of terrorism? Radical Islam. And what's directly related to the growth of radical Islam? The break-up of various Middle Eastern and North African countries, where central governments (former dictators) are no longer in power. (No, I am not going to use this post to discuss the relative responsibility of Bush vs. Obama.)

Speaking of moronic comments, our President was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America and was asked: "ISIS is gaining strength, aren't they?" To which Obama replied: "I don't think they're gaining strength...we have them contained." Contained? Admittedly, he could not know about the attacks in Paris occurring only hours later. But what about the Beirut attacks killing 40? What about the downing of the Russian jet killing 244? What about FBI Director James Comey saying the FBI has 900 active investigations into ISIS operatives in the US? Does any of that suggest "containment?" And again, why can't a Democrat tell the truth about ISIS?

Earlier this past week, the European Union voted to label products coming from the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and the Golan Heights. The EU believes that land belongs to the "Palestinians," even though no Palestinian state ever existed there. Nevertheless, the EU declared that goods from those areas may not have the label "Made in Israel." Unfortunately, Obama has no issue with the EU, with his State Department saying "we do not believe that labeling the origin of products is equivalent to a boycott." And: " you know, we do not consider settlements to be part of Israel."

So why do I bring up this issue of labeling in a post about the Paris massacre? For my somewhat controversial take, see Part II.