Contemplating 9/11 from Israel's Reality of/Battle with Terror

Tags: Living Israel, People and Society, Elana Heideman

By Dr. Elana Yael Heideman

Bombs have been blowing up in Israel for decades - long before the creation of the State. Terror attacks, suicide bombings, missiles - take your pick. Today's rhetoric and widely accepted propaganda is solidly founded on the principle that we - Israel and the Jews - are to blame for the attacks against us.

A quick search on the internet would also have you believing that 9/11 was caused by Israel. The hate runs so deep that a terror attack against one of our most important allies, an attack with an obvious chain of responsibility, is placed squarely on the shoulders of the Jewish State for no reason other than 1) to cast doubt upon Israel's integrity in public opinion and 2) to blame the Jews.

Why do we continue to shoulder the blame for historical events that have nothing to do with us, or of which we are a victim?

We are to blame for the rise of Antisemitism of then and now. We are accused of "stealing land" by returning to our recognized ancestral homeland - as testified by historians, archaologists, religious texts, and international leaders for thousands of years until the current narrative took over 20-some years ago. We are apparently even to blame for the attempted extermination of our own people.

The world seems to have returned to an era of scapegoating worthy of Medieval times. They have convinced the masses of the very same traditional stereotypes, using anecdotes ancient and modern to sell their lies. They even have people believing the blood libel, creating an international fervor with the false claim of "war crimes."

Today, it is possible to say that - as a result of the immense amount of hatred spewed through the internet, and the existing foundation of resentment against a/the/all Jew(s) for one reason or another - there are likely an exhorbitant amount of fools who will believe that Israel and Jews are to blame for 9/11 (and apparently ISIS/ISIL - can't seem to figure out that logic...)

I'm sure you've heard the conspiracy theories. The Slichot morning prayers, the Israeli intelligence predictions, the rest of the fictionalized accounts that have cultiminated in the union of liberals, anti-Semites, anti-Zionists, and self-hating Jews in their fervor of hate against Israel.

I say let it be. Let them all show their true colors. Let us all - every single Jew, every human being in the world - be forced to decide: which side do we stand on?

The side of those who equate a Jew with all evils in the world? Or the side of our/your/my Jewish nation that has survived and outlasted, generation after generation the many attempts to destroy us?

As humans we are fallible, and Israel is no utopia, but our ethics and values remain our guide. The expanding terror threat forces us all to examine our own allegiance to the same principles that have the IDF doing everything possible to prevent civilian casualties.

The People of Israel have known terror of one kind or another generation after generation. It is designed to weaken and break us, to wipe us from the face of the earth. But instead, it has forced us to look inside and take stock, to consider our allegiances, and, quite often, it forces us to put our differences aside an unite against our common enemy who seeks our destruction.

On 9/11 Americans, and others around the world, began to see. Eyes were opened to the growing threat of international terror.

Since then, sadly, doubt has been injected into truth, reason has been usurped by theory based on nothing but hateful lies and strong, visual propaganda worthy of their Nazi predecessors. They conjure up fake evidence, and the masses believe them, and future understanding of modern history will be based on the erroneous narratives, founded on displaced sympathy. 

What matters is our resolve to stand united against these lies.

Left, right, in the middle or in-between - it is on 9/11, as America and Americans mourn alongside their supporters and friends around the world that we must remember: This is a terror that affects us all.

While every society takes their own terror threats seriously, it is when it is across another's border that it, sadly, matters less, is deemed irrelevant in light of our busy lives and laissez faire attitude that it will never affect me directly.

And as we see with the misappropriation of the term "genocide" to a defensive war to protect our citizens while hundreds of thousands are slaughtered by terror-affiliates and partners-in-crime of Hamas and other militant Palestinian movements, if Israel isn't to blame, apathy and disregard prevail.

Were we to unite against the wave of violence, hate, and tyranny that is sweeping across nations today, could we actually make a difference?

Is it possible to stop terror, terrorists, the leaders who support and encourage, or those who propel their mission forward by their transferrence of blame?

It is difficult to imagine that we can truly make a difference. And, if we have indeed returned to Medieval times as it seems, then we must realize that there are limited options as to how true peace can be achieved. But in today's world of social media, we bring another dimension to the battlefield - a single voice can become global.

Terror is now widespread all over the world. As we come together today in memory of the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks on US soil, it should be a wake-up call for every one of us to consider how we use our voice for the sake of humanity.

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About the Author

Dr.  Elana Yael Heideman
Dr. Elana Yael Heideman, Executive Director of The Israel Forever Foundation, is a dynamic and passionate educator who works creatively and collaboratively in developing content and programming to deepen and activate the personal connection to Israel for Diaspora Jews. Elana’s extensive experience in public speaking, educational consulting and analytic research and writing has served to advance her vision of Israel-inspired Jewish identity that incorporates the relevance of the Holocaust, Antisemitism and Zionism to contemporary issues faced throughout the Jewish world in a continuous effort to facilitate dialogue and build bridges between the past, present and future.

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Tags: Living Israel, People and Society, Elana Heideman