Prime Minister David ben Gurion’s vision of the state of Israel was as a moral and social beacon to the entire world, echoing the prophet Isaiah’s vision – the state of Israel would be as a “Light Unto the Nations.” Through the years, and even more so in recent days, this is proving to be a reality.
As we read the skewed reports in the print media, and view that same biased news on TV and social media, it is becoming more and more apparent that Israel is at the forefront of the current battle with terrorism, and with radical Islam.
Attempts to reduce freedom and democracy occur each day, as radical Islam demands changes in the way of life we wish to maintain, the standards we wish for ourselves and our children and grandchildren. We REFUSE to be overtaken and swallowed by the advances of radical Islam.
Just one week ago, on Sunday, August 17th, Israel joined with other groups, all of whom represented persecuted minorities, all with the same interests- to rid the world of Islamic fundamentalism and radical ideals. The late afternoon rally took place in UNION SQUARE in Manhattan, a most fitting location. Union Square has historically been a place for gatherings and demonstrations.
It was amazing to witness the variety of attendees and to be among them- people of varying ages and generations, smiling and interacting. Conversations revealed differences across the political spectrum – the time is right for all to join TOGETHER!
Sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) under the leadership of Pamela Geller, with details arranged by activist, Assaf Shilony, the rally attracted all who stand for freedom from jihad oppression.
Pamela Geller’s statement sums up the rally’s purpose: “Israel is on the front lines [against] the global jihad, and we stand resolutely and proudly with her. We must also remember that the same jihad that threatens Israel, threatens free people around the world. That’s why we are featuring speakers from groups from around the world – people who have experienced the horror of Islamic jihad firsthand. We need to unite and stand together for freedom.”
An estimated 1,000 people participated, many carrying creative signs and Israeli flags and flags of other nations. Throughout the afternoon there were cheers of support, dancing, singing, with signs being waved high. The air was filled with exhilaration and a celebration of LIFE!
“Israel is the ONLY Democracy in the Middle East!”
“SUPPORT ISRAEL! DEFEAT JIHAD!”
“In any war between the civilized man and the savage,
support the civilized man!”
Perhaps we need a new word beyond, ‘rally;’ the event was a CALL TO ACTION! There was a sense of urgency in the crowd, reminiscent of the character, Howard Beale, in his speech in the Paddy Chayefsky movie, ‘Network.’ Beale screams, “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!” It is becoming evident that Israel is fighting this battle not only for its own citizens, but in essence, also for ALL of us. One by one, to the attentive crowd, each speaker explained the gravity of the situation of radical Islam on each of the minorities. There was a rallying cry for the nations of the free world to rid the world of all the incarnations of terrorism, which has been creeping up upon us for the last 1400 years! The terrorism of al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, ISIS – all anathema to our way of life- WE WILL NOT ACCEPT IT, AND IT IS UP TO EACH ONE OF US TO GET RID OF TERRORISM. NOW!
Though a serious afternoon, music added to the day, to bring everyone together. The voices of Israeli singers, Ron Eliran, and Beni Elbaz and Gad Elbaz, interspersed with the individual speakers, added to the solidarity of those gathered. A musician with a harmonica, performed ‘Jerusalem of Gold.’ The lyrics of rapper Ari Lesser – the history of the Jewish people and Israel, social commentary put to music- pithy and perfect! An Israeli/Jewish history lesson- and he was charming! The speakers were scholars and religious representatives, activists and historians; lovers of true peaceful coexistence. The messages were thoughtful, and thought provoking: ‘When had we first heard of the Yazidis being slaughtered on the mountain top? Why so late?’ ‘What happened to India in 1947?’ ‘Who thinks about what is happening with the Kurds and Kurdistan?’ ‘How long, and how many times has radical Islam attempted to take over?’ It was the world in microcosm, rallying against the influence of jihad.
I met a man from the organization, Africa Watch, not on the speakers’ program. Wearing a hat with an Israeli insignia, the flag of Israel draped over his shoulders, he carried a sign expressing his love for Israel. He proudly explained to those gathering for the start of the program, that his country, Cameroon, and neighboring African countries, were deeply indebted to Israel for the modern wells built in those countries. Israel does have friends one might not know about!
In case you missed the rally, or would like to listen and watch again, here are the YOUTUBE links to the participants. By working together, we can win this war against jihad and fundamentalist Islamic terror. It is up to each one of us to gather others, and to open their eyes. The time is RIGHT NOW!
Pamela Geller, AFDI President:http://youtu.be/AXYseQylVuI
Robert Spencer, AFDI Vice President and Jihad Watch Director: http://youtu.be/P1UHaLOlTsk
Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Israeli scholar: http://youtu.be/1hYRwSlyrrc
Arish Sahani, Senior Vice President of the Indian American Intellectuals Forum: http://youtu.be/03MrNxdyJlE
Mazzen Warra, Palestinian Christian: http://www.jihadwatch.org/2014/08/video-palestinian-christian-at-afdis-rally-for-israel-and-persecuted-minorities
Ashraf Ramelah, Head of Voice of the Copts http://youtu.be/sqakEBSHqoc
Simon Deng, Sudanese Freedom Fighter and Activist :http://youtu.be/ob8qwfMbrYg
Honarable Dov Hikind, New York State Assemblyman: http://youtu.be/YrR10RrIWEI
Salar Motidi, Kurdish spokesman: http://pamelageller.com/2014/08/video-kurdish-spokesman-salar-motidi-speaks-afdi-rally-israel-persecuted-minorities-islam.html/
Haider Elias, Yazidi leader: http://youtu.be/nmJlunlJRas
Pastor Matthew Singh, Christians United for Israel, (CUFI): http://youtu.be/maWHnOophuo
Desiree Bernstein, CUFI
Mordechai Tasman, Israeli of Ethiopian descent
Ari Lesser, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=se3PaCX7sjI
Beni Elbaz and Gad Elbaz, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9mxV2KXclE&list=UUhiOXQSmZu339O0T_5I4LVA
ISRAEL IS, AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE ‘A LIGHT UNTO THE NATIONS’