Just Say “I Have A Right to Exist!”

For decades, the world has refused to hear Israel’s single non-negotiable condition for peace – just say that Israel has a right to exist!  Israel’s neighbors, since its founding in 1948, have pledged their goal to drive the Jewish inhabitants of the Land into the Sea! How would this be accomplished?  By the extermination of every man, woman and child!  The world’s leaders and media have criticized Israel for not unilaterally giving up land, including Jerusalem, and for insisting on the revocation of its neighbor’s constitutions, charters and public written and oral declarations of “Death to Israel!”

The current wave of stabbings, car rammings, shootings and bombings are methodically, cold-bloodedly and relentlessly wounding, maiming and killing anyone who is standing on a corner, walking on the street or driving a car.  There is no specific target — old or young, male or female, civilian or soldier — no rhyme or reason to the victim, except ONE — he or she is a Jew!

There is something that has changed.  Some gruesome glimmer of reason that may be settling into the West.  The murderous attacks are not just limited to Jews. They are not just limited to Israel’s borders.

Christians are being slaughtered.  Secular Moslems are being slaughtered.  Anyone is being slaughtered . . . anyone in the path of Islamic Extremists who, in the name of Allah, and under the pretense of Sharia law, is fair game!  Ostensibly, the victims are supposed to be given the choice of forced conversion or death, but that is not what is happening.

It is, as has been echoed by many, that we are in the throes of World War III.  It is not a conventional war of two armies squaring off, the victor on the battlefield, emerging from the conflict.  There is no reporting of news through the snail pace of old channels of communication.  There are no casualties hidden from our eyes. Rather, the war is like a spreading and infiltrating cancer that cannot be surgically excised or obliterated by a single bomb blast. It is worldwide and, as several have declared, a “War of Cultures”.  Many years ago, Rabbi Kahane warned that the war was not political, was not motivated by a thirst for land, riches or resources. He warned that the war was global, ideological, and of Biblical proportions.  It could not be won in the conventional way.

Paris and San Bernardino have now revealed even a more horrific and implacable truth.  While governments grapple with the issue of the admission of the so-called refugees, who are escaping the brutality of ISIS, Assad or any other destructive force in the Middle East, what is coming to light is something much more insidious and dangerous.

A thorough vetting process, a physical wall, a policy of deportation of illegal aliens, are all debated, and each side vilifies the other, as either violative of the compassion and sanctuary professed to be the underpinnings of a civilized West, or as incredibly naive in its liberal, far Left philosophies. These debates, often divided among party lines here in the United States and across the Atlantic, do not begin the touch the danger that lurks within.

As we learned in Britain, when it has experienced terrorism within its borders, many, if not all, of the assailants were home-grown. They were born, educated and raised as Britons. They were radicalized in the mosques inside Britain or poisoned by the social media and internet propaganda, readily accessible and impervious to geographical limitations. Worldwide recruitment into the ranks of Islamic extremism is the weapon of the 21st Century!  And, let’s face it — it entices, molds and trains the white, the black, the yellow, the male and female, the educated and the uneducated, in the factories, in the prisons, in the halls of our colleges and universities.

Today, we are reeling from the reality that citizens of Paris, citizens of the United States, citizens of each of the nations of the West that opened their doors to waves of immigrants from the Middle East over decades, are the enemies within. And the victims — they are not only Israelis injured or killed every day — but, they are now, all of us and the attacks can be anywhere — in a public facility devoted to servicing the disabled, in a restaurant, in a supermarket, on a train, at a bus stop, anywhere!

Soon it will be apparent to all of us, each of us, perhaps too late, that peace can only be achieved if the Islamic Extremists will concede, as Israel has requested since 1948 — that “I have a right to exist!”  That basic premise is and should be non-negotiable.  If our enemy, within or without, pledges its allegiance, pledges its mission, willing to commit suicide for its cause, with its unwavering condition that we all are committed to Sharia law, to Islam, then we must stop being tentative and weak in our response!

As Israel has been saying since its creation as a State, we too must say, either accept our right to exist — our own beliefs, ideals, constitutions, political systems and ways of life — you our implacable enemy must be destroyed.  We must acknowledge the clarity of their vision and their mission. Unlike a half century of two superpowers, United States and Soviet Union, standing off and holding back because neither wanted to risk total annihilation, this is not the truth of the 21st Century. There is the West, rooted in a Judeo-Christian ethic, and there is Islamic Extremism.  This is the standoff today.

True, there are peace-loving Moslems, but even if there is but a fraction, e.g., 10-25% (and I am being conservative and kind) who would advocate violence and are “sympathetic” to our enemy, that is anywhere between 150 to 400 million people!  That number is mind-boggling.  It dwarfs the size of our enemy in the last world war, and that enemy was localized in the borders of each enemy nation. Yes, we need to embrace those Moslems who want peace, who deplore violence and who are, themselves, the victims of their extreme brothers.  But, we have to deal with our sworn enemies decisively and with resolve.

First, we have to make certain that our own leaders do not fear invoking the term, Islamic terrorists or Islamic extremists, when identifying who they are.  This is fundamental. Then, we must act before the bomb goes off or the shooting starts by ferreting out the intstigators, the fomentors and the outspoken voices that recruit those within our borders, and recognize that they are traitors, enemies, and convicts. We must not be afraid to speak up when we see activity that seems like the formation of a terrorist cell, or the furthering of a plot to kill.  If the stories are true, the actions of the assailants before the attacks were observed, but no action was taken. And, when attacks come, the responses must be of such intensity that future plots are dissuaded, if that is even possible.  We need to be vigilant, we need to be militarily ready and committed to engaging our enemies whom we are not afraid to label for who and what they are.

Just as they give us their ultimatum — be Moslem and accept Sharia law or die — we must be just as clear.  Either you accept our right to exist on our terms, or die.  Once that kind of clarity becomes the framework of our “game plan”, we will prevail!

About the Author
Naphtali Perlberger is a Senior Lecturer for AISH HaTorah and gives Parsha HaShavua shiurim at Young Israel of the Main Line. He is one of the founders and a past president of the Philadelphia Community Kollel. He is Founder & President of Philadelphia Chapter of Children of the Holocaust, and past FJA Chairman of Men's Organizations; talk show host for a radio show, "G-d is Listening" and former radio news broadcaster. Currently President of Kosloff Torah Academy High School for Girls.