Esor Ben-Sorek

Beautiful Barcelona

Beautiful Barcelona is less beautiful today, a sad victim of ISIS treachery which killed 13 people, including mothers and babies, and injuring more than one hundred others.

It is reminiscent of another Spanish tragedy when some years ago Muslim terrorists attacked Madrid’s metro system killing one hundred ninety-two passengers.

The world mourns or should mourn for the destruction of life and property in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities which attracts thousands of tourists from the four corners of the globe.

Israelis are, unhappily, well-acquainted with the weapon of death…the automobile which, at high speed, rams into crowds killing as many innocent people as possible and wounding many hundreds of others.

News commentators reporting on the tragedy all ask the very same question: “how do we prevent this from happening?”  And the answer they give is unanimous: “unfortunately, we cannot. We have to live with it. It’s the unfortunate wave of the future”.

The terrorist who was driving his car on a pedestrian walk-way was said to have been driving at a speed of 100 kilometers in a frantic attempt to mow down as many people as he could.

In the mayhem, he ejected from his car and is believed to have melted in with the crowds standing in trauma and disbelief. The driver, as of this writing, has not been found.  Interpol is joining with the Spanish police to search for him in neighboring European countries. Possibly France. Possibly Morocco.

Europe should return to her former days of closed borders. Open borders on highways across Europe are an invitation for terrorists to travel freely. Borders between countries should be closed and those who wish to enter one country or another should be required to present a valid passport and a visa, if required. Terrorists may, in this way, be cautious in their travels. Their identities will be known.

Although ISIS has claimed responsibility, and most likely they are, there has been no specific evidence of the hand of ISIS in this madness.

They have not been eliminated in Raaqa, Iraq and they are growing in numbers with young Muslims willing to join in an effort to crush European culture and to create their Caliphate state.  ISIS poisons their young minds and hails them as heroes of the Islamic world-wide revolution.

This revolution is directly due to the Arab Spring message delivered in Cairo by the former American president, Barack Obama.

Often, these activities are carried out by lone terrorists unaffiliated with any particular group.

Al-Quaeda,  Islamic Front,  ISIS,  Hamas and Hezbollah act independently from one another. Their methodology is similar and their purpose is the same…to destroy the infidels and renew the glory days of the Golden Age of Muslims in Spain prior to 1492.

Because of their numbers (Islam is the world’s largest religion) and their locations it is virtually impossible to find them and to eliminate them. One killed today brings ten more to replace him tomorrow.

The Spanish police have issued alert warnings to all the citizens of Barcelona to remain in their homes with locked doors. They are strongly urged not to walk out of their homes. In this way, it may be possible to locate a solitary stranger hiding in an alley.

I do not know if Spain has a death penalty. And the possible execution of one terrorist cannot compensate for the thirteen lives mowed down. Families destroyed. Fear and desperation. And the news commentators, by their remarks, offer little hope for a saner future.

We are told that we have to get used to these terrorist acts of wanton murder. We have to live with it. But we don’t want to die because of it.

Europe is a tinderbox and can explode at any time. London, Paris, Brussels, Madrid and today, Barcelona.  It has become a common problem.  No one knows where or when it will happen again because you can be absolutely certain that it will happen over and over again.

Shall I go to a concert or a cinema tonight? Should I promenade around the shopping malls? Can I be safe with my cup of cappuccino at an outdoor café near the Champs- Elysees? Should I vacation in Zichron Yaakov or Tiberias instead of flying to Istanbul or Thailand?  Why must I change my life-style?

A change is definitely needed to keep ourselves aware of our surroundings, what places to avoid.

Face facts as unpleasant as they are. The world is changing and not for the better. Radical Islam seeks to conquer the Christian world, eliminating Jews on the way.  In Israel we must never permit it to happen.

Why our Cabinet members did not agree to enforcing the death penalty for terrorists… a law which has always been on our books… is beyond understanding.

Beautiful Barcelona may be beautiful once again, hopefully very soon. And as for us, as Jews, we need to watch out for one another.

Kol Yisrael areivim zeh l’zeh. Every Jew is responsible for another Jew. Every life is precious.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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