shmuley boteach 88.
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The stomach-turning spectacle of Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi, the terrorist who planted the bomb on Pam Am 103 in December 1988, killing 270, being welcomed in Libya as a hero makes you lose hope that there is any justice in the world.
What was the Scottish government thinking? That because this cold-blooded killer was terminally ill he should die in freedom rather than rot in jail where he belongs? And the Scots have the gall to call this compassion.
Where is the compassion for the families whose lives were destroyed when this monster blew their loved ones into oblivion? Did the Scottish government and its justice minister, Kenny MacAskill, think of the additional horrors they were going to visit on the families when they saw their loved ones' barbaric murderer carried aloft as a returning conqueror?
I lived in Europe for 11 years and learned that Europe has lost the capacity to hate evil. Amorality that masquerades as modern liberal sensibility has left the continent morally bankrupt when it comes to truly punishing evil. Who will ever forget that Germany chose to release the Black September terrorists who killed 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics on 1972, or that Italy granted Youssef Majed al-Molki, convicted of killing Leon Klinghoffer aboard the Achille Lauro and sentenced to 30 years, a 12-day furlough which he used to flee to Spain, where he was recaptured and extradited back to Italy and then released this year "on good behavior." The most notorious incident, of course, was Norway's awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat.
Decent people everywhere should punish the Scottish government, should MacAskill choose not to resign, by calling for an economic boycott of whisky and other Scottish goods. The same would apply to the British government and what Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi referred to as his "good friend [Gordon] Brown" should they be implicated in this outrage. Governments that do deals with the devil should pay a price.
But the person we must punish most is Gaddafi. I published an article last week revealing that this September Gaddafi was going to be my next-door neighbor in New Jersey, where he plans to pitch his Beduin tent as he arrives for the new UN session.
Gaddafi is being courted by President Barack Obama, who met with him at the G8 Summit in Italy this summer, and speculation now is that he will be greeted even more warmly in New York.
But as I mentioned in my column, Gaddafi should be judged by his actions, and the open mind that I declared I harbored for him, in light of his overtures to the West and his restitution payments to the Pan Am 103 families, has now slammed shut.
Gaddafi has shown that he is proud of the terrorist outrage he engineered, and has no remorse whatsoever. Ronald Reagan was right: any man who can hail a killer as a hero is indeed "the mad dog of the Middle East."
OBAMA HAS thus far been weak on tyrants. He has curtsied to the Saudi ruler King Abdullah and embraced Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. In a stunning reversal of the Bush administration's pressure on Egypt to democratize, last week Obama accorded a warm welcome to Hosni Mubarak. Indeed, the only world leader that Obama has pressured is the democratically-elected premier of Israel, Binyamin Netanyahu, whom Obama ambushed in their private meeting at the White House in May with a demand for a total freeze on settlements, which would absurdly include a ban even on adding a room to a home in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.
Now is the time for our president to show that he takes his duties as the leader of the free world seriously. He must condemn Gaddafi and his son for lionizing a mass-murderer, and he must refuse to meet or greet Gaddafi on his upcoming visit.
Second, the president should recall the US ambassador to the UK pending a full investigation into the role of the British government in the release of a terrorist mastermind.
We the residents of Englewood, New Jersey, which include 600 Orthodox Jewish families and where Gaddafi plans to hole up, must come out forcefully against his visit. We are peace-loving people and don't want a terrorist funder in our midst. Already, my friend Sen. Frank Lautenberg told me on the phone, for public attribution, that Gaddafi's visit to New Jersey is "an assault on integrity and decency. We cannot celebrate the life of a man who engineers the murder of 270 people, and we do not want to see this man in our state."
FOR MORE than 25 years the Libyan mission to the UN has refused to pay even one dollar of tax to our city, citing diplomatic exemption, even though it has already used their diplomatic allowance for their ambassador's residence in New York.
Our city, which has been soft on the Libyan mission until now, must sue to obtain 25 years' worth of taxes. I have no desire to work so that my money can be used to collect Libyan trash. If they have millions to spend on sprucing up their property for a week's visit by their dictator, then surely they have millions to pay for the basic services they have been enjoying for the past quarter century.
Libyan construction workers pulled out my fence and cut down my trees without so much as informing me, let alone asking me. I speculated that they cut down my trees so that they could spy on my house for security purposes.
Well, they should know they have nothing physically to fear from me. I live by a religion that has forever established the infinite value of every human life. But if they don't restore my trees and fence to what they were, immediately, I will sue them. At least then Libyan money will go toward peaceful projects like planting trees rather than blowing up planes.
Yes, we are mad as well and we won't take it any more.
The writer is the founder of This World: The Values Network. In September he will release his new book, The Blessing of Enough. www.shmuley.com
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