As we soon approach Shabbat, we have to sum up the last 24 hours in some way.
The word “terrible” is apparently what springs to mind.
Not the word “terrorism” – Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström cannot use that word to describe the event last night in Nice, France, in which 84 people died (so far) and another hundred or so were injured. She prefers “terrible”.
According to various Swedish and other newspapers (the New York Times springs to mind with its headline “At least 84 killed in France after truck plows into crowd“) one might get the impression that it is trucks that are the problem. Especially white trucks. Trucks somehow (perhaps owing to the advanced electronics in today’s vehicles?) seem to have decided to attack innocent passers-by. It’s not the people deliberately driving the trucks into pedestrians, it’s the trucks themselves that are at fault.
It’s why Margot Wallström cannot bring herself to condemn yesterday’s mass killing in Nice as an act of terrorism, but simply as an event that was “terrible”.
We are soon entering Shabbat, and in the Jewish world we will be praying for those killed in yesterday’s terror attack, as well as for those injured in yesterday’s terror attack, and for the families of those killed, injured or otherwise affected by yesterday’s attack. We will also be praying for good minds to guide the words and actions of the French authorities who are now faced with dealing both with the aftermath of another terrorist attack, and the tactics needed to hopefully prevent further atrocities such as yesterday’s terror attack.
You see, in the Jewish and Israeli worlds, we have no problem referring to yesterday’s atrocity against innocent civilians – including young children – as a terror attack. We have been through so many such attacks, and we continue to experience countless such attacks on a daily basis.
We have understood that the most fundamental rule for handling such atrocities is to first identify what we are up against.
We are up against terrorist attacks.
Then we must make sure we understand who is perpetrating these terrorist attacks.
We are facing terrorist attacks inspired, funded and carried out by radical Islamism – a political ideology bent on global hegemony that shields itself from scrutiny and criticism behind the first five letters of its political dogma: I S L A M. Because this violent political ideology shares those five letters with a religion, a religion which it must be said has always had an uncomfortably close relationship with violence as a means of spreading its word, the political ideology of Islamism has made itself untouchable.
But in the Jewish and Israeli worlds we understand who and what we are up against.
We are not up against Muslims. Nor do we feel that we live in a world that is mutually incompatible with Islam.
But we most certainly are engaged in an existential battle with Islamism.
In that battle, we count on our Muslim neighbours and friends and relatives to separate themselves and their religion from the vicious political ideology that is Islamism.
So that we can target Islamism and wipe it out.
Because in the Jewish and Israeli spheres, we have absolutely no difficulty acknowledging that our enemy is Islamism.
Wherever it exists. Political correctness be damned.
This is because Islamism is utterly incompatible with democracy, human rights, indeed life.
84 prematurely terminated lives in Nice testify to that.
We are entering Shabbat now. We will reflect on the tragedy that yesterday befell so many innocent people in Nice and say prayers for those that lost their lives.
And as Shabbat ends and a new week starts on Sunday, we will all need to sit together to express our mutual support for the sanctity of human life – and our absolute determination to enlist our Muslim communities in the existential battle to root out Islamism from their midst and ours.
So that we do not suffer any further terror attacks of the sort that Swedish FM Margot Wallström and the New York Times cannot bring themselves to mention.
You see, we have no problem mentioning the “T” word. Because our lives depend on correctly identifying what we are up against. Because we aren’t interested in getting re-elected or selling more copies of undistinguished newspapers. Instead, as long-suffering citizens unwillingly put on the front line by incompetent European politicians and colluding media, we are honest, we want to do our best for ourselves and our fellow human beings.
84 extinguished lives demand in Nice that we start working together. Sikh, Hindu, Jainist, Buddhist, Christian, Jew, Muslim – all in perfect harmony against Islamism.
Of course, that also means we will have to work together against our politicians and media…