Saturday, April 25, 2009

Palestinians... the Next Generation

In the past year the Western world has gotten a glimpse into the content of children’s television programs being aired on Palestinian television and we have been shocked and appalled at what we have seen. Each day Palestinian children are stuffed full of hate by a counterfeit Mickey Mouse who calls on children to hate Jews and to kill them wherever they are found.

Palestinian children’s storybooks as well as text books are filled with the same anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, anti-Western venomous propaganda. Before it is too late we must consider the implications of this brainwashing and ask ourselves a very tough question, “What sort of adults will these children become who have been fed a steady diet of hate?”

Civilized people of the world are shocked by the radical, fanatical behavior of many in the Palestinian territories. If we are shocked now, what can we expect from the next generation who will have absolutely no knowledge of the concepts of freedom and democracy? The civilized world will soon be faced with an entire generation with whom it will be impossible to establish peace and order.

Israel will have no peace partner but instead will have as it closest neighbor a society of angry, radical savages. At their core will be the belief that it is normal, acceptable and even honorable to strap explosives around children sending them into crowded areas where non-Muslims gather for the purpose of killing as many non-Muslims as possible all to please Allah. All who love freedom and democracy must ban together now with one voice and demand that an end be put to the brainwashing of Palestinian children or risk sharing this world with an entire generation who place no value on their own lives and even less on the lives of those who are non-Muslim.

If we fail to act now against this menace, we will live to regret our silence just as we in the Christian community regret our deafening silence when the Holocaust was taking place right before the eyes of the world. Conversely, an entire generation of young Israelis is growing up to believe it is normal to run for shelter when they hear a siren and are becoming accustomed to bombs raining down on their homes, schools and playgrounds. Talk about post traumatic stress disorder!

We hear nothing of the psychological damage the Palestinians are inflicting on the Israelis. We hear of the deaths but rarely do we hear about those who have been permanently crippled and maimed and never do we hear about the psychological impact of having to live under the constant threat of terror. Soon there will be no hope of reaching a solution to the Israeli / Palestinian problem by using diplomatic means.

With this said, what will be our future options? The problem is not going away. The Palestinian people are not going to have a sudden collective epiphany whereby they will be miraculously infused with understanding that in order to have peace they must be willing to give peace. The Israeli people are not strapping bombs around their innocent youth and sending them into crowded cities in search of Muslims to destroy yet there are almost daily attempts by Palestinians to blow up Jews. So, back to the question of future options.

In the southern eastern part of the United States there is an ugly blood sport which has been reported by the media. It is called dog fighting and it is illegal. This is a backwoods bloody sport conducted by the vilest of humans. When these people are caught, they are fined and sent to jail. However, because their fighting dogs have been fed nothing but a steady diet of savage torment, they are considered to have no possible redeeming value and are destroyed. Retraining is not an option. So, if peace is to be achieved by diplomatic means, we must not allow the radical, fanatical Palestinians to continue eroding and warping the psyche of Palestinian youth.

The world must demand change NOW.
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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Formula for Disaster

I am an American Christian. I love my country and I also love Israel. I embrace the principles upon which America’s founding fathers established our democratic system of government and I fully embrace Judeo-Christians values.

This past November the American people elected a new president. Everyone was looking for ‘change, change and more change.’ I was one of them but the change I was looking for was a thread of hope that someone seeking the Office of President of the United States would openly declare support for Israel recognizing that this tiny democracy is America’s only friend and ally in the Middle East and right now we need all the friends we can get. Sadly, I cannot say that I found what I was looking for – hoping for.

Senator McCain said, “America needs a new direction.” Senator Obama, who is now President Obama, said America needs “fundamental change.” Does America need change? Absolutely but change solely for the sake of change is not necessarily good or right. What seems to be lacking in America is a clear understanding of where the new administration wants this “change” to take this nation. Do the American people want their country and their traditional Judeo-Christians to be “changed” or redefined?

New plans and new ideas require a careful weighing of the pros and the cons. This is essential in any successful business plan and it should also be the core process upon which the American government implements and manages itself on the micro and macro levels. A shotgun approach to problem solving is not an acceptable technique yet it seems to be the only plan in place for addressing the current financial crisis in America and the current political situation in the Middle East. Americans must remember that what happens in America is not confined to American shores. The ripple effects or, as is the case with the current economic crisis, the full force of the mighty tsunami, impacts the entire world. The same is true with the situation in the Middle East. What happens in that part of the world eventually impacts us all. “Change” eventually affects everything from the price of oil to the price of freedom.

