Europe We heard about the vicious attacks perpetrated by Muslim terrorists in Paris with great sadness. However, we cannot say we were surprised - for years, we knew that this would be the result of misguided policies of France and most European countries (as I will cite from an article I wrote fifteen years ago). Nevertheless, the fulfillment of the first part of the predictions is horrifying. The truth must be said – the Europeans are not blameless. For generations they ruled many nations by force, including Arabs and Muslims, exploiting their labor and their country's natural resources to increase their wealth and esteem. Today, immigrants from those very countries are coming and exploiting them and their countries, justifying it by saying they are simply returning to themselves what was stolen from them in the past. Mention must be made of the terrible suffering we, the Jews, endured in Europe. At times, we were treated decently by different rulers and ordinary people in the various countries. But it is difficult to count all the pogroms, expulsions, rapes and robberies we went through in Europe, culminating in the worst of all - the Holocaust, in which six million of our brothers and sisters were murdered by German Nazis and their collaborators from other European countries. True, we insisted on keeping our faith, and it's not always pleasant to live with a people of different faith and culture. However, our contribution to the economic, scientific and cultural development of Europe was undeniably far greater than the effort needed to practice tolerance as a result of our living amongst the Europeans. Instead of gratitude, we got pogroms, expulsions and the Holocaust. Even today, instead of understanding the terrible war in which we find ourselves facing the Arabs surrounding us, who literally wish to destroy us, they accuse us of violating the Arabs rights, killing them, and other false accusations. Perhaps it is important for them to believe the Arab accusations in order to justify their own actions, thinking to themselves that after all, they're not the only ones who kill – when given the chance, the Jews also murder as many foreigners as possible. Some Europeans may even have no need for self-justification – they simply hate Jews and Israel, and that's reason enough. And then again, maybe all of a sudden they decided to repent and stand up for human rights, and just happened to fall on the wrong people. Either way, Europe's actions in the past and their present official position denying the State of Israel the right to defend its security and ancestral lands of Judea and Samaria, is leading to a situation in which they lack the courage and moral justification to fight the Muslim position threatening their safety and existence. To whom are these observations directed? These observations are directed first and foremost to us, the Jews, for it is our duty to understand what is going on around us, as it is written: "Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ... When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel" (Deuteronomy 32:7-8). Ideally, the lesson is meant to educate the nations of the world, but when they fail to understand and stumble, their problems arrive at our doorstep. Secular Israeli leftists stumble willingly, in the mistaken belief that it's the proper and ethical approach; politicians stumble out of a sense of helplessness facing global public opinion. These observations are also are directed at the Europeans, because since the end of World War II the prevalent attitude among moral European's is that the time has come to conduct a deep self-examination about the damage caused to the victims of European colonialism, nationalism, and religion. Therefore, there is room for appealing to the Europeans to direct their thoughts honestly.
Champions of morality and ethics in Europe believed superficially that the more they bolstered human rights, the more ethical and better the world would become, and discrimination between people on the basis of sex, race and religion would vanish. The more they secured the rights of the individual, regardless of who or where they may be, the wars between nations and religions would decrease. However, by forsaking all other values of morality, and the moral obligation of each individual, they were mistaken and caused severe injustices, and this is reflected in the serious crisis they are now facing. The reason for this is that there are no rights without obligations. And when people are given rights without obligations, the natural evil inclination which has a propensity to exploit, lie, steal, rape and murder is nurtured within them. And when society's weak are supported financially regardless of who they are, this encourages them to demand rights they do not deserve, and when they don't receive them – it encourages them to attack and sabotage in order to achieve by force what was not given to them amiably. Therefore, there is a need for profound integration of the values of the conservative right-wing movements who are more connected to the values of the Bible, which, in addition to the value of human dignity, emphasizes the morality of justice, and demands an individual take responsibility for his own actions. Israel's War is the Yardstick of Global Evil In this context, I found it appropriate to return and quote from an article I wrote on the 10th of Adar 5763 (2003), the main points having been written for an article in the 'Makor Rishon' newspaper at the end of Elul 5761 (2001), a few days before the attack on the Twin Towers in New York. "The more we erred in the false belief that the Oslo Accords would lead to peace, a reduction in terrorist attacks and the war against