Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Shipley Speaks 

Terror-large and small


Today I want to write about the three kidnapped teenagers in Israel. That’s today. However, by the time this is printed, the crisis may well be over, for good or evil. This act, however it plays out, is terror, plain and simple. For the three sets of parents in Israel, it is of little concern whether just these three or another 100 were kidnapped. Terror of any kind is really a personal experience.

When terrorists blew up the Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem, most of the dead were teenagers. Koby Mandel was 13 when he and a friend were bludgeoned to death by adult Palestinians. That was an act of terror.

The Israeli Olympians in Munich were murdered by terrorists. All of these despicable human beings called the murders and the kidnappings “political.” No. There is nothing political about murder. Not in Israel, not in Serbia or Rwanda or Poland, Hungary, Germany, Romania and France in the 1930s and ‘40s. Murder is murder. Terror is murder.

Children become tools in a terrorists’ mindset. Arabs kill Jewish teenagers and use their own teenagers as human bombs. Muslims, mostly Arabs, have killed more Muslims, mostly Arabs, than all the armies of the West fighting futilely in the Middle East. The great sectarian war that has been brewing since France and England carved up the Middle East into a group of non-countries in 1919 is now at a boil.

So, Sunni militias under the name of ISIL (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) slaughter surrendering Shia soldiers from the Iraqi army. This is also terror. This war, which will escalate to cover most of the region, is really one group of terrorists attacking another group of terrorists.

We have not encountered a situation like this since the Middle Ages. The Caliphate destroyed the Roman armies. Roman armies that were a long way from Rome. The Catholic kings of Europe set about a Holy War to destroy the Caliphate. What the Crusaders did in taking Jerusalem was clearly an act of terror.

One can grow weary in a hurry trying to figure out where the next threat lies or even to sort out the good guys from the bad guys. One thing history has taught us: When strife occurs, when economies falter, Jews will ultimately suffer. We are “The Other.” We are that in every nation on earth save one: Israel. Israel is our homeland. It is the only place on earth where an undefeated air force proudly displays the Star of David on it aircraft.

Zionism became a word when a Hungarian journalist came to the conclusion that the only way Jews would ever be truly safe would be in their own land. There was discussion over the years debating where that land should be. Ridiculous. The Jews had a land of their own. They were driven from that land by the Romans. The Romans were followed by the Caliphate, which was followed by the Turks and then the British.

There was no indigenous government in the land until the Third Jewish Commonwealth was declared in 1948. That piece of desert with few natural resources had little value some 60 years ago. The Jews, returning to their land, have changed all that. The desert blooms, the main export of the country is not so much tulips, roses and oranges. It is brains. The tiny land has produced the most Nobel Prize winners per capita of any nation on earth.

And as I write this, three Jewish teenagers are missing and could be used as trading pawns for Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons. There is no peace process. There can be no peace process as long as sections of the Palestinian government are sworn to wipe Israel off the face of the map.

And the worst is yet to come. The U.S. entered into the age-old schism between Sunni and Shia with little forethought, little knowledge and on the basis of lies perpetrated by a few misguided souls within the Bush administration. And, now we reap the whirlwind: Terrorism on a grand scale.

Never mind what we “should have done.” Done is done. As the Sunni-Shia conflict consumes almost all the Middle East as it must, Israel stands alone. The only nations not really involved are Tunisia and the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan — interestingly enough, the only two areas of the Middle East in which the U.S. did not become involved.

This is the time that all Jews must stand together. Israel, as this plays out, will face its strongest test since the 1973 war. They will need real support and a unification of all Jews. No matter what you may believe of the government of the Jewish State, no matter your political leanings, Israel is going to need our total support.

I do not expect American Jews to go there and take up arms. But you can defend Israel in a number of ways. Just do not be a bystander or a nay-sayer. If you are a Jew you are in one way or another a Zionist.


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