Turning relative Paradise into absolute Hell (ISRAEL INSIDER COMMENTARY) By Reuven Koret 12/04/02)
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I returned from an extended visit to the US for a combined business
and family visit, turned rather sour by the horrific Thanksgiving
terror attacks. Last 4th of July my holiday was disturbed by the
attack at the El Al counter at LAX, last week Israelis in Kenya and
Beit Shean. Before my flight back, as I slipped off my sneakers for a
security check in Newark and let myself by patted down and
magnetically scanned, one smart-aleck security screener, hearing I
was Israel-bound, told me to be careful on Israeli buses. Please.
The fact is, it feels great to be back home. Israel, for all its
risks and vulnerabilities, is alive and vibrant, brash and vivid,
even in these less-than-joyous, okay, relatively depressed, times.
The streets live, and the people laugh, much more than in most
Western cities I´ve visited. God bless Israel, and God protect
Israelis everywhere from the subhuman bloodthirsty perverts who seek
our collective and individual deaths.
Today we were greeted in each of our main newspapers by reports of
the new Qaeda "Palestine" branch, which is intent on striking fear
into the hearts of Israelis as they travel abroad. Ma´ariv reported
on the threat to Israelis in Thailand, and Yediot described an
attempted attack on a football match in Malta.
The secondary goal is to making Israelis and all things Israeli into
objects of fear, to be shunned as dangerous. Football teams have
feared to tread in the Holy Land. Now will they be afraid even to
invite us to their turf? Will people of other nationalities run for
their lives when they hear Hebrew spoken, or boycott hotels or
restaurants that have an Israeli connection?
I hope not, but I am not so sure that the terrorists have not located
another soft spot in our psychological and economic defenses.
They seek to transform Israelis into people with whom it is dangerous
to associate, and to transform the Jewish State into one of
Murdering Israelis and Kenyans in a fiery inferno of Mombasa´s
Paradise Hotel. Aiming to explode 260 passengers on a charter
vacation plane. Opening fire on voters in a polling place. These are
signs of weakness. Of deviance. Of jealousy. Of inferiority.
The Muslim terrorists want to drag us down to their miserable level.
They want to replace our democracy with their dingy dictatorships.
They corrupt whatever nation they touch. They betray their generous
hosts. They oppress and mutilate and intimidate women. They are scum
of the earth.
But they have, in carrying out their vicious plots in the eyes of the
world, exposed themselves for the immoral cowards that they are,
along with the hypocrisy of their CNN-slicked apologists, protectors,
and fellow-travelers. They have roused the wrath of America and
freedom-loving peoples the world over. They have galvanized Israelis
into a more unified people, most of whom have discarded the dangerous
and disingenuous illusions of Oslo. We are now a nation more ready
than ever to summon its courage to take decisive steps that two years
ago would have been unthinkable.
I was greatly heartened by the comments of Israeli national security
adviser Ephraim Levy, who urged our decision-makers to act as if the
latest mega-terror attempts had succeeded, and to create a much
stronger active deterrent. Terrorists must know that Israel possesses
the will to pre-empt and punish to an extent that is seven and
seventy fold whatever our enemies can dream up to intimidate and
The enemies of Israel must know of a surety that budding mega-
terrorists will be, to put it nicely, nipped in the bud. And the
familes and neighbors and nations of successful mega-terrorists will
witness the utter devastation of all that they hold sacred and dear.
There is no other choice.
A Ma´ariv editorial, after the near-miss missiles in Mombasa, said
that we have as a nation arrived at the point of "Apocalypse Here."
NOW is the time to gird our national loins for the preventative and
punitive responses that will one day need to be delivered to deter
and eradicate those who would seek to destroy our beautiful country,
undermine our democratic society, and commit genocide on our
resilient and, against all odds, ever-optimistic citizens.
We are the Jewish People, the People of the Book, and we merit to
live in the Land that Book promises to us alone. Believe it or not,
our nation has come back from the ashes of Aushwitz and from the four
corners of the Earth to redeem that promise.
Relative to the neighborhood, we Israelis are living in Paradise.
That is our destiny. Our burden. Our blessing. Those who curse us,
and who seek to kill us, can stay in their Hell, or return there.
It is us, or them. And it is the God of Israel, or theirs. (© 2001-
2002 Koret Communications Ltd. 12/04/02)
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