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Map of Israel and "neighbors"

With the recent murders of those who worked for the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo as well as of the four Jews who were killed at a Parisian kosher market simply for being Jews, the Western world might finally be waking up to the reality of the horror of radical Islam.

Not only is radical Islam a closed system that requires submission (which is literally what “Islam” means) rather than the enlightenment values of free inquiry and critical thinking, it is very much threatened by our values and is obviously prepared to wage war on innocents throughout the world whose sin is that they are not Muslims.


And there is no way of escaping that there is a strong element of anti-Semitism underpinning its foundations.

I have met many brave dissidents from Muslim and Arab countries. Some have made remarks to me such as “In Saudi Arabia, you were considered lower than a dog; I could not talk to you there” and “When I first met a Jew, shortly after I arrived in the United States from Syria, I was petrified; I’d never met a Jew before and I was convinced you were all monsters.”

If one looks at the history of the past two centuries, it becomes difficult to escape the realization that every time an enemy sworn to the destruction of Western civilization has come on the scene, that enemy has harbored a particular animus toward the Jewish people. Why this is so is something I have never quite understood and will leave it to rabbis, theologians, and philosophers to figure out.

It is this hatred of the Jewish people, culminating in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, that led to Zionism, the Jewish national liberation movement. The difficult lessons of 2,000 years of exile resulted in the return to our ancient homeland and the modern rebirth of the Jewish state.

When my father was a young boy, he left his little village of Burschav, Poland, to try out for the synagogue choir in Krakow. It was there, in the “big city” of Krakow, that he first saw signs reading “Jews out of Poland. Go back to Palestine.”

And now, throughout the capitals of Europe and on university campuses everywhere, there are signs declaring “Jews out of Palestine.”

The logical deduction is inescapable: There are some who do not want us to live anywhere. Many would prefer that we simply disappear. Perhaps the enormity of the Holocaust gave our people a 50-year respite from anti-Semitism, but now all the anti-Semitic cockroaches seem to be crawling out of the woodwork at once.

One way this has been manifested is in the egregious double standard that Israel, the state of the Jews, is subjected to in the international community.

When civilians are murdered in the name of Islam in France, Australia, England, or America, the world calls it “terrorism” and is sympathetic to their losses. However, when civilians are murdered in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem – on buses, waiting for trains, dancing at discotheques, eating pizza in restaurants, or bent in prayer in a synagogue – the international community, including the United States, says Israel must get back to the “peace process.”

According to the 1991 Anti-Terrorism Act, any time an American is killed anywhere, the U.S. has the right to retrieve the suspect, indict him, and prosecute him on American soil. In 2004, Congress passed the Koby Mandell Act, which set up an office in the Department of Justice to act as an advocacy group for justice for Americans injured or murdered abroad. It opened in April 2005 and since then it has not prosecuted a single Palestinian implicated in the murder or injury of an American citizen. (It did manage to prosecute the murderer of a Christian missionary in Indonesia.)


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Sarah N. Stern is founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, EMET, a think tank and policy institute in Washington, D.C. This article originally appeared in the Washington Jewish Week.