This Time it was Paris

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This time it was Paris, the City of Lights, that was darkened by the latest Islamist atrocity, in which the lives of at least 129 innocent people were snuffed out while they attended a concert, watching a soccer match or dined at a restaurant.

Just a few weeks ago, it was an attack on a Russian jetliner over the Sinai Peninsula, taking out the lives of all 224 passengers and crew members. There was also the recent Boko Haram attack on a in Nigeria in which 20 travelers were killed. The list goes on and on, including the Madrid train bombings in 2004 (191 dead) and the London Underground bombings in 2005 (52 dead). And of course there were the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. in 2001, in which almost 3,000 Americans were killed.

Whether or not people in the civilized world want to admit it, radical Islam has declared war on Western civilization. Samuel Huntington’s famous 1996 treatise, “The Clash of Civilizations,” was right on the mark when he argued that the primary axis of conflict in our era would run along cultural and religious lines.

My question is whether people in the West will finally connect the dots between what occurred in Paris and what has been taking place over the past two months to innocent people in Israel. Do Westerners realize that there is absolutely no distinction between those murdered in Paris and the Israeli victims of Islamic terrorism, the most recent being Rabbi Yaakov Litman, 40, and his 18-year-old son Netanel in a shooting attack near Hebron on Friday.

On September 11, 2001, the day America experienced the worst terrorist attack on its soil in its history, a good friend of mine, Rand Fishbein, a former member of the late great Senator Daniel Inouye’s staff, called and asked me how I thought the situation would play out for Israel and the Jews.

I told him that everyone around the world now felt like they were a resident of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.

He responded: “Mark my words, Sarah. For some reason, they will find the way to turn the tables on Israel, and blame it for what happened today.”

I replied that I thought he was being paranoid — that it would be impossible to construe the 9/11 attacks as having anything to do with Israel.

But over the past 14 years, my brilliant and prescient friend Rand turned out to be absolutely right, and I, unfortunately, was completely and totally wrong. Since 9/11, many people have insisted on pointing to the Israeli “occupation” or “settlements” as the root of Muslim rage.

Nothing could be further from the truth. First of all, in various negotiations, Israel has offered to give up practically of the territories it was forced to conquer in the defensive war of June 1967. Every time, the Arabs have rejected the Israeli offers. They have chosen to remain in a continuous state of war, rather than accept the existence of a Jewish entity, which they view as a cancerous blight on what they deem to be “holy Muslim soil.”

There is ongoing a clash of civilizations and the fault line of this conflict runs right along the borders of Israel. Jews in Israel are despised for the exact same reason that attendees at a soccer match or rock concert in Paris or passengers on the London Underground are. Simply put, in the eyes of Islamist terrorists, they are all “the other.”

According to the Koran, the world is divided into two domains: Dar-al-Islam (the House of Islam), which submits to Shariah law, and Dar-al Harb (the House of War), which includes the rest of the world that does not submit to Shariah law and therefore must be conquered.

It is time for the West to wake up and realize that the war that Israel has been fighting for its survival ever since it came into being has nothing whatsoever to do with the shape of its borders. The terrorism that has been taking place in Israel has nothing to do with 1967 and everything to do with 1948.

Maybe this time, the world will finally wake up and understand the nature of the war the Islamists are waging against Western civilization. I erroneously thought the world had woken up from its slumber in 2001, but it proved that it would rather put its hand back on the snooze button and blame Islamic terrorism on extraneous and irrelevant factors, such as the “occupation.”

My hope and prayer is that the world will once and for all understand and appreciate that Israel is a Middle Eastern fortress of 21st century liberal democracy and human rights living in a region dominated by a seventh-century religion of conquest or submission. Israel is always willing and able lend a hand and to teach the painful lessons it has learned during its 67 years of survival in a tribal and primitive part of the world. It can teach about how to survive in a new globalized world where the friendly Islamist neighbor next door might suddenly wake up and decide to stab you in the back.

Originally published at Israel Hayom:

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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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