On Nov.13, when Islamist terrorists murdered more than a hundred
innocents in synchronized attacks across Paris, here is what did not happen:
Activists did not urge the American public to empathize with the
plight of the terrorists and to consider the conditions that drove them to
publicize their cause with such extreme measures.
U.S. leaders did not take to the airwaves, urging the French
government to exercise restraint.
Pundits did not call for France to be divided into two states,
Christian and Islamist, living side-by-side, with Paris as their shared
College students across the U.S. did not demand that their
universities boycott, divest from and sanction French products, companies and
Protestors did not assemble in the streets of Chicago brandishing
the ISIS flag and demanding justice for the Caliphate.
Editorials did not question whether the French forces used
excessive force in containing the terrorists, and Facebook and Twitter feeds
did not erupt with messages of sympathy for the terrorists.
The UN did not condemn France.
Instead, the people of France received messages of solidarity from
across the free world -- as they should. World leaders pledged their support to
the French government, and international landmarks were illuminated in the
colors of the French flag. News editorials across the globe expressed the
shared horror of freedom-loving people everywhere. Citizens took to the streets
to hold candlelight memorial vigils, and turned to social media to express
their grief. Facebook’s news feed overflowed with new profile photos featuring
the Eiffel Tower or French flag.
My heart aches for the families of the Parisian victims -- and for
the victims of terror everywhere, whatever their faith. But right now, 14 Israeli
families are still observing shloshim
for loved ones recently cut down by terrorists, and more than 160 of Israelis are
still recovering from damage done by terrorist knives, cars and bullets. Any
international condolences they received have been conditional, diminished by
simultaneous concern expressed for the cause of the terrorists who attacked
So what is the difference between France and Israel? What is the distinction between ISIS and Hamas? Why does the average American empathize with the people of France but not the people of Israel? Or, for that matter, the people of Beirut, where terrorist bombings claimed 43 lives the day before the Paris attacks? Or the people of Kenya, where a catastrophic terrorist university bombing last spring claimed 147 lives?
While there was no global outpouring of support for Beirut or
Kenya, at least there wasn’t a flood of apologist support for the perpetrators
-- which is precisely what Israel continually faces on the world stage.
Like the French, Israelis also deserve an outpouring of support
from the Western world, unmitigated by tacit support for the perpetrators.
And all peoples deserve peace.