On May 21, in an act of sheer barbarism, obscene even by Islamist standards, two Muslims armed with knives and machetes brazenly hacked to death and nearly beheaded British soldier Lee Rigby on a London street in Woolwich in broad daylight. The attackers yelled Allahu akbar – God is Great – a common Islamist war chant, while engaging in their orgy of depravity. A passerby videotaped the culprits, one of whom seemed pleased by his deed and offered a host of Islamist-inspired explanations justifying his actions. His hands were visibly stained with the blood of the slain trooper.
The recoiling sight reminded me of a chilling incident that occurred on October 12, 2000 when two Israeli reservists lost their way and inadvertently stumbled into Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority’s putative capital. The normal human response to one who is or appears to be lost is to offer assistance and direction. But Ramallah, a once pleasant city now teeming with Islamists after being handed over to arch-terror chieftain Yasser Arafat, is anything but a normal city. The pair, after being taken to a Palestinian holding facility, was immediately set upon by an Arab mob armed with knives and hatchets and suffered a particularly agonizing and gruesome death. One reservist, already dead, was thrown head first out of a second story window where his corpse was further mutilated. During the assault, which like Woolwich was accompanied by chants of Allahu akbar, one of the participants, 20-year-old Aziz Salaha, emerged from a window and raised his blood-stained hands to the cheers and delight of the wildly crazed Arab mob.
At first glance, the two incidents appear unrelated, save for the bloody hands, the savagery and the weapons used. But in reality, the “Ramallah Lynch,” as it later infamously came to be known, and the Woolwich atrocity are very much interrelated. Both were motivated by a hate-filled doctrine that espouses a loathing of Western ideals and punishment for the non-believing infidel. It is not by coincidence that at least one of the Woolwich attackers was a follower of Anjem Choudary, the slick-talking radical Islamist whose rabid disdain for the West and the country that sustains him – Great Britain – is matched only by his hypocrisy in taking full advantage of the freedoms afforded by his host country. In similar vein, those who committed the Ramallah Lynch were inspired by equally hateful imams who called for the murder of the infidel and conquest of the West.
In Israel, the Ramallah Lynch became etched in the collective psyche of the nation and served as a wakeup call for those willing to appease murderous, hate-mongering fanatics at all costs. Israel’s Left, already on the slide, was never able to recover from that dreadful act of savagery and has now been regulated to the political fringes. Israelis are more keenly aware of the cesspool that surrounds them and have adopted a more prudent, realistic approach to their relations with their Arab neighbors, one guided by bare necessity and practical security interests rather than blind optimism.
Woolwich, Ramallah, Benghazi, Fort Hood, Madrid and Boston, among the numerous other outrages that have afflicted the West in recent years, are indicative of the fact that we are in the midst of a clash of civilizations or more accurately, a clash between the civilized and non-civilized world. The sooner we come to grips with this verity and connect the dots, the sooner we’ll be able to more effectively deal with it. Until then, the horrors that we’ve witnessed in recent times — the bombings, the beheadings and the lynchings — will sadly continue unabated.
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