No Holds Barred: Global silence as Jews are stabbed, slashed and murdered

Asinine, vapid and downright stupid accusations of “cycles of violence,” “mutual incitement on both sides,” “Jewish and Palestinian dead.”

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif addresses the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations (photo credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP)
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif addresses the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations
(photo credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP)
I have a daughter and a son who live in Israel.
The former is an IDF veteran. The latter is an active-duty soldier in the IDF. My daughter told me that she is now blowing all her student money on cabs as it’s the only way to be safe from the stabbers, while my son has been advised by the IDF that wearing a uniform while he is off-duty is not the best idea, as soldiers are instant targets. And this is inside of Israel! Was this part of the Jewish dream of an ancient homeland? That Israel’s courageous defenders must themselves be afraid within their own borders? Soldiers in uniform can use buses for free. But the bravest of the Jewish nation are being advised to divest of their uniforms lest they be targeted on the streets of Jerusalem.
On January 30, 1939, Adolf Hitler told the German parliament he would “settle the Jewish problem” and that a world war would result in “the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!” The world did not take Hitler seriously. It was just rhetoric. Now the leaders of Iran repeatedly declare their desire to kill the Jews and destroy Israel, while the world dismisses them as idle threats. Likewise, Hamas has a genocidal charter calling for the murder of Jews wherever they are found. Mahmoud Abbas speaks openly of sacred blood and martyrdom for any Palestinian who fights the Jews over Jerusalem. Palestinian Authority clerics unabashedly pull out knives during sermons encouraging their followers to slit Jewish throats.
And the response of the world? Silence.
Or worse.
Asinine, vapid and downright stupid accusations of “cycles of violence,” “mutual incitement on both sides,” “Jewish and Palestinian dead.”
Every day Jews are stabbed, slashed, shot, and murdered on the streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Beersheba. And every day the world lies about “violence on both sides,” as if Netanyahu and Israel are calling for Jews to take knives and stab Palestinians. John Kerry will blame Israel for the murder of its own citizens because of settlements.
There can be only one conclusion. Jewish blood is cheap and getting cheaper by the day. I know of no other ethnic or religious group on Earth who face daily incitement to genocide with the world making not even a peep of an objection.
A friend of mine who is an elected official took issue with my sharp denunciations of the Iran nuclear agreement. He said it was the only way to stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb. I said that even if he believed that, surely he could have demanded of the president to postpone all negotiations with Iran by a month every time they threaten Israel with annihilation.
Iran was desperate for the deal. They would have stopped. And if they didn’t, at least Congress could disabuse itself of the notion that Iran had anything on its mind other than the extermination of the Jews.
But the administration’s refusal to even once condemn Iran’s threats to murder all of Israel’s Jews is an immoral omission destined to forever live in infamy, especially when Iran violates the agreement, which they have already begun to do.
Irwin Cotler, a former Canadian justice minister and one of the world’s great defenders of human rights, calls genocide “the most destructive threat known to humankind.” History, he observes, has taught us that “the Holocaust – and the genocides that followed in Srebrenica, Rwanda and Darfur – occurred not only because of the machinery of death, but because of state-sanctioned incitement to genocide.” When repeated threats to genocide are ignored, they pass through to the very consciousness of the body politic. They are transmitted down our cerebral cortex, circumventing any moral filter, with the potential of animating our actions. The population becomes desensitized to death.
Hitler was the most evil man that ever lived.
But once he began the final solution even he masked his mass murder of the Jews. But Iran boasts about its plan to murder Israel’s Jews in plain sight. And the threats are not restricted to Israel. They apply to all Jews. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has repeatedly called for “the annihilation of the Jewish state” and said there is a religious “justification to kill all the Jews.” Echoing the Nazis, Iranian leaders have referred to Jews as “filthy bacteria,” and Israel as “a cancer that must be removed.”
Meanwhile, the world has endorsed an agreement with a genocidal regime that allows it to continue its murderous behavior. The supporters of the nuclear agreement were paralyzed by the fear, in part manufactured by the Obama administration, that making any demands that Iran cease its involvement in terrorism, end its human rights abuses, and stop threatening Israel’s destruction would jeopardize the deal. The president painted opponents of the deal as warmongers.
The president trusts what he alone divines as Iran’s good intentions, even as the Iranians increase their aggression throughout the Middle East.
Good friends of Israel approved the nuclear agreement, but their support for Israel does not absolve them of the failure to speak out against Iran’s desire to exterminate the Jews of Israel.
Genocide is one issue that trumps friendship.
Silence is unacceptable.
Following the Holocaust, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which prohibits the crime of “direct and public incitement to commit genocide.” As Cotler notes, “incitement itself is the crime – whether or not genocide follows. The objective is to prevent genocides before they occur, by sounding the alarm on the type of state-sanctioned incendiary incitement that has in the past led us down the road to horrific tragedy and atrocity.”
As a signatory to the Genocide Convention, the United States should formally declare that Iran has committed the crime of incitement to genocide and file a complaint before the International Court of Justice. The president and Congress should call for the indictment and punishment of Iran’s leaders. And if President Obama refuses to do so – and if his silence until now is any indication, he will of course refuse – then Congress should act alone.
It’s easy to despair of any belief in the world’s basic morality at times like these, as we see an amoral world draw moral equivalency between innocent Israeli victims of stabbings and the IDF’s shooting of Palestinian terrorists acting out an uncontrollable bloodlust. It’s easy to lose hope when one sees an amoral world turn a blind eye to Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah’s repeated incitement to genocide and the Palestinian Authority openly inciting for the mass murder of Jews.
It’s therefore at times like these that I think of the words of one of the greatest of all American heroes, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who said, “It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, ‘Wait on time.” Despair leads to numbness. Numbness leads to silence. Silence leads to inaction. And inactions brands us culprits.
King likewise said, “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”
So long as we agitate, protest, raise our voices, resist, and never remain silent we can be assured that the dark forces of genocide will never triumph.
Rabbi Shmuley is the international best-selling author of 30 books, including his most recent, The Israel Warriors Handbook. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley