Trump's Jerusalem Move Challenges the Terrorist Heckler's Veto

You see it on college campuses where pro-Israel and conservative speakers are shouted down and threatened.

And you see it on the internal stage.

Before President Trump delivered his speech recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, warnings were everywhere that it would lead to violence. Much like publishing Mohammed cartoons, doing anything that might make Muslim terrorists angry was just too dangerous.

And that's the heckler's veto on the global stage. Whatever you do, don't make the terrorists angry.

There's a cautious calculus there, beyond the appeasers in politics and the media who knowingly collaborate in applying the heckler's veto, much the way that college administrators collaborate with violent leftist rioters to shut down conservative speakers.

Is recognizing Jerusalem, a Mohammed cartoon or anything really worth a single human life?

The answer is the same for Jerusalem as for the cartoons. The principle is what's worth it. When we can no longer speak the truth out of fear of terrorists, then the terrorists have won.

But beyond that, you can't defeat terrorism by minimizing the pain. That's the failed strategy Europe, America and Israel have been pursuing. It makes a kind of day-to-day sense. But a strategy that aims to get through every day with only X amount of terror attacks instead of Y attacks is a profound defeat.

It's a surrender to the unthinkable. It normalizes violence and teaches us the best forms of obedient behavior to minimize it on a daily basis.

You don't defeat terrorists by being afraid of the pain that they will inflict. You do it by tearing off the band aid. And showing that they have no power over you.

Totalitarian regimes use regular applications of pain and terror, backed by the threat of much more of it, to keep people in line. Resistance means a willingness to risk greater pain in order to defy their rule.

Our strategy for fighting terrorism puts us in the middle, tolerating more pain than we should, but not enough to achieve victory. 

President Trump's defiance of the terrorists is the way forward. We can't be reactive. We can't live in fear.