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B'siyata d'shmaya - With the help of Heaven

Let us not be Cowards!

By S. Alfassa

March 14, 2004

After the tragic events of September 11th, it was a sobering scene with tons of wreckage and debris flanked by the charred walls of the Pentagon to see a huge American flag draped over the wall near the site of the destruction said it all - we will not surrender to terrorism! Could you imagine if in 1995 the State of Oklahoma was handed over to white supremacists after the federal building was blown up? Or even if New York City was handed over to the Arabs after destroying the World Trade Center. Sound illogical?

We'll, Israel is about to hand over land, sovereign pieces of its nation to terrorists who have bombed them and killed their citizens for over 50 years. This syndrome of victim giving in to terrorists is appalling. Sharon is surrendering Gaza to the Arab terrorists, did they pay for the land, did they give us anything, no-they gave us only violence and death. They murdered over 1,000 Jews, and for this they get a parcel of our country as a prize. This begs the question, why have we, as a global society, become cowards?

Look at the recent Spanish train disaster. Terrorists detonated 10 bombs in 10 minutes on the Spanish commuter railroad, killing 200 and injuring over 1,400 other victims. There is growing evidence that there is an Arab terror link from these attacks. They are said to be revenge attacks for Spain's support for the U.S. led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Spanish president's support in the war against terrorism angered many in his country, a nation with 90 percent of the population against participating in the war. Now the Spaniards were hit by a terrorist attack, and they respond by holding mass protests holding signs for Paz (Peace), then they vote out the incumbent president who had been assisting in the war against terror! They voted-in the Socialist Party which promised to pull Spanish soldiers out of Iraq, and promised not to help the United States in the war on terror. The Spanish must have taken a lesson from Israel, if you get beat, get pounded, get hurt, or get killed, don't fight back-just give in. The Spanish are retreating like the Israelis are retreating. Withdrawing is a unilateral surrender to extortion. Terrorist see this weakness as a surrender to their attacks, and this gives them incentive to perpetrate more terrorism to achieve additional diplomatic gains.

This author was recently offered a position in Turkey to work with the Jewish community and the Office of the Grand Rabbi, but because of terrorism the position is gone. The Turkish Jewish community had planned to open an Ottoman Jewish Cultural Center, but because of the bombings which occurred several months back, the plan to open the center was cancelled. Though promised protection from the Turkish authorities, and the fact those bombings were isolated incidents, the Jewish community withdrew, retreated. It must be remembered that providing recognition that the terrorists "won," does nothing but make the victims look weak. Instead of withdrawing and retreat, the victim, whether they are in Israel, Spain, Turkey or anywhere, must be filled with resolve and determination; one should not give up land, give up plans, or give up their way of life. Sadly, countries around the world continue to have weekly demonstrations to withdraw soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan. These countries see the snake and hear its rattle, but respond by running away from it, only the United States seems to be putting its foot down on the head of the snake. Let us, as members of a global community, no longer be cowards. Peace is a fabulous goal, and as Jews, it's something we have desired more than anyone for thousands of years, but we cannot afford to exhibit weakness in attaining it.

As Jews, we have an important role, we are to be the example to the nations, and the poor example we are showing them is fear and retreat. Ariel Sharon said in a speech to the Knesset October 25, 2001, "We will pay a heavy price if we are tempted to surrender to terrorism. The government that I lead will not be so tempted and will not surrender to terrorism" But we are! Hamas and Islamic Jihad are launching rockets, sending multiple bombers, blowing up buses, sniping our citizens, and yet, how do we respond, we offer them land. We offer them appeasement for killing us, we surrender to terrorism. In a story on this very subject, American columnist Jed Babbin told the American Spectator magazine, "No terrorist would need to fear us, and no ally could count on us after we gave in to terrorists' demands. All we can do is fight. Like the Israelis do, or at least did." We can't show fear, and we are wrong to retreat whenever terrorism repels us. Spain will make a terrible mistake pulling its troops out of Iraq, just as Israel will make a terrible mistake pulling its troops out of Gaza.