Jewish World Review June 19, 2003 / 19 Sivan, 5763
IS THE WORLD BLIND, IN DENIAL OR JUST APATHETIC?
By Rod Dreher
His bleak humor notwithstanding, none of this is a joke to my correspondent, who writes of Jewish friends and colleagues quietly making plans to emigrate to Canada, Australia and the United States. Jews and their institutions in France are being attacked by anti-Semites throughout the country, with Muslim thugs beating Jews in the streets and holding pro-Palestinian demonstrations at which they chant, "Death to the Jews!" The French establishment, especially the French media, prefers to look away or to perform a collective Gallic shrug.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is denounced for sending his troops against the leadership of Hamas, the Islamic fundamentalist terror organization that carries out suicide bombings of Israeli civilians as part of its ongoing campaign to ethnically cleanse the Middle East of Jews and establish an Islamic state. Hamas wants nothing to do with the road map to peace. Here are the recent words of one Hamas leader: "The enemies of Allah ... are cowards. They crave life, while the Muslims crave martyrdom. The martyrdom operations" that is, suicide bombings "that shock can ensure that horror is sowed in the [enemies'] hearts. There is no other way. ... [T]here is a need for people who yearn for Paradise, and the shortest way to Paradise is death for Allah."
President Bush said he was "deeply troubled" by the Israeli action against Hamas. Well, I'm deeply troubled, too. I'm deeply troubled that the Israelis, for the sake of a putative peace settlement, are expected to watch armed Islamic militants turn their citizens to ash and not defend themselves. I'm deeply troubled that elite Western opinion is quick to find reasons to excuse or overlook Palestinian perfidy, corruption and savagery. (How many Rachel Corries do you suppose are riding those Jerusalem buses as human shields?) I am deeply troubled that the American administration is placing its confidence on the idea that the Palestinian Authority has any intention of disarming its militants which, if anyone cares, the president's road map called on the Palestinian Authority to do by the end of last month. I am deeply troubled that so many Palestinians hate the Jews more than they love their own lives and children.
I am deeply troubled by how much we in the West have forgotten. We know we know where the kind of bloodcurdling hatred of Jews celebrated by Hamas and other radical Islamists leads. The Holocaust wasn't an Oscar-winning movie. "We now hear of Jewish friends gathering information on emigrating to Canada, Australia and the U.S.A.," my French friend writes. "They do it quietly, calmly; they know what's coming, and this time, they don't want to be taken by surprise." If you think the radical Islamists will stop at the Jews, which is the gamble the French seem to be taking, you don't read their material, and you didn't learn a thing from Sept. 11.
Above all, I am deeply troubled by the reality that many of us, safe in our American and European homes, with our easy moral equivalences, are willing to be complicit in the genocidal murder of Jews by hate-filled fascists. Again, so soon.
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Rod Dreher, a practicing Catholic, is an editorial writer and occasional columnist for The Dallas Morning News. Comment by clicking here.
© 2003, Dallas Morning News