BLOG 282 December 7, 2015
Having spent so many decades traveling and being involved in Israel and the surrounding Middle East countries, I am often asked, “what’s it like to live there under the shadow of violence? How do people tolerate the constant terrorist threat?”
Guess what? Americans can now know!
Take a look a San Bernardino, California.
Millions of Americans are running to the nearest gun store to buy everything from pistols to grenade launchers. Television gives nightly advice on what to do if a shooter came running in your office or home firing indiscriminately. Hide under a desk! Barricade the door! Hit the floor! The suggestions go on and on.
People who have been indifferent to the situation in Israel where buses are bombed by suicide nutcases and sidewalk cafes are shot up are suddenly heading for the nearest gun range to make sure they know how to shoot accurately.
We have just watched good people in Paris assaulted and killed for no reason except to frighten the world. San Bernardino and Sandy Hook elementary school, Newton, Connecticut along with Columbine High School, Denver, Colorado and a multitude of other sites have sensitized us to how terrible and immediate the killings can be. I have a home in small town Bailey, Colorado where six females were taken hostage and Emily Keyes was shot by a crazy drifter on a rampage. Nine years later the village is still traumatized. They understand terrorism.
The reports of home grown terrorists and Muslims becoming radicalized in our own cities leaves us aghast. How could a next door neighbor overnight turn into a fanatical killer? Make a pressure cooker bomb? We find the situation unbelieveable.
Folks, this is everyday news in Israel and the areas held or under attack by ISIS. It’s taken awhile but America is finally waking up to the fact that rampaging maniacs armed with every kind of weapon can show up in your backyard and for no personal reason start shooting up your house.
How does it feel? Today, we can certainly identify with the fear in Israel where rockets come flying out of nowhere at homes of good people simply trying to crave out a peaceful life for them and their children.
Now for the other side of the coin.
We are told that the average American has about 1 in 2 million chance of ever being caught in a terrorist attack. We are far, far, more likely to shoot each other by accident than to protect ourselves from terrorists. We don’t have to panic, but we must be more aware of the situation around the world.
The problems in Israel with the Palestinians or the disintegration of Iraq are more than worthy of our attention. Americans must come to grips with how the Middle East turmoil must be brought under control just as the people of Paris now know they must be on alert. The time has come to pay attention to the responsibility that everyone has to find a solution to Middle Eastern struggles.