למלשינימ לא תהי תקו (from the morning prayer)
Since centuries, Jews are the scapegoats for the incomprehensible, for the menace occurring in our world. In the past, during the big natural disasters, Jews were accused of causing plagues passing over Europe in the medieval and leaving complete areas deserted.
At the terror attack in Istanbul some weeks ago, five Israelis were killed, another 36 were wounded. Surveying cameras and witness proved that the terrorist followed the Israeli group when they left the hotel in order to attack them at a spectacular place.
On the following morning after the terror attack, Irem Aktas, an employee of the ruling party AKP twittered on her private twitter account the message: “I would wish that the Israelis have not been wounded but killed.”
That the tweet was removed quickly and that she lost her job the same day, does not make this enormous affront undone!
It is impossible to get used to it, but since times we have put on a kind of a Teflon skin, rolling of the ongoing slanderous remarks and allegations.
In our morning prayer, it says:
“My G‑d, guard my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking deceitfully. Let my soul be silent to those who curse me; let my soul be as dust to all.”
The past 14 months have driven Europe into schizophrenia. At first, we all were Charlie, then Paris, Ankara, followed by Istanbul and now Brussels. One could believe that the western world was flooded with a collective we-feeling, which is defying everything evil. Social media and agitated tweets seemed to be almost unanimously. Instead of the known pictures and avatars, these are the profiles:
At once, as counterpoint to grieving black, all cities became colored Rome, Jerusalem, and Dortmund, just to name a few.
Is it possible to handle mourning, horror or fear in a better way? Are people mourning differently today? Is the place not among family or friends to verbalize feelings and to re-place them slowly anew? Since the death of Lady Diana we know, that the anonymous mass has a certain power. Due to it the flag on the Buckingham Palace was set to half-mast, and HM Elizabeth II was out in the streets for several seconds to present the last honors to her daughter in law. Which she would not have done without the sea of flowers as the expression of collective mourning.
In Brussels, pro-Palestinian activists abused two highly emotional moments for their political statement during a public commemoration: They removed and destroyed the Israeli flag and replaced it with a Palestinian flag. The activists were sure that an audience of a million would watch it and nobody would hinder them. On the contrary, many cameras recorded this outrageous act and distributed it in social media. Every one could see and understand what he wanted to see and wanted to understand. Possibly both, pro-Israeli and anti-Israeli.
Then the big surprise. The day after, though not as wide spread, a pro-Israeli interview was broadcasted. Unfortunately, the film cannot be copied, but here is the Link, and the text:
„Paris, Istanbul, Brussels, where will the Islamic terrorists attack next? The answer, it can happen everywhere and anytime. In Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and it may hit anyone of us. The message of the murderers was clear: „If we manage in Brussels, we manage everywhere.”
Exactly in the European capital Brussels, the place with the highest alarm level, the highest security level, with most security agents. Since this Tuesday it is clear, we live in Israel-like situations, inclusive constant fear and threats.
The main task of a state is to ensure the security of its citizens. Therefore, we must orient ourselves towards Israel instead of naïve views of a friendly togetherness of cultures. Which means, doubts before freedom? One is the prerequisite for the other.
In practice this means, that Europa finally requires a consistent anti- terror strategy like the one the Israelis have. More funds for police and border protection, more rights for police officers and secret services.
More and better controls of persons are required at central places as public buildings, rail and bus stations and airports. Possibly the same concept as in Israel in front of buildings and access roads. We must adapt to it and take into consideration to give up some habits. Some times, we will endure longer waiting times and will be irritated.
This are the costs for freedom in the times of war.“
©esther scheiner, israel