They are here!
Where are the 950 million Muslims who are not terrorists — who tuck their children in at night with a lullaby, are tolerant toward Christians and Jews, and crave a peaceful world? I want to believe that they are out there and that they weep in pain over the desecration of their faith. I want to believe that we have partners who dream the dreams we do and wish upon the same star. But where are they?
Rabbi Shalom Lewis, Israel Hayom, October 19, 2014
In 2010, I delivered a Rosh Hashana sermon in which I cried out: “They are coming!“
Today we are in a place of unimagined chaos and cowardice, paralysis and brutality. This year, my cry is: “They are here!”
This is not a time to worry about offending with unfiltered vocabulary. Time is a luxury we no longer possess.
We are being threatened like at no time before by an enemy that worships savagery, celebrates depravity, and is obsessed with an apocalyptic endgame.
There has been a seismic shift in our world. Pick up any newspaper on any day — most of the articles are about radical Muslims immersed in a vicious culture of blood and slaughter. Skip to the sports page or the crossword puzzle, but that doesn’t make the uncomfortable news go away. In fact, it brings joy to the jihadis, who hope we will continue to deny the existence of their evil — just a few lunatics, thousands of miles away, blowing each other up and occasionally beheading an unlucky journalist. Not so bad.
For years, we have been spared the ugliness and intimacy of war. The Battle of the Bulge and Iwo Jima were black-and-white newsreels before “The Pride of the Yankees.” We planted victory gardens, bought Liberty Bonds, and said goodbye to fathers, sons and brothers. But the trenches were across the ocean. So too, with every subsequent conflict.
But today, war has been redefined and relocated. Geneva is finished. We are all combatants in the crosshairs, on the front lines. All are vulnerable and so we must recalculate our strategy, re-examine our tolerance, re-energize our resolve and unequivocally identify the evil-doers. Let us not be silenced by fear, feckless goodwill, or reckless hope.
There are 1 billion Muslims. Authorities agree that 5 percent are committed Islamists who embrace terror and wish to see, by any means possible, the Muslim flag fly over every capital, on every continent. I was relieved when I heard only 5 percent. But wait: That’s 50 million Quran-waving, Allahu akbar-howling murderers planning to slit our throats, blow us up or forcibly convert us. It only took 19 of Osama bin Laden’s disciples to bring down the Twin Towers, plow into the Pentagon and crash into Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Over 3,000 dead. Over $10 billion in damages. Nineteen al-Qaida. Fifty million Islamists. Do the math.
Where are the 950 million Muslims who are not terrorists — who tuck their children in at night with a lullaby, are tolerant toward Christians and Jews, and crave a peaceful world? I want to believe that they are out there and that they weep in pain over the desecration of their faith. I want to believe that we have partners who dream the dreams we do and wish upon the same star. But where are they? A silent partnership is no partnership. Sin is not just in the act of commission — it is also in the act of omission. Most Germans were not Nazis; most Russians were not Stalinists; and most Muslims are not terrorists — but it does not matter. Stand up righteously or get out of the way. Perhaps in every mosque and madrasa, the powerful warning attributed to Edmund Burke should be chiseled on a wall: ”All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.”
A couple of months ago, three young Israelis were kidnapped and killed by Hamas terrorists. So began Operation Protective Edge. But the Gaza war was much more than shooting down rockets and blowing up tunnels — it was the preview for a genuine world war. It was a test of resolve, watched carefully by the indecent forces of a rising Islamist world. Israel is only the beginning, the first prize sought in what promises to be a protracted, multigenerational Kulturkampf. The front lines are all over the map — we just don’t know it yet.