Rabbi Lior’s comments and the World at War

It is beyond disgusting. But Rabbi Dov Lior is unfortunately not alone in making the kind of obscene statements VIN reported him to have made. Rabbi Lior was the Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Arba, the Israeli settlement town near Chevron. I have nothing but contempt for a leader that justifies the mass murder of innocent people. But that is exactly what he did:

(Rabbi Lior) told mourners on Saturday during the funeral of an Israeli father and son gunned down by Palestinian terrorists that the attacks in Paris were deserved due to what Europeans “did to our people 70 years ago.”


“The wicked ones in blood-soaked Europe deserve it for what they did to our people 70 years ago,” Lior said.

This is an indefensible statement. And it deserves worldwide condemnation. Let me be the first – if it hasn’t been done yet.

I don’t know why anyone gives this man any respect. That he is (or was) the chief ‘anything’ let alone a chief rabbi is inexcusable!

Along with the rest of the civilized world I am saddened by the events of last Friday evening in Paris. 129 people were simultaneously killed in six different Parisian venues by Islamist terrorists. Hundreds more were injured.  ISIS has taken credit for it. This happened not to much after they brought down a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula killing all passengers – in retaliation for Russian activity against them in Syria. (And possibly in retaliation for killing Jihad John – the British citizen who had joined ISIS and beheaded innocent captives on camera.)

It should be clear to anyone who is paying the slightest bit of attention that US policy with respect to fighting ISIS isn’t working. It is a complete failure. Someone in the Obama administration needs to stand up and tell that to the President.  We need a new strategy. This attack should make clear to all what has been clear to me for quite some time now. ISIS cannot allowed to continue to exist. The civilized world needs to unite in common purpose: to completely defeat these barbarians by destroying every last vestige of them. There can be no other strategy. The French President said it right. This was an act of war. Pope Francis this morning called it World War III in piece-meal fashion.

What was the President’s reaction to this attack? He called it a barabaric act of terror perpetrated on the entire free world and has pledged US help in bringing the perpetrators to justice!

Really? This is his reaction?! This isn’t about some criminal street gang that has to be captured and brought to trial. This is an organized war against all of civilization and has to be fought on that level. ISIS and other Jihadists sympathetic to their cause needs to be defeated no less that the Nazis of World War II. And similar resolve and actions need to be undertaken along with.

The civilized world needs to unite. And just as in WWII where the US led the allies in defeating the Nazi evil, so too the US needs to take the leadership role now. It is in fact our invasion of Iraq toppling Saddam Hussein that has led to all of this. Is there any doubt that ISIS would have never gotten off the ground has Hussein been in power? …a man who had no compunction gassing tens of thousands his own people (the Kurds) when they challenged his power? He was an evil man. But killing him only opened up the current Pandora’s box! The hornets nest was stirred. And these are its results.

The model should be the invasion at Normandy Beach under the leadership of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Yes that will unfortunately mean ‘boots on the ground’. Enough boots that will do the job.  We must demand our allies in Europe and the Middle East contribute some of those boots. But the US will have to provide some too. And in the event that our allies don’t provide enough, we have to. This is not about fighting some foreign war that has no connection to us – over issues that we are not responsible for. This is not Viet Nam.

As noted, we do have some responsibility here. ISIS and their Islamist Jihadist buddies consider the US to be enemy number one. They have sworn to attack the US in the same way they attacked Paris. Now is the time for the US to act – before something like this happens here. The President has to act like the Commander in Chief that he is. And do what is necessary to defeat this monster. Nothing less than the fate of the free world is at stake.

There are those who might say that the American people do not have the stomach to send their sons into yet another foreign war. I don’t know if that is still true in light of what the world now faces if ISIS is not defeated. But even if it is, what is required here is doing the right thing – even if it does not get the approval of all the American people. Besides, the American army is an all volunteer army. Those who serve – enlisted knowing the risks to their lives it might entail. Armies are by nature subject to danger. Furthermore there are a lot of patriotic American soldiers that will be proud and be the first to volunteer for missions in Iraq and Syria. They are the true defenders of liberty – heroes that deserve our support and encouragement.

I have said in the past that fighting ISIS and other Jihadist is a far more difficult task since we are really fighting an ideology based in religious belief. This is true. You can’t kill an idea. But you can kill the people that promote it. Killing believers just makes the surviving believers more determined to succeed. Death is not a deterrent to religious fanatics that see themselves as martyrs for God. But the fact that it is more difficult should not weaken our resolve. It should strengthen it. Unless they are completely defeated, they will continue their ‘fight for God’. Something they have been pretty adept at doing.

If I were the President I would take this opportunity to create a new allied force of civilized nations to fight ISIS with everything we’ve got in our arsenal. The ‘diplomacy’ that has been the hallmark of the Obama administration simply cannot be applied here. Military action is the only real option we have with Islamist Jihadists.  They do not compromise their beliefs. They need to be completely wiped off the map (to borrow a phrase from Iran about Israel).

This is what needs to be done. If Obama does not step up to be the leader of the free world  he is supposed to be , he may go down as the worst President in history.

About the Author
My worldview is based on the philosophy of my teacher, Rabbi Aaron Soloveichik , and the writings of Rabbis Joseph B. Soloveitcihk , Norman Lamm, and Dr. Eliezer Berkovits from whom I developed an appreciation for philosophy. I attended Telshe Yeshiva and the Hebrew Theological College where I was ordained. I also attended Roosevelt University where I received my degree in Psychology.