The evil we know so well stuns Parisians

THE mixture of shock, fear and defiance which Parisians are now experiencing is reminiscent of that felt by Israelis for decades, particularly during the second intifada which began 15 years ago.

Unfortunately, the Western world is now feeling the full brunt of the spate of terrorist attacks whose initial targets were the State of Israel.

Yet hypocritically, much of that Western world expects Israel to react differently from itself.

In the wake of the ghastly Paris attack, Western leaders are seeking to intensify their military campaign against ISIS rather than call for peace talks with the barbaric group.

Yet Israel is constantly criticised for not making peace with its Islamic neighbours who really only want the destruction of the Jewish state.

At long last, President Barak Obama has given up on a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian crisis. Yet according to a recent poll, 71 per cent of British Jewry believe that a two-state solution is the only way to achieve peace.

A two-state solution to the Palestinian situation was never more than a pipedream invented by nave Western leaders who adamantly refused to see the reality on the ground that the Palestinians were already divided into two autonomous regions - the West Bank and Gaza.

If the Palestinians are divided among themselves between Hamas and Fatah, both of whom have their own self-governing regions, how on earth could anyone talk of two states unless - and this is what many Palestinians would prefer - Israel was eliminated from the picture?

Some years ago, I made my own suggestion of a United States of the Middle East, but with the current inter-Muslim violence between Sunnis and Shiites this idyllic picture is further away than ever.

The modern world is becoming more and more fragmented, even in this country where Scotland is still threatening to break away from the UK while still wishing to hold a parliamentary stranglehold over English affairs.

And while British voters agonise over the coming decision of whether or not to stay in the European Union, the EU is doing a good job of tearing itself apart as individual states take unilateral action to protect their borders against the unstoppable migrants crisis, thus making null and void the Schengen borderless zone.

Once upon a time, Mount Sinai was the place where ethical monotheism was given to the world in order to set up just and compassionate societies.

Is it not ironic that that same area, which sprouted such law-abiding and ethical ideals, is now an ungovernable region just miles away from Israel in which militant Islamists reign supreme as even the hard-line Egyptian government remains impotent against them?

The mistake so many people seem to make, from many Israelis themselves to their critics in the West, is that the Israeli situation can be viewed in isolation from the bigger picture of the world's current major destabilisation.

The terrorism Israel has experienced for decades is now coming to haunt the West big-time.

The whole world is now threatened by Islamic extremism as Israel has been for decades.

The migrant crisis is causing havoc. On the one hand, the Torah teaches us to love the stranger because we were strangers in a strange land.

But on the other hand, the migrant flow is becoming totally unmanageable, wrecking European unity and inciting racial hatred from far-right parties.

It is also a major security problem as one of the Paris bombers was discovered to have infiltrated into Europe with the unstoppable migrant stream. Is military action against ISIS the solution?

In the short term, increased military intervention will increase the death and injured toll and increase the refugee flow.

In the long term, can a militant extremist group ever be totally exterminated? Has Hamas ever been totally eradicated by Israeli raids into Gaza?

Unlike national governments, which, in the past, have abided by the rules of war, extremist groups thrive on martyrdom. Yet diplomacy is impossible with extremists who respect diplomacy much less than the rules of war.

The reality is that despite all the West's international diplomatic meetings and military threats, they are really hopelessly impotent in the present situation.

That is if we take God totally out of the picture.

It is extremely hard to understand how a compassionate and just God would allow innocent civilians going about their daily business to be butchered and mutilated by barbaric fanatics.

We are unlikely to receive any answers to that question. But what we can do is do what we know God likes best - mitzvot.

Sunday is Mitzvah Day. But in the current world crisis we cannot afford to restrict our mitzvot to one day of the year. We are in a crisis situation.

Every day should be a mitzvah day when we perform good deeds as the good citizens of Paris did when they opened their hearts to the families of the dead and queued up to give blood to the injured.

Doing mitzvot daily will improve morale and give us something positive upon which to focus among such dire news.


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