Red lines do matter

 Brad Schneider appeared to be on a truly independent track when during the summer, he released a statement that broke with Rep Jan Schakowsky and the rest of the Democratic herd, by opposing the president’s badly flawed Iran deal.  

As I looked at the face of 18 year old Ezra Schwartz from Sharon, MA, who was brutally murdered yesterday by Palestinian terrorists, I saw the image of the quintessential Northshore Jewish teenager. The depth of the hatred embodied in this depraved act of murder became more real than ever. At some point we must stop attempting to walk around the reality that this wanton hatred is not going to magically evaporate. In fact what we have seen since 9/11 is that the more we seek to either appease or rationalize our way around the designs of radical Islamists, whether it be Iran, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas or Hezbollah, the faster and  more intensely the cancer spreads.

As Jews and as Americans our fundamental priority at this time must be to embrace this daunting truth. This does not mean cowering in fear. Rather, it means unifying behind a vigorous and aggressive global strategy that first and foremost recognizes the danger of failing to not understand the lethal intent of radical Islam. It means confronting this lethal intent by means of a deliberately planned and executed global initiative.

In view of this dire necessity, I was disturbed to see that in relation to the question of Syrian refugees that Brad Schneider, despite what appeared to have been the wisdom expressed in his opposition to the Iran deal, has actually, in unison with Jan Schakowsky and the president, retreated to a failed position of benign neutrality. Despite the warnings of senior administration officials as to the adequacy of available methods of screening, Brad’s statement depicts a rather cavalier position on the question of insuring the security of Americans. While the majority of the refugees fleeing Syria are innocent victims, we also know that embedded within their midst are ISIS terrorists. We also know that despite Mr. Schneider’s objection to recognizing the fact, the justification of atrocities committed by ISIS (along with atrocities committed by Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood) have been based in Islamist doctrine. Hence, as a part of the screening process, recognition of this fact would on a case by case basis obviously need to be applied.  Mr. Schneider’s humanistic sensitivity to the victims of Syrian violence is appropriate. But with the objective of providing refuge for as great a number of victims as soon as is possible, Mr. Schneider may want to consider joining with Congressman Dold and other members who are calling for a global initiative that will set up a protected safe zone inside Syrian territory. Such a provision could be multi-laterally imposed within a relatively short period of time and would spare these refugees from the growing dangers of non-structured migration. Most importantly by allowing Syrians to remain in their homeland, the risks of unknowingly importing ISIS terrorists to United States and Europe would be substantially reduced.