Thursday, October 25, 2012

Coming soon?

Armageddon?           “He’s made a fortune since he began his company, SLN,” said my friend, Mike, a salesman for that company.  Mike had shown me SLN’s ties and shirts. “They’re making shoes too,” he said, as he showed me samples. “You know,” said Mike, “the owner is from Israel. He spends much time there. His wife is there.” Mike paused. “He believes that a war with Iran will begin soon.”

“How soon?” I asked. Buying clothes had suddenly lost its appeal. Of greater concern was Mike’s last remark.

“He’s gotten gas masks for his family. They live near Tel Aviv.”

“I’d like to speak to him about Iran. And Israel,” I said.

“You’re worried about your children, aren’t you?” asked Mike. He’d known about my daughters since they were in elementary school. He’d visited my home; he knew my children resided in Israel. “I’ll give you his e-mail address,” said Mike. “He’ll respond.”

Yesterday, I wrote to the owner of SLN after I’d received a message from my friend, Solly Ganor, author of Light One Candle, his Holocaust memoir. “Have I sent this to you?” he asked.

I read with great care Solly’s article about his conversation with a Christian Arab who lived near Solly in a community not far from Tel Aviv. Parts of what he’d written were very troubling.

According to Solly, the Arab spoke freely about living in Israel. “As Christians, we are in a difficult situation here in Israel. Unfortunately, the Moslems and especially the extreme Islamist section, are setting the tone here. My family who lived in Bethlehem probably since the Crusades, had to flee for their lives. The Moslems have been forcing us out, by threats and even murder. Bethlehem that was once predominantly Christian is now predominantly Moslem. Very little is written about it even in the Israeli press.”

Startling as that was, it didn’t surprise me. I’d read and written about the Christian exodus from Bethlehem for years. I’d seen it when I was in Israel. What disturbed me were other parts of Solly’s article. Excerpts follow:

“…When will you Westerners realize that half measures don’t work with people who are willing to die by the thousands for Allah to achieve their goal? In their eyes, the Western World is simply an abomination on earth that has to be wiped out.”

“…The Americans, the Europeans, and even you Israelis really don’t know what it is all about, do you? During the last generation hundreds of thousands of children have been taught all over the Moslem world in Madras schools to become martyrs for Allah in order to kill the infidels. These youngsters not only are ready to do it, but are actually in the process of doing it. Bombs are going off all over the world killing and maiming thousands of people, not only on 9/11 in the US, in London Madrid and Bali, but in Africa, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and many other places. The first signs of the Islamic Tsunami is already here, but the West doesn’t understand, or doesn’t want to understand what is coming."

“…The Americans, instead of realizing that this is as bad as World War Two, or even worse, are going to pull out of Iraq, handing it over to Iran on a silver platter. Next may come the Saudis and the rest of the Gulf states. When dirty bombs go off all over Western towns, who is going to stop the Iranians?"
“…Now is the time to stop them, not only because they are developing nuclear bombs, but because Iran has become the base for all Islamic terrorism. They supply, money, men, and weapons to Islamic terrorists around the world…”

“…And who would you call the forces of good ‘Israel or Islam?’ I asked looking him straight in the eyes. He gave me a startled look. “If I were a Moslem, I would have no problem to name the forces of good and it wouldn’t be Israel. As a Christian, I would probably name Israel, but as a Christian Arab I would prefer not to answer.”

We looked at each other. His answer made it clear where the Israeli Arabs stood, whether they were Moslems or Christians. And why should I be surprised? After all, the Israeli Arabs call the establishment of the State of Israel their nakbah (disaster)… [the Arab continued speaking…]

“…all the West has to do is follow Putin’s ways. He assassinates his enemies without blinking an eye. Assassinate the four or five Mullahs who run the show, Ahmadinejad, and a few more Iranian fanatics, and the War can be avoided. It may be difficult to do, but not impossible. With today’s hi-tech technology I am sure that new weapons against individuals are being prepared right now. I think it would be a better way of handling the matter than an all out war against Islam.”

After reading that, I e-mailed the owner of SLN. Then I looked at Solly’s message again. His one line introduction, a personal note to me, jolted me as much as his article.

He’d written, “I wonder if you have received my article I wrote five years ago? It’s still relevant."

                             B. Koplen 10/25/12

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p.s. If you’d like to read Solly’s article, I’ll gladly send it to you.

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