November 19, 2015
Dear Friend of Israel,
Last Friday, ISIS, the radical Islamist group, carried out a series of coordinated attacks that killed 129 people in France, and injured hundreds more. People who were attending a soccer match. People attending a concert. People sitting at a sidewalk café. People who were going about their daily lives.
We in Israel know this threat. We’ve experienced it over the last twenty years, as terrorists have waged a campaign against the Jewish state that has included stabbings, running people over with cars, shootings, and suicide bombings.
While solidarity has poured out to the people of France from around the world – including, of course, from Israel – the reaction of some world leaders, even Western leaders, to this terrible act has been deeply discouraging and offensive.
During a visit to Paris – not only the site of last Friday’s horrific terrorist attacks, but of earlier attacks this year against Jews in a supermarket and the staff of a newspaper – Secretary of State John Kerry tried to differentiate between such violence. Speaking at the American embassy in Paris, Kerry claimed that the attacks on the office of Charlie Hebdo had “a rationale.”
Meanwhile, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom tried to link the attacks to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Here, once again,” she said, “we are brought back to situations like the one in the Middle East, where not least, the Palestinians see that there isn’t a future. We must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence.”
Compare these words to the words of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who said Israel stands “shoulder to shoulder” with France, adding that, “An attack on any one of us should be seen as an attack on all of us.”
Moral equivalence is an affront not only to those who champion freedom and peace, but to all victims of terror. And moral equivalence will not see us through this battle. Resolve and courage – the kind of resolve and courage we hear in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s words – will.
Pray for the people of France, all those who were murdered, and all their loved ones, and for the recovery of all those injured in these cowardly attacks. But pray also that the world will come together to fight those who would undermine our civilization – a civilization built on tolerance, personal freedom, and liberty for all.