On October 6, 1973, Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism, an Arab coalition launched a surprise attack against the State of Israel. Thousands of Israelis were killed during the course of this war aimed at destroying our young nation.
Fast-forward forty-three years. Today, President Obama is actively considering supporting a UN Security Council resolution that will reward Palestinians for their refusal to negotiate with or recognize a Jewish state. The President is urged on by the New York Times editorial board, who in a piece published October 6, 2016, entitled “At a Boiling Point with Israel,” suggests that the aim of the Israeli government is to prevent peace.
Since moving to Israel from the United States 32 years ago, I have lost my father, one of my closest friends and my commander in the military. All three shared one simple dream — a dream shared by all Israelis and Americans alike — to live in peace. All three were brutally murdered by radical Islamist terrorists who shared one horrific goal, to annihilate the Western way of life.
Forty-three years after the Yom Kippur war, nearly half a dozen states in our region have collapsed and Israel is surrounded by mass-murdering Islamist terrorist organizations — ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria and the Sinai, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. All of whom have stated repeatedly that they seek the destruction of Israel and the United States.
Hamas’ deputy speaker of the parliament, Ahmed Bahr, calls to murder Jews “down to the very last one.” Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub, said recently that if he could get his hands on a nuclear weapon, he would use it that very day over Israel. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, incites to terror on a regular basis. There are countless examples, but the most disturbing to me personally is the fact that President Abbas invited the family of the terrorist who murdered my father, together with the families of ten other terrorists who stabbed, shot and murdered Israelis and Americans over the past year to a meeting in his office in Ramallah. In this meeting, he praised their actions, glorifying my father’s murderer, and calling him a holy martyr.
To state it clearly, the president of the Palestinian National Authority praised and glorified the horrific murder of a citizen of the United States of America. My father, Richard Lakin, a kind, gentle, retired elementary school principal who dedicated his life to education and civil rights.
As the leader of the PLO, President Abbas’s message to all Palestinians is clear: “Go out and murder innocent Americans and Israelis and you too will become martyrs and go to heaven.” Tragically, Palestinian universities, schools, scout troops and summer camps echo this message to their children on a daily basis.
Over the years, Israel has made every attempt to achieve peace and has always been open to speaking with our enemies. Just this past month Prime Minister Netanyahu twice offered President Abbas to meet — from the podium at the United Nations, and again at the funeral of Shimon Peres. His offers were, once again, met with resounding silence.
The blind-eyed trinity of President Obama, the United Nations and the New York Times consistently ignore the grim reality that we Israelis want nothing more than to live in peace with our neighbors, while our neighbors want nothing more than to destroy us. Our neighbors state this loud and clear in their local media almost every day. You do not need a daily briefing from the NSA to figure this out, just visit the websites of Palestinian Media Watch or The Middle East Media Research Institute; they have aggregated thousands of examples.
In 1969, the year that I was born, Golda Meir was elected as the Prime Minister of Israel. She, like my family, moved to Israel from the United States; two countries bound together by shared values. Prime Minister Meir famously observed that “Peace will come to the Middle East when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.”
Forty-seven years have passed. We have continued to teach our children to love, while our neighbors increasingly teach their children to hate, making more violence inevitable, and distancing us from the peace and coexistence for which all Americans and Israelis stand.
Rather than constantly berating Israel, and adding fuel to the fire, I would encourage President Obama, the United Nations and the New York Times editorial board to take advantage of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, in order to revisit their inexplicable choice to turn a blind eye to the onslaught of Palestinian incitement.