It has taken me under a week to realize something extremely interesting. Though most people feared my safety while I was studying abroad in Israel; I never felt safer. I actually feel that here in the United States, I am less safe.
While living in Israel, the understanding of how small the world is became a reality. Israel is surrounded on all but one side, by neighbors who are not keen on the only Jewish state in the world. Syria stands as one border for Israel. Syria has now been in a civil war for a few years and is one of the states harboring the newest threat to democracy across the world, the Islamic State. Israel, since its creation in 1948, has dealt with this constant threat. Due to this, Israel is constantly aware of the world beyond its doorstep.
The United States however, is in my opinion less safe, because as a whole we are blind to the world beyond our doorstep. Today, the United States has once again bought into a pseudo isolationist ideology. The government is trying to limit our military to pre World War II standards in a time when this would only open up our country to greater vulnerability. However, your average American does not understand the threat we now face. NFL football has started, there is always a scandal with a celebrity and that is what preoccupies the average American. Meanwhile, across the globe, a fellow American was beheaded by an organization that despises us and all we stand for as a nation.
American Christians are those who sit in the most ignorant bliss. Christians living in the Middle East are under duress at the hands of Islamic extremists. Yet, somehow certain Christian denominations here in the United States are actually advocating against attacks on IS. Ryan Mauro of the Clarion Project wrote an in depth article chronicling this action. A group of 53 Christian leaders represent members of the Presbyterian Church, the United Methodist Church to name a few, who are advocating against an attack on the Islamic State. As Christians, we should be the loudest voices of support on behalf of our brothers and sisters suffering across the globe.
The United States should take a queue from Israel. We should be more aware of the world around us. It is not an abstract notion or threat across the ocean, but one that can easily and may have already infiltrated our borders. Sadly, the average American is less apt to care about such things that do not directly affect them.
Meanwhile, Israelis understand and are aware of the world around them because of their geography. It should not just be a matter of geography but it should be a matter of conscious. What does it say if our President can’t even clearly articulate that the Islamic State is a group of Islamist extremists with a dangerous ideology? This is no time for being pc, but rather being truthful and understanding what the real threat is.
The sleepiness of Americans is by far a danger to us all. It sadly must take a catastrophe for Americans to take their heads out of the sand. Let’s use Israel as a model. Let’s keep our heads up and eyes open and let’s demand that the government do something to ensure that we don’t become weak and an easy target. Let’s talk about Syria, Iraq, Iran and all the issues that we normally shy away from. Our foreign policy is faltering and leading from behind is only putting us in more danger.