If I wasn’t living in Israel and witnessing the nightmarish situation here in the land, I would not believe the present events as being real. Everyone is in a total state of shock. The experts say that this is an unusual kind of Intifada – uprising. The previous riots were marked by a leadership. Israel knew who to blame and where to focus its energy on fighting the situation. The present disorder and violence in Israel seem to be spontaneous although it is engrained by the hate media and call to kill Jews- where ever they may be. Even children are taking up knives and joining the other Muslims in their attempt to kill Jews. This situation is extremely difficult to fight against since it is hard to predict the next move of our enemies. This morning we woke up to the terrible news of the burning of the tomb of Joseph for a second time. In reality, we don’t have to look too deeply into the situation to pinpoint the source of this violence and aggression against Israel. It is called -Islamic extremism. Muslim extremists have declared war against the people of Israel. As a matter of fact, they have declared war against the entire western world and against anyone who thinks differently than them. They are motivated by an obsession of hatred that they have been indoctrinated into it since birth. Let us not forget – Hajj Amin al-Husayni, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was a renowned Nazi collaborator. He was a diabolical anti-Semite and was personally financed by the Nazi regime to promote anti-Jewish propaganda. He was the one who sparked the Hebron Massacre of 1929. This hatred existed before the formation of the modern state of Israel. No one can blame the settlers because they were not around then. This Islamic fundamentalism over the years has spread all over the world and is causing immense suffering. It is important to note that most of those who are suffering are moderate Muslims and Arab Christians in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Africa. Instead of trying to stop this madness, the western powers and even Jewish liberals are playing right into the hands of the evil. They choose to ignore the situation and blame the governments of Israel for not making more concessions and the settlers for incitement. This of course is absurd since no country has given major assets away and truly attempted to make peace more than Israel did. With each concession to the radicles instead of bringing us closer to peace it brought us further away. Instead of standing with Israel, the only true democracy in the Middle East, the western world has been isolating Israel more and more. Yesterday, the white house came out with ludicrous statements – like Israel is using excessive force. As far as the status quo – unfortunately, Israel has not changed it. Of course, this is the problem! The holiest place on earth for the people of Israel is the Temple mount – the site of the first two temples of Israel. What takes the cherry on the cake is the current Obama administration signing the recent agreement with Iran. The Iranian sponsorship of terrorism all over the globe and their outright declarations in calling for the destruction of Israel and the USA did not stop President Obama from pushing forward the agreement. We mustn’t forget history. In September 1938 the famous Munich agreement (betrayal) was signed between Germany, France, The United Kingdom and Italy. Czechoslovakia was betrayed by England and France who wanted to appease Hitler by giving Germany the Sudetenland. The British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlin, returns to Great Brittan and announces that the Munich agreement meant “peace in our time”. Six months later he ate his hat when Hitler continued his Nazi rampage. Doesn’t this also remind us of Obama’s dream of an Arab Spring or Perez’s dream of a new Middle East? Wishful thinking doesn’t always work. Is it so difficult to see the handwriting on the wall? Could world leaders be so foolish and blind? In my opinion, it is a combination of two things: indifference and interests. As long as this terrorism was focused primarily against Israeli targets the world sufficed by making public condemnations but didn’t do anything practical because of the risk of shaking up the Arab oil market. Unfortunately, when the cancer is not eliminated when it is small it begins to grow out of control. Over the last decade and a half Islamic terrorism has spreading like fire. The wakeup call for America took place in September 11th 2001 when hijackers crashed two planes destroying the twin towers. What is the solution to this madness? This week’s Torah portion Genesis 9:6 says “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made He man.” The Torah is teaching us how precious the life of a human being is. G-D created man in His image. After the flood G-D commanded Noach to populate the world. The world has to be built on the principles of ethics and morals. Murder and violence have no room in society. I must add that Islam is the second largest religion in the world. Most of them living in Southeast Asia. Indonesia is the county with the largest Muslim population. In Israel there is a population of around eight million three hundred thousand people. Around six million three hundred thousand Jews and around one million seven hundred thousand Muslims. In other words, a very small percentage of the world Muslim population live in Israel. The eradication of evil extremists will bring a blessing to the millions of moderated Muslims worldwide as well. Our battle is against evil and those that support it and perpetrate it.
At the end of last Partshat Beraishit the Torah relates to us the reason that Hashem decided to destroy the generation of the flood. “And Hashem saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Hashem regretted that He had made man upon the earth, and He became grieved in His heart”. We see that what brought about the destruction of the world was the fact that mankind’s thoughts were all evil. This led to their evil actions. If someone’s thoughts are in the wrong place then his actions will be in the wrong place. In the beginning of parshat Noach we see that the final decision of bringing the flood was taken as a result of Hamas (referring to thieves, murderers, and sex offenders). It is amazing how this same word was taken by the Hamas terrorist organization as it says on their logo “Just as Israel loves Life, Chamas loves death. The time has arrived for all of us to wake up and prevent another flood like catastrophe. These terrorists must be stopped. There are so many good people in the world. This is a battle of good over evil. If we work together we will succeed in bringing true peace to the world. Through the light of the Torah we will be guided and led in the journey of redemption. Help us be a light to the nations.
Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith