Stand Against Tyranny
He is one of the world’s most successful investors.
A wizard of Wall Street.
And he has just given tens of millions of dollars to an American organisation wholly dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism.
When asked why now, the as-yet anonymous donor explained that he has been travelling the world for more than 40 years, meeting with business people from in Asia, Africa, the Mid-east, Europe, North and South America.
But now, something has changed.
Never, he remarked, has he felt more vulnerable being a Jew.
Simply put, he no longer feels safe.
Following the grisly carnage in the Kosher Market in Paris, I suspect that more and more Jews, and not just in France, will be seized by this sense of fear.
Heartbroken, I have not slept more than a few hours a night since last week.
The faces of the 12 journalists felled in Charlie Hebdo, the police officers, and the four Jewish victims in the kosher grocery keep me up.
Flashing through my mind are the many times I quickly ran into a Kosher supermarket just before Shabbat to pick up a few items, and the maniacal cruelty of Amedy Coulibaly who gunned in cold-blood Yoav Hattab, Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen and François-Michel Saad, who were there doing exactly what many of us do every week.
I don’t want to sound alarmist, but even those accustomed to the constant and ugly manifestations of anti-Semitism, and who are familiar with the frightening cauldron of Jewish hatred and scapegoating brewing in the world, have been shaken to the core by this premeditated, repellent crime and are worried about what’s next.
A colleague in the USA told me, half-jokingly, half-seriously, that being a Jew today should carry a warning label, just like cigarette packs do: “Being a Jew can cause death”.
The writing has been on the wall.
For years, we have been sounding the alarm about the dangers and violence of the rising tide of anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and anti-Israelism here and abroad.
We have been shocked by the frenzy of the ‘longest hatred’, aided and abetted by the biased media reporting of the conflict, by the BDS movement, by the anti-Israel sentiment on university campuses, by the international double-standards and hypocrisy towards Israel, and by the indifference and lack of outrage in response to anti-Semitism and Israeli suffering, from too many nations.
We have stated that those who beat, stab and shoot Jews, who riot, lay siege and torch synagogues, who chant “Jews to the gas chambers”, who label Israel a Nazi state, and who cheer Hamas, will not limit their violence only to Jews.
When Jews are at risk, everyone is at risk.
The home-grown Islamist fanaticism we are witnessing is a deadly threat to our security, freedom and peaceful way of life.
And it’s unlikely to go away anytime soon.
The bottom line is that we are under attack by a mortal enemy with a death wish, who cannot be appeased, reasoned with or accommodated.
The horrific massacres at Charlie Hebdo and in Porte de Vincennes are linked not just by locality, or by the fact that the perpetrators operated in concert.
The ISIS inspired terrorists were motivated by a fundamentalist islamist ideology that has been targeting Jews and western liberal democracies for decades and which dominates and drives large parts of the Middle-East.
The Kouachi brothers and Coulibaly were part of a genocidal campaign cutting a wide swathe across the planet, waged by Boko Haram, Hamas, Al-Qaida, ISIS, Al-Shabaab, The Taliban, Islamic Jihad, Iran, Jemmaah Islamiyah and Hezbollah, to name but a few.
Its catalogue of carnage and mayhem includes beheadings, the bestial massacre of 132 schoolchildren in Pakistan, the slaughter of 2000 people in Nigeria, and the murder and rape of Christians and other religious minorities.
Last week’s horror was not an isolated episode, but an extension of a long, and unchecked history of fatal assaults on Jews.
Incredibly, but expectedly the international community has been tone deaf.
While the terrorists had different names, anti-Semitism was at the heart of what led Abd al-Rahman al-Shaloudy to run down and mercilessly kill three month old Chaya-Zissel Braun; what fuelled Mohammed Merah to murder four at Ozar Hatorah Jewish Day School, including three children; what animated Abed Abu Jamal and Ghassan Muhammad Abu Jamal to brutally murder five Israelis in Har Nof; what drove Hamas to murder Naftali Fraenkel, Gilead Shaer and Eyal Yifrah.
The list goes on.
For the record, this is not a battle between Israelis and the Palestinian people or the Arab world, or between Jews and Muslims
This is a battle between good and evil, liberty and tyrannism.
So what can western nations do now?
One, back Israel in its relentless fight against fundamentalist Jihadism in Gaza and the West Bank, and understand that it cannot reach an accommodation with Hamas in the same way that there is no possibility of a political engagement or compromise with al-Qeada and ISIS.
Second, cut off funding and diplomatic relations with any country or authority that recruits and funds terrorists and which maintains an educational, spiritual and political system that incites and breeds intolerance and violence among impressionable children who grow up to be suicide bombers and masked shooters.
Third, stop emboldening and empowering radicalism by irresponsibly recognising a Palestinian state in EU parliaments, remove the PA from the International Criminal Court, re-list Hamas as a terrorist organisation on the EU list, and refrain from inviting to any future marches against terror the head of Palestinian Authority who personally celebrates and glorifies terrorism or the Prime Minister of Turkey who backs Hamas.
Fourth, send a clear message that the free world will fight terrorism whenever and wherever it appears.
Unless western democracies stop coddling up to dictators and unite to take comprehensive, decisive action, I’m afraid that we will see similar attacks to the ones that took place in Paris and in Sydney.
This article was originally published in the Australian Jewish News, January 16, 2015.