As a super power, America has a responsibility to the world to act carefully and responsibly. America’s leaders must have a clearly defined and solid platform from which to launch any change in America and any plan for peace for Israel and the Middle East. Change simply for the sake of change is risky business if America wants to hold fast to the Bible based values articulated by America’s founding fathers in their charter documents; part of which guarantee Americans the benefit of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

In the beginning, America possessed a common, solid foundation upon which its societal norms and practices were based and they date back thousands of years to teachings found in ancient Hebrew texts. At one time America proclaimed to be “one nation under God” as stated in the Pledge of Allegiance and “in God we trusted” as stated on America’s dollar bills. From where did this idea of a country and a people centered on the worship of God come from? It came from the ancient Hebrew Scriptures but America is changing; moving away from those fundamental values which were the glue of our society and no one is saying a word. It is the same in Israel. While there is much “religion” in America just as in Israel, where are the hearts of the people? Have we grown cold? Have we turned away from God in favor of man’s ideas and manmade institutions and doctrines?

At one time the American people placed a premium upon individual as well as corporate honesty, integrity, truthfulness and hard work. America’s educational system taught students to study hard and learn well in order to secure independent and successful futures not only for their personal benefit but in order to be contributing members to society as a whole. Somewhere along the way America began to go astray. America’s vision as a nation has become blurred. It seems there is no longer a common thread uniting American society. That great “melting pot” quit blending and instead began to separate and solidify into polarizing elements. This, too, is happening in Israel with Muslims, many of whom hold Israeli citizenship, unwilling to blend with Israeli society but wanting rather to replace God’s people with Allah’s henchmen.

Did this happen overnight? No. Like a lobster being boiled alive which has no idea it is about to die, America’s decline has been gradual and is now partially manifesting itself in the current economic crisis. Greed and a “me first” attitude have slowly chipped away at America’s foundational values of fairness, honesty and personal integrity. No longer is a person’s word their bond. No longer is a handshake as binding as a signature on a contract and no longer is a good reputation valued above the possession of glitter the world has to offer. The true measure of a person’s (or a nation’s) character is not what is done when people are watching but rather what is done when no one is looking. What does this say for so many of America’s (and Israel’s) elected officials and those corporate CEOs “managing” Wall Street’s financial markets?

America now has a new president and Israel now seems to have a new prime minister. Change is taking place around the world and not just in terms of new leadership. Islam is rising at a phenomenal rate threatening to unravel the very fabric of every nation and country which has traditionally held fast to faith in God – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Israel has been living for decades with radical Muslims threatening her destruction and the rise of Islam chipping away at Jewish culture and adding to the rising tide of anti-Semitism.

If America continues to stray from the basic, fundamental, Judeo-Christian values upon which she was established, the rise of Islam will soon be apparent in every neighborhood in America and when this happens the fundamental freedoms that Americans enjoy will be changed forever and American support for Israel will dwindle to zero. Israel is on the front lines in the world’s war of terror and America owes this tiny nation nothing less than our full support not only because God says we should but because it is the right thing for all who love freedom and democracy. Strength is the only card recognized when dealing with Arabs at the peace table.

If America allows Muslims to gain strong footholds in America as they have done in Europe and elsewhere, we will soon be experiencing what Israel has been fighting for decades. America, too, will soon be on the front lines in the war on terror. U.K. leadership has actually held serious discussion about incorporating Sharia law along side British law. This same consideration may be just around the corner for America if she fails to support Israel and put an end to radical Islam before it is too late. Do we want shopping on the internet for the latest fashion statement to mean looking for the latest shade of black for a new Burka? Speak out now or forever hold your peace.
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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Surviving A Kassam Bomb Blast

It’s unlikely that an American can relate, even in his or her imagination, to what life is like in Israel for those who live under a constant threat from enemies who also happen to be their neighbors. The stress of never knowing if, or when, you or a member of your family might be blown to bits by a suicide bomber or a Kassam rocket blast would drive most of us in the Western world insane. This intense stress is engraved on the faces of young and old alike who live in an environment where surviving until the next sunrise is viewed as a miracle.

The people of Israel — especially those living in southern Israel — know all too well the dreaded sound of the red alert siren. That warning, which has occurred over 8,000 times since the Gaza disengagement in 2005, sends people running in a panic and calling out, “It’s another Kassam! It’s another Kassam!” From toddlerhood onward, the people of southern Israel know that when they hear the red alert warning blaring over their public address systems, they have only about 20 seconds, at best, to reach a safe shelter.