Israel, the more evil our Arab enemies became. They wasted and stole from the billions of dollars given them by various countries through awful corruption. The money they did not steal, they invested primarily in arms and ammunition to kill, injure, demolish and destroy. There is no criminal or terror organization that is not connected to them, and learns from their experience. It is no coincidence that the mentor of Bin Laden is a Palestinian (at the time, all the terrorist organizations that were created in recent years had not yet been founded). "The only thing that the terrorists understood from the Oslo process is that terrorism pays. The more lies and evil actions the terrorists commit – the more consideration they are given, similar to the way Western countries relate to the Palestinian Authority. "After the head of the largest terrorist gang in the world at the time, Yasser Arafat, gained international status and was even guaranteed a state, international terrorism raised its head. Even entire countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, Syria and Iran, Libya and Sudan, permit themselves to support terrorism (today, support for terrorism has expanded and encompasses most of the Muslim population in every country, as evidenced wherever they are permitted to hold free elections)... "As long as the Palestinian Authority is not punished, the world will be exposed to increasing dangers. Every country in the world will be forced to invest the best of its manpower and money in the daily struggle against terrorism. If the terrorists are not stopped today, all public facilities in every country of the world will have to be constantly guarded to prevent people from getting blown up, to make sure the terrorists don't poison the water systems, to stop them from scattering epidemic-spreading bacteria, and to ensure they don't lay their hands on advanced technology that could endanger the entire world. States will have to constantly increase their police forces, but nevertheless, terror will continue to strike, both in rich and poor countries. Every third person will have to be a policeman, in order to protect homes and citizens. At every street corner, people's bags and clothing will have to be checked, lest they be carrying bombs on their bodies or various poisonous materials... "As a result, instead of the prophecy 'out of Zion shall go forth Torah and the word of God from Jerusalem' being fulfilled – out of Palestine will come terror, death and bereavement. All this will happen to them because Western leaders failed to differentiate between the righteous and the wicked in Israel's conflict with the Palestinians." This is essentially what I wrote, as noted, 15 years ago. The Problem in Europe The various experts and analysts mistakenly think that the problem is terrorism, and therefore, increased security will solve the problem. Others are ready to admit that the problem is broader, involving the struggle with radical Islam, and that by waging war against their senior leader's terror will be eliminated. In truth, however, we are talking about a clash of civilizations. For example, the various experts were astonished to find out that before executing the massacre in Paris, one of the terrorists managed a bar selling alcohol and drugs, goods forbidden by Islam. But had they understood that this is a conflict with a religious background, they would have realized that although young Muslims frequently enjoy the promiscuity, alcohol and drugs of European nightclubs, they accuse the Europeans for entrapping them. Consequently, they see eye to eye with the preacher at the mosque that the European's evil is so vast and dreadful, that it is even able to trap Muslim youth in its net and cannot be overcome, but must be destroyed because it is diabolical. This is how the overwhelming majority of Muslims view Europe as morally disintegrating, and all the talk about human rights are seen in their eyes as capitulation to the evil inclination, permissiveness, promiscuity, and the uprooting of family values. The Muslims may benefit from the social welfare system and freedom in European countries, but in their hearts they believe that it is a culture of Sodom and Gomorrah, and therefore, it is permissible, and even desirable, to attack it. This is a justification for them to open crime centers in their neighborhoods. If the people of Europe do not realize the full extent of contending with Islam, terrorism and crime will continue to increase until they reach a situation of guerrilla warfare in the streets. This is liable to end in the downfall of the European countries, or in a dreadful eruption of bloodshed by the side of the Europeans taking out their anger against the Muslims. The Tikun The beginning of the solution is the return to the values of the Bible, including support for the State of Israel which is at the forefront in the war against Islam. As a result the European nations will be able to advance a moral, ideological position speaking in the name of justice. An ideology based on the right of the peoples of Europe over their own countries, on their right to express their identity and their religious values in public, and their right to protect their identity from immigrants wanting to change it. Then it will be possible to start thinking about ways of dealing with the growing Muslim threat. Apparently, only Europe's right-wing movements understand the full scope of the problem. Next week, I will attempt to further analyze our relationship with the extreme right in Europe. This article appears in the 'Besheva' newspaper, and was translated from Hebrew. Other interesting articles by Rabbi Melamed can be found at: http://en.yhb.org.il/