Wed, Jan 12, 2011 | Friends of Israel Initiative
Christians and Jews Under Attack
Friends of Israel Initiative dispatch, 12 januari, 2011:
The main threat to the Jewish people today is no longer physical, as it was in the past. Rather, it is directed at the legitimacy and survival of the State of Israel itself, the Jewish State. It is no longer a case of the Palestinians attempting to create a State, but of the shift in the mindset of a significant number of them from a nationalist to an Islamist cause. Israel is now under threat from radical Islam as practised by agents ranging from countries like Iran to terrorist forces such as Hizbollah in the North and Hamas in the South.
Last week there were a number of attacks in different Muslim nations against peaceful Christians. Though probably unconnected to each other, the succession of deadly attacks reveals a clear pattern: Islam today, under the influence of radical elements and fundamentalists, is not a tolerant faith and is being invoked in increasingly violent acts. In many places its radical strain is acquiring an aggressive and totalitarian nature. Thus, the recent attacks against Christian living in Muslim lands are not only the continuation of the long-established practice of harassing those who do not share the Islamic faith, but a further step in the process of religious cleansing preached by the Islamists.
The strategic significance of this pattern is obvious: for Christians, appeasement does not work. Trying to propitiate an Islam that is under the influence of radical elements is a futile enterprise that, ultimately, will prove to be counterproductive. Religious freedom is, quite simply, not part of the fundamentalist vision of what the region should look like.
Secondly, these events are another instance of the seeming impossibility of accommodating the radicals in any way, be they Islamists, Palestinians or others. Just as there are many who would like to see Israel vanish into thin air, there are many who want the Christians to move out too. The only goal of radical Islam is subjugation, not tolerance and freedom for all.
Finally, what the attacks underline is the urgent need for a new understanding between people of goodwill, both Christian and Jewish, in order to reinforce their common heritage, values, interests and future. An extremist faith cannot be countered by reason alone, but needs a good dose of faith and goodwill as well.
The Friends of Israel Initiative defends Israel’s legitimacy and right to exist as a Jewish State, and we do so from a non-Jewish perspective. We cannot remain silent about the criminal attacks against Christians in Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan and elsewhere because this is all part and parcel of the same struggle, a battle between those who are civilised and those who are not. It is high time that Christians and Jews understand their common strategic interest: together we can prevail.
Friends of Israel Initiative, Monthly Dispatch, Jan 12, 2011.
The Friends of Israel Initiative launched in Paris, May 31, 2010, is a project initiated by a group of leading policymakers and world leaders chaired by former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar in defense of Israel’s right to exist. You can read their statement here or visit their website here.