It was, as Yogi Berra would say, “deja vu all over again.”
I was tossing and turning late at night in my bed, struggling – as most of us have lately – to fall asleep, when all of a sudden it hit me, in a flash: I have seen this all before! Subhuman creatures emerging from beneath the ground to snatch the innocent, dragging them back to their lair to devour them; the world at large shrugging their collective shoulders and remaining unconcerned and unmoved at the grotesque inhumanity of it all. It was H. G. Wells prophetic 1895 science-fiction novel, The Time Machine, come to terrifyingly real life.
In Wells’s famous story, a British scientist invents a time machine in which he travels to the far-distant future. There he first encounters the Eloi, a gentle, pleasant race which inhabits the pastoral English countryside, laughing, playing and enjoying life, seemingly without a care in the world. Then, suddenly, from beneath the ground, emerge the Morlocks, hulking, humanoid troglodytes who grab several Eloi and carry them off into their subterranean quarters to be eaten.
The time traveler is shocked and stunned by this horrible act of violence, but he is most astonished by the passivity of the Eloi who, while clearly frightened, do nothing whatsoever to either resist their attackers or come to the aid of their fellow victims. The scientist then resolves to inculcate into the Eloi the will to confront their evil tormentors and act boldly in their own defense.
Who would have imagined that today, in 2014 – long before Wells’s tale was meant to take place – we would experience the curse of modern-day Morlocks, savages who dwell underground and periodically surface to disturb the peace and serenity which so many have worked so hard to build? But the metaphor is more precise than even Wells could have foretold.
For the darkness of Hamas and their ilk is not merely a physical one, it encompasses an entire worldview. Its darkness is intellectual, social and moral as well, a philosophy and approach to life – or better, death – that casts a deadly pall over civilized society and serves as the very antithesis of human enlightenment.
In the twisted view of Hamas – and its compatriots Hezbollah, al-Qaida, IS, the Muslim Brotherhood and all the other Islamist fanatics relentlessly seeking to take over the world – all noble expressions of the human spirit, save the worship of Allah, are blasphemous and forbidden.
To them, the pursuit of happiness, mutual coexistence, personal choice, freedoms of expression, assembly and worship, recreational activities and “Love thy neighbor” are treacherous “Western weaknesses” that have no place whatsoever in their code of behavior.
Instead, they believe it is the domination of others, extreme violence, zero tolerance of dissent or diversity, division of humanity into the Faithful and the Infidel, and above all, bloody, merciless, unending jihad that will either bring the world around to their way of thinking or destroy it entirely.
Compromise is as foreign to them as Christmas carols.
When Israel turned the Gaza Strip over to the Palestinians, under the delusion that they would turn it into some kind of “Singapore of the Middle East,” wild mobs from the Strip set fire to the many greenhouses that the Jews had built over the years, and had generously left for them. In trying to understand why the Arabs would destroy a billion-dollar industry handed to them on a silver platter, most people assume it was because of their fanatical hatred for anything a Jew had touched.
I dispute that. While it is true they are infected with blind, incurable anti-Semitism, they didn’t eradicate the greenhouses out of hate – that they reserved for the synagogues we insanely left in their hands, which they immediately desecrated and demolished.
No, they destroyed the drip irrigation hothouses, a source of potential prosperity, because they wanted to send a stark message to their people: “Our struggle, our goal in life is not to succeed economically and thereby build a better life for our families. Our mission is to devote ourselves to jihad, to vanquishing anyone who does not think like us, to embrace lives of ‘Divine deprivation.’ It is death and domination of our enemies – not dollars – that must fuel the glorious Muslim machine.”
Hamas may have started its terror war against the Israelis – the adversary in closest proximity to them – but it does not end with the Jews. It is a fast-growing cancer with which it wishes to infect the entire planet. Europe is starting to catch the fever; China is deathly afraid of it; marches from Mexico to the Maldives, Cameroon to Costa Rica affirm it.
There is hardly a country on earth today which is not experiencing the horror of Muslim extremism.
It is a runaway train that will never stop of its own volition, but will keep on plowing forward, crushing everything in its path, until and unless it is finally derailed.
The world, alas, is by and large either too ignorant or too evil to sense the danger. Blinded by a false liberalism, egged on by millions of Muslims now embedded in their own communities, they have opted to become either co-conspirators or unwitting accomplices to the crime. But they are merely delaying their own victimhood; they, too, are on “Muhammad’s hit list,” they just are too clueless to see it. And by the time they do come around, it will be too late for them.
But all hope is not lost. There is still one savior, one beacon of light that can pierce the darkness – and that is the Jew, in his natural habitat of Israel.
We are the “time traveler” that Wells wrote about. We have traveled through time – literally – taking on any and all challenges, defying the odds and leading the forces of moral rightness. We have a Torah, the wellspring of Divine wisdom, and we know what constitutes justice and decency and Godly behavior.
And we understand that, in the final analysis, we have no choice but to confront the wild beast rather than feed its insatiable appetite.
We are leading the forces of light.
Despite paying an awful price, despite being surrounded by naysayers – even among some of our own misguided people; despite the danger into which we courageously place ourselves and our families, we are mankind’s best chance to drive the Morlocks back underground – preferably to an early grave – before they plunge all of us into total darkness.
The writer is director of the Jewish Outreach Center of Ra’anana; firstname.lastname@example.org, www.rabbistewartweiss.com.