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 The trend over the past century and especially in our current twisted times has been to try to discover the motives that drive people to kill other people. The victims being killed are many times unknown to their killers and are personally innocent of any guilt in their death. Their fault lay in being of a certain race, nationality, religious belief and even simply (and unfortunately) being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This mindset, of understanding the murderer while almost ignoring the murdered, reached new heights of official callousness, which bordered on idiocy. A Swedish official in that country’s Foreign Ministry explained that the massacre of one-hundred, twenty-nine innocent people in Paris was caused by Israel’s “occupation” of Palestine. Israel’s provocative stance of defending itself from Palestinian terror somehow explains and may even justify the murderous behavior of the radical Islamist killers in Paris, is apparently how he explains the situation.
Well, Sweden is pretty much a hopeless case anyway as far as any sensibility regarding Israel is concerned, so we can rack up that statement as just Sweden being Sweden. But then along came John Kerry, the Secretary of State of the United States, who opined that the killings at the Charlie Hebo magazine in Paris a few months ago were understandable, though still illegal, since the magazine had sinned in publishing a cartoon of Mohamed in one of its previous editions.
This gaffe was immediately pulled back by the media people at the State Department and Kerry then stated that there was and is no justification whatsoever for that or any other terror attack. But his original statement on the matter was a most revealing insight into the thinking and value system that pervades much of America’s foreign policy decisions today.   
The media jumped all over John Kerry’s words and criticized him for having spoken in such terms. But they did so for the wrong reason. They simply missed the point. They saw his words as weakening of a basic principle of Western democratic societies – that of freedom of speech. But the real gaffe was that of a lack of a true sense of morality, of right and wrong, of the inherent difference between the murderer and the victim.
Freedom of speech will be of little value in society if that society has lost its moral bearings and cannot clearly identify right from wrong. As always, Israel and the Jewish people are the canary in the mine. The world overlooked all Arab terrorism against Israel and Jews and then, surprise, surprise, New York, London, Madrid, Paris and Mali occurred.
There are no more good guys and bad guys left in our world. Moral equivalency reigns supreme. There are only varying degrees of grey that exist, and good and evil are relative terms of reference, certainly not to be considered as being absolute. Israelis protecting themselves are just as innocent or guilty as Arabs stabbing them with kitchen knives!
The Arabs have a grievance. And that grievance is that the Jews had the temerity to build a strong, prosperous, democratic state in the midst of an Arab region of repression, violence and constant turmoil. The existence of such an infidel state is sufficient enough to justify boycotts, violence and hatred of Israel, Jews and Judaism worldwide.
Any sort of moral compass or direction has been completely obliterated. We should no longer punish or forcibly defend ourselves against the murderers. Rather, we should attempt to understand them, sympathize with them and then they will become docile and peaceful people. This Alice in Wonderland view of the world prevails in much of academia, media and government.
The President of the United States even refuses to give the murderers a name and an identity lest it sound provocative and derogatory to the murderers amongst us. Such a lack of moral clarity is foreboding for our future and for world society generally.
The European Union is busy labeling Israeli products while Europe is under Moslem siege from migrants, bombings and a culture war. Talk about misdirected priorities and inimical policies. But this is almost what can be expected from a society that cheers and understands murderers and evades any responsibilities to the victims. The injustice of this is appalling. However we should not be deterred from holding firm even in the face of such blatant hypocrisy and wooly-headed thinking.
Eventually truth and common sense will prevail though tragically it may take a few more Paris massacres to drive home the essential moral truth – that there is a difference between murderers and their victims. Stop understanding the murderers, just concentrate on destroying them.
Shabbat shalom

Berel Wein    

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