Last week a group of Israelis toured the streets and promenades of Istanbul. It was part of a culinary trip to explore the flavors of the wonderful Turkish cuisine.
While they dined at a restaurant, an ISIS (Daesh) suicide-bomber detonated his explosives belt killing three and wounding scores more. The festive outing had turned into a disaster. Within hours Israel sent its own doctors and transport airplanes to bring everyone home. This is one more story of Islamist terrorism against Jews. What’s absurd is that one of the killed, Avi Goldman, was a tour guide in Jerusalem. He survived the daily attacks of Arabs against Jews in his own city, yet had to travel to Turkey to meet his death.
Forrest Gump had it all wrong. Life is not like a box of chocolate.
It used to be that if you kept out of trouble, trouble would not find you. Islamists terrorists changed all that after 9/11. We’re sitting ducks. Anywhere we go, San Bernardino in California, Paris, Istanbul, Tel-Aviv, we can have our heads blown off or be stabbed to death. There are no Swedes, Frenchmen, Englishmen, Italians pulling anchor from their homelands and going on a killing spree in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria. It’s an Islamist thing. Even those Muslims who’d lived in Europe for two or three generations produce sleeper-cell terrorists. It’s assimilation gone wild. I feel sorry for all the law-abiding peaceful Muslims who just want to get by in life, find a decent job, raise a decent family, build a decent home. Yet many indecent, violent, hell-bent Islamist fundamentalists are ruining it for their own people and their own religion. But you can’t talk sense into them. They’re sick in the head.
What’s most terrifying is that these Islamists terrorists can strike at any moment, anywhere, in capital cities and sleepy villages. Ten days ago my twin teenage daughters flew to Bergen-Belsen, Germany as part of a worldwide delegation to explore and learn about the Nazi atrocities in the concentration camp (more on the subject on a future post). They flew from Israel to Frankfurt, and from there to Hanover, and from there to Bergen-Belsen.
Then the ISIS terrorists struck Brussels, Belgium. Thirty-four innocent people were killed at the airport and subway. My wife and I panicked. That same week they were to return to Israel with a connecting flight through…Brussels. While in Germany the local media had learned of my daughters’ involvement in the Bergen-Belsen project. They wanted to interview them for TV and radio and take their account of their Germany visit. The reporters asked their Israeli adult escort for permission to interview. Their woman escort and former teacher called Jerusalem for instructions. Jerusalem called back. “Do not let them talk to anyone!” Why expose them to would-be attackers, they said. Toward the end, the reporters and Israeli security reached a compromise. My daughters spoke of their experiences in Germany and the story could be told only after they’d left the country.
They traveled to Germany to learn of the horrors committed in the camp more than 70 years ago, only to learn that the horrors continue to haunt us today. Luckily they took a flight back through Munich instead, and arrived safely early this morning.
The families from the Istanbul attack are grieving. Brussels, known for its Belgian chocolate, is now known for dynamite and bombs.
Forrest Gump, your mama was wrong. We know exactly what we’re going to get.
Maurice Labi is an Israeli-American who lived in Los Angeles for many years. In 2011 He returned to Northern Israel (Galilee) with his wife and twin teenage daughters. He is of two lands, of two cultures and he blogs about his experiences in Israel, particularly from Galilee where Jews and Arabs dwelled for centuries.
He has also written three novels: “Jupiter’s Stone,” “Into the Night,” and “American Moth” — available at Amazon.com
or at BN.com