When the bomb finally hits the ground and explodes, its deadly contents and the shrapnel from the bomb itself, spew in every direction tearing through steel vehicles and concrete walls and ripping through flesh and bone like a warm knife through butter. The case-hardened steel nails often packed inside of these bombs are more likely than not coated in rat poison. Therefore, if the impact from the shrapnel doesn’t kill, the rat poison will enter the bloodstream of its victims and finish off the job, horribly and painfully.

The physical, emotional and psychological trauma inflicted upon those who must live under the daily threat of Kassam rockets raining down at any moment, has ravaged the people of southern Israel. There’s an entire generation of Israeli children growing up believing it’s normal to hear a siren and run for shelter. These innocent children are living without the sense of safety and security so essential to normal development and this is manifesting itself in a number of ways, one of which is an epidemic of children who stutter and who are completely withdrawn — fearful of attachment.Back in May 2006 when I accepted the challenge to promote Operation Life Shield, an organization that provides portable bomb shelters to besieged towns in Israel, I never imagined I would be one of the beneficiaries of the safety these shelters provide. A total of 50 bomb shelters have been placed in southern Israel to date, and they’ve saved my life more than once. In particular, the most recent occasion stands out.

On January 12, 2009 while in Sderot leading my Israel Always humanitarian team from America, the dreaded red alert siren began blaring its warning of an incoming Kassam rocket launched by Hamas from Gaza. At the time, the team and I were setting up a camera and other equipment to film a TV news report. I called to my cameraman to leave the camera behind and let it roll as we ran for the bomb shelter. We made it just a second or two before the blast.

My technician and I then exited the shelter, not realizing that another rocket was right on the heels of the first. When it exploded, the heat and percussion literally knocked us off our feet and slammed us into the shelter walls, knocking the wind out of me. I was sure I had broken a rib or punctured a lung, but fortunately I was only badly bruised in my upper chest and one of my lungs. Had the bomb landed only a few feet closer, my cameraman and I would have been badly injured—possibly even killed.

About 20 minutes later, I was with others looking at the site where the first blast had occurred. While examining it, another alarm sounded — and once again, everyone ran with all their might. This time, there was no shelter within quick reach, and that knowledge was terrifying. Knowing I had only about 20 seconds before impact, I started a mental countdown. With no safe place in sight, I took shelter in the entrance of a building—curling into a fetal position and praying for a positive outcome. After the blast, I was told by local residents that had the rocket landed close to the building in which I and others were huddled, the bomb blast would have shredded us — and the building — like confetti.For nearly 10 years I’ve been writing, broadcasting and giving speeches about the atrocities inflicted against Israel by radical Muslim terrorists. I’ve always felt as though I was doing a fairly good job of expressing the true feelings of the victims in Israel who had experienced suicide bombings and Kassam and Katusha rocket attacks. But now that I’ve personally experienced this horror, I know that no words can adequately describe the unrelenting trauma and pain the people of Israel have been suffering as a result of the barbaric acts of radical Islamic terrorists who are determined to wipe Israel and the Jews off the face of the earth. These terrorists are continually scheming and devising ways and methods to unleash violence upon Israel — and Israel has been facing this terror with little help from the rest of the world. Believing she must appease world leaders who have established rules of conduct for her which are much more stringent than for other nations of the world, tiny Israel somehow manages to prevail against her enemies even when she’s outnumbered and outgunned — even when those enemies have the backing of much larger countries and come at her as a collective force.

Israel has contributed vastly to the world through innumerable technological advancements in agriculture, medicine, science and the arts to name only a few. Nonetheless, the world at large continues to hate Israel — and this hatred is spreading like cancer throughout the Middle East. Radical leaders of countries such as Iran openly threaten Israel. I’m even concerned that Israel may need to steel herself for the possibility that her historic friend and ally — the United States of America — may not always be there for her.

It’s essential that Israel take the bull by the horns in defense of her people and do what’s necessary to protect her citizens from terrorist aggression just as we here in the United States would do if we were under attack from one of our neighboring countries. In my humble opinion, it’s long past time for Israel to once and for all eliminate all the Hamas leaders. Doing half the job and then pulling back only allows them to regroup and replenish their weapons.

Hopefully, the next prime minister of Israel will have what it takes to stand strong against Israel's enemies ... perhaps even to give Iran a little gift of its own: an Iranian sky filled with Israeli fighter jets knocking the legs out from under Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities, no matter how hidden they are from the eyes of the world.

Israel’s war on terrorism can be won only with an unequivocal commitment to finish the job.
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