Jewish World Review Sept. 14, 2001 / 25 Elul, 5761


By Yaffa Ganz

For the good people of America and for the country which means so much to so many.....

“For this our heart is faint; for this our eyes are dim [with tears].”

                        —   Lamentations (4: 17)

GOOD MORNING AMERICA! The time has come to wake up. A new day is here. The Age of Innocence is over. That long ago-only yesterday time when Live and Let Live was a national commandment. The friendly, informal era of Hi there - Have a good day. The time when you could mind your own business and hope to stay out of trouble's way. Now, suddenly, the country is confronted with those old biblical specters - Good and Evil. Suddenly, there are choices to be made, stands to be taken and difficult decisions to be implemented.

For you see (and we try hard not to) there is such a thing as Good and Evil in the world. I would have blushed to mention such an idea outside my own circle of friends a mere week or two ago because it sounded so... well, fanatic, so primitive, so fundamentalist. But after the horror which descended upon the world in New York and Washington, Evil is not only mentionable; it is real. Pure, unadulterated Evil, fired by irrational, seething hatred and fed by "righteous", religious fervor.The very fires of Hell are consuming tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands? perhaps millions?) of twisted minds and souls on the planet Earth. We tried hard to pretend they were only charitable, self-help, do-good groups or organizations. Or fringe elements, a tiny minority of the Earth's population. But now we know. Islamic fundamentalism is a force to be reckoned with and the form it has taken today is evil. When evil is present and good people choose to look the other way, they do so at their own peril. It allows a holocaust to come into being ... or the horror of this past week to take place.

Evil is an ancient force with many historical antecedents - Hitler and Haman, Torquemada and Amalek, Titus and Stalin and today's newest stars - Bin Laden, Arafat, and a sparkling array of petty dictators who are major murderers. Of course we don't call them murderers until years after their work is done and the results are in. We call them politicians, generals, freedom fighters, idealogues. How infinitely sad that we blindly and passively agree to play their game of Let's Pretend and refuse to see them for what they are - the personification of Evil.

Here in Israel, we know them as Palestinian terrorists, actively and passively supported by a large part of the Arab population, who come with explosives strapped to their bodies and Jewish skullcaps on their heads (Evil always needs a disguise). They are the perpetrators of one hundred years of war in the Holy Land. In the past century, they organized pogroms and came with knives and hatchets and rifles. Today they set sophisticated explosive devices and blow up children on school buses, teens at discotheques, fathers driving to work and mothers on their way home. They even blow themselves up, to make sure the job gets done. It's their ticket to paradise. The kadis in the mosque tell them so.

Today they call themselves Freedom Fighters and they are; they are fighting to free the forces of Satan and to destroy the Jewish State, the Jews, and the western world. Non-Jews had better watch out too. Today, after Twin Towers, it can be said. It no longer sounds insane. The Moslem apocalypse is descending upon the western world and until this week, hardly anyone was paying attention.

So now, decent, fair, freedom loving, hard-working, easy-going America faces her Hour of Decision. Will she recognize Evil for what it is and gird her loins for battle, or will she take the easy way out in order to get back to normalcy as quickly as possible. The "Easy Way" is an exhibitionist display of American strength, a showy, punitive action against some relatively uncomplicated target (a pill to lower the present national adrenalin and frustration level).

Then one can proceed to the inevitable "tidying up" of the Middle East and to proclaiming the moral equivalency between Palestinian terrorism and Israeli self-defense. After all, Reality must be dealt with. If the Middle East terror is, as the French consul said in Israel today, the result of a "local disagreement" between the Arabs and the Jews and is not murderous terror against innocent civilians (like the attack in America), then the world must put an end to this fractious and dangerous behavior. Although it's difficult to deal with the Arabs in general, and is well nigh impossible to talk to the Islamic fundamentalists, the Jews are, thankfully, rational. And ever-so-much more vulnerable (i.e. easier to pressure). There are, after all, so few of them compared to the Arabs. And if they've lived for two thousand years without their Land, surely, for the sake of peace, they can manage with a little less land for a while longer.* That's the "easy way" out.

This, then, is America's challenge. And if America believes there is a God up there, it just might be her hour of judgment. For her sake, and for the sake of the rest of the world, I pray she will not fail.

(*The question is... less than what? After several partition plans, Israel today is less than 25% of the original British Mandate set aside for the Jewish National Homeland at the San Remo Conference in 1920. The other 75% was given over to create Trans-Jordan and Iraq. And now the entirely new entity of Arab Palestine - an Arab state which never existed before - is slated to take another slice. I beg the reader to find Israel on the map. I am positive that 97.5% of the readers will be stunned to see the microscopic size of the country. Especially in comparison to the humongous Arab states surrounding it.)

JWR contributor Yaffa Ganz is the award-winning author of more than forty Jewish juvenile titles including the two-volume teen history "Sand and Stars --- A Jewish Journey Through Time" and the popular Savta Simcha Series. You may contact her by clicking here.


© 2001, Yaffa Ganz