The Answer Is Blowing in The Wind

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” Everything would have been fine, if only Hitler wouldn’t have lied to me.”

-Neville Chamberlain

As I write these words, I am returning home from a trip to Prague, Vienna and Budapest. Part of the reason for this trip was to find out where, under these ancient cobble stone streets, or perhaps on the bottom of the much romanticized, meandering Blue Danube, all the extended members of both my mother ‘s and my father’s families had been buried. All those unknown aunts, uncles and cousins, crushed in the passion of the Anschluss, because they had been dismissive of which way the wind had been blowing.

Among the most moving aspects of my trip was a Museum of The Jewish People in Vienna, where on a wall was a high tech visual display of the beautiful, rich and deep Jewish life in that city. We saw the way births, Bar and Bat Mitzvot, weddings and funerals were commemorated. As Ahed Ha. Am had once said, “No Jew was alone in his joy or in his sadness.”

So much like my own community, here in the States…but all wiped out. Gone. Why?

Because these good people, in their innocence could not possibly fathom the magnitude of the hatred that had been thrust upon them. Because in their deepest nightmares or the wildest machinations of their imagination they could not possibly conceive of a war machine that could plan out every precise detail of the Anschluss and of their inevitable destruction.

I write this with profound sadness. I took my young son-in-law and beautiful daughter with me to Europe. They have learned some lessons from our people’s history, and have decided to live out their lives in Israel, to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces, to predicate their lives on a strong, proud, independent, Jewish state, and to share their destiny with that of the Jewish people.

But today’s leaders have not been listening to the violent wind of antisemitism that has been whipping through that dangerous neighborhood in which the Jewish state is situated. They have been dismissive of the role of words and of ideas.

Words and ideas proceed conduct. Words and ideas can kill.

That is why I could not have been any more horrified than when I read that our Secretary of State said in 2009, “Ideology is so yesterday.”

Perhaps it is for her, but is not “so yesterday” for the people who are prepared to strap a belt of dynamite around their waists and explode themselves as they may kill my children with them. It is not “so yesterday” for the Iranian mullahs who are prepared to sacrifice a million of their own people in order “to wipe the Zionist cancer off the map.”

I have learned to listen to the wind. I wish I hadn’t been so alone.  This is not a happy thing for me to report.

I woke up to the news on Sunday, that the recently elected President of Egypt, Mohammad Morsi had just fired General Tantawi, and his military Chief of Staff, Sami Annan, along with commanders of the air force, navy and an anti-aircraft unit. He did so, while dissolving Article 25 of the Egyptian Constitution that affords the Egyptian military some degree of independence and granting them some legislative powers, and therefore making the entire military a part of his Muslim Brotherhood government.

In their stead, Morsi has promoted generals and chiefs of staff who were all part of Muslim Brotherhood sleeper cells.

For the last year and a half, or ever since the events began in Tahrir Square, I, and my small organization, have been alone on Capitol Hill, talking about the radical Islamist wind blowing throughout the Middle East, and arguing that we should terminate, or at the very least suspend, or even condition, military aid to Egypt, until we see what sort of government will take shape.

Unfortunately, other, much more powerful, organizations in pro-Israel community have been on Capitol Hill lobbying for the exact opposite. They have put their considerable strength and prestige behind a request for continuous military aid for Egypt, arguing that the military is the most democratic of all institutions, and that the dire state of the Egyptian economy and their need for an influx of American dollars will keep the military in power, which will serve as an important check on the Muslim Brotherhood government.

The newly appointed head of the Egyptian military, General Abdel Fattah al Sisi, is a known Muslim Brother sympathizer. As quoted by Zanan Abul Magis, a professor at the American University in Cairo, and an expert on the Egyptian military, in today’s Wall Street Journal,” Sisi is known inside the military for being a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer.”

Our government, in the meantime, is falling all over itself, trying to convince itself that because General Sissi had taken a U.S. infantry training course in Fort Benning, Georgia, thirty one years ago, and had recently met with President Barack Obama’s counter terrorism advisor, he will maintain close ties with the American military and uphold Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel.

This is about as ludicrous a sentiment as could possibly be imagined.

One that is almost rivaled by how we are prostrating ourselves with a huge effort to convince the Islamic Government of Mohammad Morsi to take the 1.5 billion dollars we give in military aid, (which apparently they are ashamed to say to their people that they get from the United States). As we are beseeching them to please accept the additional 500 million dollars offered when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Egypt, last month. This is occurring while the Department of Defense is trying to procure for them, even newer and more advanced weapon systems and technologies

This is akin to after Hitler completed the Anschluss, the Allies begging the the Nazi army to supply tanks and guns needed for the invasion of Poland.

This is because the enlightened ones inside the beltway are still falling into the sandpit of wishful and delusional thinking.

I remember how, before the Gaza withdrawal my friends on the left argued to me that this withdrawal will prove to the entire world, just how far Israel is willing to go for peace, even with the absence of a negotiating partner, and that once we left Gaza, peace will break out, that the Palestinians would begin to appreciate the “peace dividend”, and that “someone has got to be first to break the cycle of violence.”Then, these same left wing friends had argued that Israel will, at least, be able to keep the Philadelphi corridor. Now the Philadelphi corridor is simply a vestibule for continuous arms smuggling.

And last August, when eight Israelis were killed in a cross border attack, the Camp David Treaty between Israel and Egypt had been amended to include an additional 2,500 Egyptian soldiers on the Sinai. Who, in his right mind, really expects the Egyptian military, under Mohammad Morsi to protect Israel from Islamist terrorism?

And Israel is once again alone, facing a mighty military threat deployed along her longest border, the mightiest military threat she has faced in thirty three years. And for all those many years, that Egyptian military had been supplied and trained by the United States. All the illusions and mirages of the Israeli left as well as the assurances and wishful thinking of the United States and the American Jewish left have evaporated under the scorching desert sun of the Middle East, at once.

The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind.

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About the Author

Sarah Stern
Sarah Stern is founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

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