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Fighting Global Terrorism

August 31, 2021
Sondra Oster Baras

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett traveled to the US last week for his first meeting with US President Joe Biden.  Speculation abounded as to what the atmosphere and outcome of the meeting would be.  Bennett and his team had already landed in the US and Bennett had already met with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken when news broke of the terrible terrorist attack at the Kabul airport, killing dozens of people including 13 US marines.  As the tragedy unfolded, the Biden-Bennett meeting was postponed to the next day.

News from Afghanistan has been terrible for days.  The pictures of desperate Afghans clinging to the wings of airplanes and then falling to their deaths brought home to us all how terrible their situation must be, to choose certain death over a return to their homes in Afghanistan.  We remember well the pictures of the Taliban and their horrific treatment of Afghans from years ago.  And as the 11th of September approaches, as we mark the 20th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in history, we remember well the danger and horror of the Taliban to good people all over the world.

For 20 years, America and their allies, battled terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, seeking to eradicate the influence of terrorism on those countries and around the world.  Today, 20 years later, we can safely say that America failed.  The brave men and women who gave their lives to this cause did not die in vain.  They did provide temporary respite from the worst excesses of the Taliban.  But there is no question that in the long run, we are no better off than we were. 

Terrorism is alive and well in the Middle East.  Iran is moving rapidly towards nuclear capability but has been supporting terrorism all over the Middle East for years.  Ships have been attacked by Iranian proxy groups in the Persian Gulf; Iranian-supported Hezbollah has been growing in capability even as Lebanon is falling apart; Assad has put down the last of the rebel strongholds in Syria, with Russian and Iranian support; and Iranian-backed Hamas continues to attack Israel from Gaza. 

The Taliban is just one more group that can execute vicious attacks in the name of Islam.  Although they are often seen as primitive, with their main powerbase in the poorest villages of rural Afghanistan, any group that was able to pull off the four-pronged attack against the US on 9/11, is a force to be reckoned with.

I can well understand why America pulled its troops from Iraq and now, from Afghanistan.  Every country must evaluate whether protecting a foreign country justifies the loss of life of their own brave citizens.  And while there were accomplishments in the war against terrorism in both of those countries, there is a deep-seated core of local support for terrorism and the radical Islamist ideology that fuels it. 

Israel is unique.  As the only democratic and western country in the area, we clearly align ourselves with our allies in North America, Europe and western countries in other parts of the world.  In the west, the people have full democratic rights and our leaders are accountable to us.  If they have not properly served our interests, they will be voted out of office.  We have freedom of the press and freedom of religion, freedoms denied to citizens in every Middle Eastern country except Israel. 

When terrorist groups and their state sponsors gather against us in Israel, and they do so regularly, we do not fight against them because we want to protect the proverbial innocent in their countries.  We fight against them because we are protecting our own citizens.  When Hamas attacks Israel with fire bombs that destroy our fields, or with artillery and missiles that murder our children, we defend ourselves, a basic right of every country.

When Israel fights terrorism, we are fighting a real and immediate threat to our people and to the very survival of our country.  While terrorists in Afghanistan seek to eradicate western influences in their own country, terrorists attacking Israel want to eradicate our entire country.  And frankly, given the chance, these same terrorists would love to eradicate western countries everywhere.  But their local bases of power and influence are too far away to accomplish their goal.  However, Israel is in their backyard!

After the Bennett—Biden meeting, the official statements to the press followed the usual pattern.  Both leaders talked about a strong commitment to protecting Israel and the need for peace in the area. Biden is eager to move forward on concessions to the Palestinians while Bennett is happy to discuss economic improvements for the Palestinians but refuses to entertain the idea of a Palestinian State. 

The explosion in Kabul may have directed Biden’s attention away from Israel and made the meeting more rushed than originally planned.  But what the explosion should have done is deepen the understanding of the US and the entire western world, that they need Israel.  Israel does not send troops to foreign countries to fight the terrorism that threatens the free world.  Israel is a major player in the global war against terrorism because the battlefield is in our country and on our borders.  No foreign soldier will ever fight Israel’s battles — that is an important Israeli ethos.  But we do expect that western nations will have our back, that they will understand that giving in to Hamas and to the Palestinian Authority in their expectations of statehood makes no sense.  Both Hamas and the PA, each in their own way, are sponsors of terrorism of the worst kind.

I understand why the US is leaving Afghanistan, despite the tragic pictures from Kabul.  I cannot possibly understand why anyone would support any further Israeli withdrawals.  Do they really want to see Kabul in Israel?  And in our case, we are not a foreign military presence, We are in our own land.  We are not fighting someone else’s battles.  We are fighting our own.

6 thoughts on “Fighting Global Terrorism”

  1. Well said. It seems every country fights back when attacked but when Israel does it the world is up in arms against Israel. May God preserve you and bless you.

    • I totally agree with you. Why shouldn’t Israel defend itself when every other nation does so. It makes no sense to me. But then again, they do hate Israel. I say may the Lord forever bless and protect the State of Israel.

  2. May the Eternal continue giving wisdom to HIS people and a well running of your country. He has the timing and protection.

  3. G-d gave this promise to the Prophet Zechariah; he who touches you touches the apple of His (G-d’s eye. (Zechariah Ch 2 verse 10b). The Almighty, not puny man, will have the last word! What a comfort toI Israel and all believers.

  4. Sondra, toda for your assessment of the current situation. As one wise man said, ‘ The quickest way to end a war is to surrender.’

    Israel and other democracies have tried valiantly to both eradicate oppression and bring freedom to nations of the world. Thank G-d for His blessing on these lofty efforts.

    However, even though democracies attempt to export freedom as the pinnacle of human endeavor – alas, not every nation can be assumed to actually want freedom.

    Western democracies have difficulty with this paradigm so in actuality, democracies can, and often do, bankrupt their resources in being global ‘good Samaritans’ while neglecting poverty, despair and cultural decadence with their own borders.

    The age of the great American Empire, both ideologically and militarily, is closing.

    We can no longer sustain these global police missions economically, militarily, or culturally. We in America are on a path of extravagant demise, like the final days of the opulent Roman Empire.
    We have accepted our own system of right/wrong while rejecting Torah.

    Our perceived imperial ‘duty’ to rid the world of oppression and plant seeds of freedom, albeit derived from lofty moral standards, is nonetheless expiring.

    Our nation was founded on good principles, but not Torah. Only Torah can save the world. Western christianity, denominational proliferation and manmade doctrines can neither save nor direct a nation toward truth, since truth is only taught and learned from Torah.

    The conclusion is simple – history proves that despots rule until rebels rise up.
    The Northern Alliance of Panjshir [may G-d help them] will rise up against Taliban, with optimism of victory, through bloodshed.

    Zooming out, our only hope for the world is for Moshiach to come, begin His Yeshiva at Mt. Tzion in Yerushalayim, and teach His law – Torah.

    Then the world will come under His righteous rule and have shalom.

    May G-d bless CFOIC and all your partners, in your labors.

    Shalom, Steve Franklin

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