Friday Night, right before Shabbat, where I do not have access to the internet or news, I heard about a terrorist attack that killed 2 in a town called Othniel right next to Hebron. The names of the victims had not yet been released as the Shabbat entered. The whole shabbat I was mourning and worried – On a personal level, I wondered if it was someone I knew. On a national level, I was mourning the loss of a dear brother. On a universal level, I was mourning innocent people who were murdered on their way to a family celebration, only because their murderers hates our way of life. This is how I entered the Shabbat and these thoughts stayed with me throughtout the day.
When Shabbat ended, even before I heard the names of those killed in Othniel (Rabbi Yaacov and Nathaniel Litman hy”d), I heard of the terrible terror attack in Paris. Almost 200 people were killed, and why? Because ISIS cannot stand their way of life, our way of life. ISIS cannot stand the words Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.
Just 2 weeks ago, I was in Paris and visited the Senate and National Assembly where I met people who embody these values so clearly and work to spread them in France and around the world.
The French President said that the attack is a declaration of war against France. This is partially right. This is not a declaration of war since the war has already been declared a long time ago. And the war is not between France and ISIS but between modern civilization and freedom-loving countries on the one hand, and a radical Islam that hates this freedom on the other.
This radical Islam is bothered by people who go to dance at a concert in Paris. It bothers them that a Jew goes to a family celebration in the Land of Israel. It bothers them that Canadians have a democracy with a parliament in Ottawa. It bothers them that Americans promote a free economy in New York, and more. There are no borders. There is a deep ideological struggle. Freedom on the one hand, and submission on the other hand (in Arabic, submission translates to Islam). Wherever there is freedom, it becomes a target for them. And we, lovers of liberty need to stand united, on one common frontline, against them.
I am Toulouse, I am in Ottawa, I am Jerusalem, I am New York, I am Tel Aviv, I am Sousse, I am London, I am Madrid, I am Marrakech, I am Othniel, I am Paris.
I am Freedom.