Miriam Peretz lost two sons battling terrorism in Israel. That’s how she sees it anyway. Others will merely argue they should never have been in Gaza or Lebanon. In other words, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. One man’s definition of murder is another man’s definition of martyrdom.
How ironic was it therefore that she came to speak in London yesterday, and found herself in Westminster as the terrorist attack unfolded. In her words: “”Oh the bitter irony of coming from Jerusalem and find myself in Westminster this afternoon.”
I’m just going to throw this next line out there knowing how it will evoke reaction, but I believe it to be absolutely true: If you think random Islamic murder in Paris is terrorism and random Islamic murder in London is terrorism but random Islamic murder in Tel Aviv is not – then you’re an Anti-Semite!
Here is where the world is making its biggest mistake in simply not realising, in the words of one Canadian journalist: “Jews are the canary in the coal mine of human life.” In other words, what starts with Israel doesn’t end with Israel, as events all over the Middle East now proves. And what starts with Jews doesn’t end with Jews, as the recent tragic events all over Europe has demonstrated.
Renowned American journalist Marie Brenner wrote an article in Vanity Fair in which she describes the riot which happened in Paris on Saturday, July 26, 2014, when a pro-Palestinian demonstration culminated with thousands of protesters chanting “Mort aux Juifs!” or “death to the Jews.” In what she described as “the summer of hate,” she asked: “How can anyone be allowed to paint a swastika on the statue of Marianne, the goddess of French liberty, in the very centre of the Place de la Republique?” Anti-Semitism begins with Jews, but it never ends with them. Stalin began with Jews but didn’t end with them. Hitler began with Jews but didn’t end with them. Make no mistake about it. It is our problem – but it is not just our problem. It evolves into a global problem. As Lord Sacks famously wrote: “A world without room for Jews is one that has no room for difference, and a world that lacks space for difference lacks space for humanity itself.”
The next time Israel comes under attack, rather than condemning them for trying to defend itself against the treacherous arm of terror, call it for what it is and unite together to combat this universal threat.
May those who died yesterday rest in peace and may those who are injured be healed.
In the concluding words of Miriam Peretz: “They can kill our children but they will never break our spirit or our dreams for Israel … I am proof!” The same is true for London, Paris and wherever else besides. Ultimately we will prevail.