The Problem With Western “Leadership”: No Bravery

The tragic attack in Tel Aviv yesterday by Palestinian terrorists brought into the streets two reactions. In Israel, crowds of people gathered to mourn and also celebrate life, even at the site of the attack, to show that they will not let the terrorists win. In the Palestinian Territories, promises were made of more attacks, and street parties were held in celebration of this “Operation Ramadan”. But perhaps most unsettling — and unfortunately, most unsurprising — was the reaction from the Western World.

While the UN, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump all condemned the attacks, there were no rallies, marches, or articles written in solidarity with Israel on a large scale basis, unlike what we saw after the tragedies in Paris, San Bernardino, and Brussels. It doesn’t matter if Israelis mourned during the various attacks in Europe or on 9/11–MSNBC will blame a “right-wing government” or “occupation” for resulting in a “frustration” among Palestinians that drives them to attack innocents. CNN will question whether or not it was an act of terror. And various Western diplomats will continue to push for an imposition of the creation of an independent Palestine without requiring direct negotiations between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel. This underscores the problem with leadership (if one can call it that) in the Western World today: cowardice, complacency, and laziness.

The 1940s are rightfully criticized for being a bloody era, when racism and sexism were rampant, the LGBT community had to be silent (lest gays be forced into insane asylums), and tolerance for other viewpoints was limited. However, during that time, Americans and others were willing to fight for their ideals of freedom and democracy against the evils of Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy, and Nazi Germany. So why is it that 70 years later, this is attitude and willingness to fight for what is right is nonexistent? Western leaders such as Angela Merkel and David Cameron regularly call for “tolerance” and “understanding” of and for minority groups in their countries, for freedom of speech, and against bigotry. However, it seems they could care less when it comes to Jews being persecuted in London or Berlin by Muslim supremacists and their leftist allies. Nor do they seem to care about the gays being hanged in Iran in record numbers, the Sunnis slaughtered by Shiite militias in Iraq because of their religious beliefs, the Christians and Yezidis sold into sexual slavery by ISIS, or the gays being thrown off of buildings in pieces of Iraq and Syria under the rule of the caliphate. If they did, they would be more willing to take action.

It’s commendable that, even in the midst of the EU’s migrant deal with authoritarian Turkey, Germany would recognize the 1915 Armenian Genocide as being a genocide. But it’s still incredibly disturbing that Angela Merkel has agreed to allow a German comedian to face trial for insulting the Turkish president, based on an archaic German law. One might argue that the problem with Western leadership is that it is, at the moment — and especially from the Left — too scared of offending people, too lazy to stand up for the morals and ethics they claim to represent and embody, and so power hungry that they’ll appeal to the Muslim vote by telling Israel not to “overreact” after falling victim to terrorism or refer to Hamas and Hezbollah as cherished “friends” while calling Hitler a Zionist.  There is merit to this argument. But the truth is plain and simple: there is no leadership at all in the West. Winston Churchill famously declared that Britain would “never surrender” to the evils of Nazi Germany, and to “keep calm and carry on” in the face of the terrors of indiscriminate German bombings of the UK. John F. Kennedy also said that “we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” Surely, they are rolling in their graves at the cowardice of many of their various successors.

“Leaders” in Europe are encouraged by the incompetent John Kerry to do business with Iran, a regime that vows to destroy America, Britain, and Israel, sponsors terror around the world, and executes political dissidents, just to avoid a possible war. After the 2015 terror attacks in Charlie Hebdo, questions arose of how far free speech should go. Immediately after the attack on the kosher supermarket a few days later, BBC had the audacity to blame “Palestinian suffering at the hands of Israelis” for the attack, justifying the murderous crime. And American and other leaders continue to push the idea of a unified Iraq, arguing for some reason that the most civilized people in that “country” — the Kurds — should not be allowed to have self-determination, even though the West advocates this for the far more extremist Palestinian society.

Some would say that this clash of civilizations is at a stalemate: the West has the means to eliminate the jihadists, but due to political correctness, it lacks the will to confront the ideology head-on. On the other hand, the jihadists have the will to conquer and vanquish the West, but lacks the means to do so — for now. Unless Western heads of government quickly regain their common sense, this will soon change and put the free world at a disadvantage.

About the Author
Dmitri Shufutinsky is a graduate of Arcadia University's Masters program in International Peace & Conflict Resolution. He is an ardent Zionist and a supporter of indigenous rights, autonomy, solidarity, and sovereignty. He currently lives in Philadelphia, USA.