A generation ago, the term evil had meaning. There were no bleeding hearts — certainly no Jews — who minimized the malevolency of the Nazis. Evil was evil.
Today, as moral relativism dominates, the world has effectively abandoned the concept of evil, replacing it with a “sophisticated” political correctness in which aggressors and victims are frequently considered moral equivalents. For example, critics of Islamic terror are accused of Islamophobia.
There is “shock “at the mass murders and beheadings by Islamic fundamentalists but we are told that it is misleading to describe such behavior as “evil” because this diverts attention from the real source — colonial exploitation. We also repeatedly hear the mantra that social and economic suffering cause desperation and provide the incentive for jihadi recruitment. Yet the majority of ISIS terrorists operating in Western cities are university graduates from middle class families.
Moreover the Western governments, whose countries now face terror attacks from “sleepers” and home-bred ISIS supporters, bury their heads in the sand and refuse to face the reality of the evil enemy of Islamic fundamentalism incubated in Muslim communities whose rank and file is unwilling or fearful to expose the jihadists in their midst.
At the core of this is the refusal to identify and confront the Islamic fundamentalist threat as a global evil seeking to destroy the Judeo-Christian moral heritage and substitute democracy with Sharia law or the caliphate.
This evasion of using concepts such as good and evil is evidenced by the treatment of Israel which, in this context, is truly the canary in the coal mine and spotlights the global descent into amorality. Thus for example:
- Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East region — a society based on law and equality and unqualified freedom of expression. Despite hostile Arab neighbors seeking its destruction, it provides full political equality to all its citizens Arab and Jew alike. Visit a hospital, shopping mall or park to appreciate how outrageous it is to employ terms like apartheid in Israel.
Contrast this with the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, where basic human rights are denied and where a criminal society promotes terrorism. Its mullahs glorify “shaheeds” and mothers proudly boast about their martyred children on TV and express the hope that more of their offspring will follow.
The PA and Hamas provide substantial pensions to families of those killed while murdering Jews or jailed in Israeli prisons. Schools, city squares and football clubs are named in their honor. Moreover, every time a Jew is murdered, spontaneous celebrations erupt in Palestinian streets. Truly a culture of death.
Yet the global community continuously applies moral equivalence to Israel democracy and the criminal Palestinian society. Evil is ignored.
- Two Israeli prime ministers, Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, were rebuffed by Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas when they offered the Palestinians 97% of the territories previously occupied by the Jordanians. The “right-wing” Benjamin Netanyahu made far more extensive concessions than Yitzchak Rabin was ever willing to contemplate, including support for a two-state policy subject to security guarantees and Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. The Palestinian objective remains to terminate Jewish sovereignty in stages by demanding concessions without any reciprocity.
Yet the global community — headed by the Obama administration — at best blamed both sides equally for the breakdown in negotiations but usually held Israel responsible. Again, a denial of evil and the application of moral equivalence.
- The Middle East region is reminiscent of the Dark Ages with half a million innocent civilians butchered and over 4 million displaced from their homes.
Instead of addressing these atrocities, the Obama administration leads the pack in demonizing Israelis for home construction in Jewish neighborhoods. This obsession over “settlements,” which other than Jerusalem comprise 3% of the territories formally administered by the Jordanians, is utterly bizarre. Nobody would argue that an Israeli Arab is prohibited from building on property he purchased. However, Jews who bought land legitimately over the so-called Green Line are criminalized. How grotesque it is that an Israeli extending a terrace in his Jerusalem home could lead to sanctions while a few kilometers away, murder and mayhem continue unabated.
- Western leaders and their media display cowardice when they grovel to the Islamists in their reporting of terrorist atrocities with their implications that terrorist acts like the stabbing to death of a 13-year-old girl in her bed in Israel are “resistance to occupation”.
It is despicable when U.S. and European representatives remain silent at the U.N. as the PA president receives standing ovations after delivering his blood libels against Israel and denies any connection between Jews and Jerusalem. When they support or abstain from U.N. resolutions demonizing or delegitimizing the Jewish state, they become active accomplices to evil.
Moral equivalence — which is the order of the day in relation to Israel — was a precursor to a global collapse of confidence among rank-and-file masses in democratic countries.
In all likelihood, history will define as the turning point in the Islamification of Europe, the European Union’s, led by Germany, absorption of millions of “refugees” from the Middle East – who ironically had been rejected as security risks by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. Most of these migrants have been educated against democracy and are fanatically anti-Semitic. Their humiliation of women and major criminal elements are downplayed by governments and media. Their presence will fortify the existing Islamic concentrations in major European cities and permanently alter demographics.
The refusal and failure to confront the evil enemy of Islamic fundamentalism has undermined global political stability and generated chaos and grass-roots revolt against the establishment. In the U.S., the level of pre-electoral discourse has descended to an all-time low. The same applies to European countries, with Brexit signaling the possible disintegration of the European Union. There is a surge of nationalistic and right-wing political parties as people watch in horror as their societies are engulfed by Islamists and face terrorism on their doorsteps — the latest being the horrific massacre in Nice with over 80 killed.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. Ultimately, the grass-roots upheavals will hopefully create a global wakeup call and result in more responsible and courageous leadership that will unequivocally combat evil.
In that context, Israel has never been as strong as it is today. It is able to assert itself and will hopefully be recognized as a constructive and valued partner in the global war against Islamic fundamentalism and cease to be the scapegoat for the failure of resolve by the current global leadership.
This column was originally published in the Jerusalem Post and Israel Hayom