In the midst of the rising Al-Aqsa Terror Wave seeking to kill Jews anywhere in Israel, TOI Editor David Horowitz asks, “What do you do when the people trying to kill you live around the block?” After all, we are born to “get on with living … not killing,” he concludes.
In those final words, one of modern Israel’s most insightful, articulate analysts captures the essence of the challenge Israel and other nations must urgently address as deliberate violence against innocents becomes increasingly commonplace throughout the globe.
We live in a world in which millions of people do not accept “getting on with living” as the purpose, promise or potential of their lives.
That’s painfully obvious among suicidal legions who embrace the vision of martyrdom as a sacred quest. Perhaps less obvious, it’s also a reality for many who exist daily within a story that their lives are empty, meaningless and that they are invisible, abandoned, betrayed and victimized by those who are very much getting on with the business and busyness of living.
Believing we live in a world in which everyone just wants to live and let live too often comes with deadly consequences. Even if that’s true for 99.9% of those with whom we share this planet, that leaves at least seven million likely to have little concern for dying in the act of murdering any of us or those we love.
Breaking intergenerational cycles that produce intentional killers does not happen over weeks, months or years. It doesn’t come from appeasement, negotiations or even well-intentioned treaties; certainly not those signed with people who have devoted their lives to inspiring the very legions of murderers about whom they claim to care.
The difficult reality for politicians who measure success in the timetables of elections is that the kind of comprehensive, holistic, purpose built approach required will not bear fruit during their time in office. More often, short-term political agendas lead to greater violence, not less, as they offer the illusion of quick fixes to multi-generational challenges. In too many situations, especially when it comes to America’s failed foreign policy in the Middle East, those purposeful illusions lead even more people to adopt the hopeless narrative of victimization as the predetermined story of their lives.
Treaties with those who publicly or privately preach “Death to America,” “Death to Israel,” “Death to Jews,” or the wholesale destruction of any group of people are worth less than the paper upon which they are printed.
Tragically, generations raised on the spoiled milk of violent incitement are likely to pay with the promise with which they were born into this world; a generation of walking dead whose hearts, minds and potential have been maliciously twisted by empowered evil.
Hope for a future in which we don’t have to worry about people trying to kill us who live around the block must begin with universal rejection of incitement in all its forms as one of the most vicious forms of abuse.
With the generations raised on the values of tolerance, mutual respect, including respect for differences, the potential for peace and reconciliation will be realistic and meaningful. The building blocks to that purpose built future will be not be cemented by politicians seeking “achievements” for their own timetables and legacies, but by visionaries within societies who have the courage to speak, work and sacrifice for the future all of God’s children deserve.