Very Naughty Figs
By Jim Fletcher
“One basket had very good figs,
even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty
figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.” Jeremiah 24:2
If any verse perfectly describes the Palestinians, this one is it. Very
naughty figs, indeed. As the prophet said, there are good and bad in the land of Israel, and
nothing symbolizes this more than the terror groups operating against the Jewish
Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade (sigh),
etc., all exist to make sure Israel
Imagine this: you live in north Dallas, and your neighborhood is being
infiltrated by bad people from Plano
(nothing against Plano; it’s a lovely
suburb). Either these bad people (figs?) directly confront your family, or they
fire rockets or other weapons at your neighborhood.
This is the equivalent of what the Israelis face daily. Terrorists there
don’t strike from a faraway country. They are a couple blocks over. As the
Psalmist said, Jerusalem
is compact — buildings are right on top of the other. Just steps from, say, the
Garden Tomb, one can find posters of the
shaheeds — the “martyrs” — on buildings lining the street. A knife flashes
on a busy street. Shooters hide behind rocks alongside highways. I’ve even heard
that a grenade was tossed onto the Western Wall Plaza, a few years ago.
The threat from radical Islam is quite different from that of other
totalitarian regimes, especially in the last century. This is for one simple
reason: they don’t blink. They don’t stop. I don’t think they’ll ever stop.
believe that the human mind cannot handle too much stress; this is elementary.
It follows that even though Western leaders and security agencies understand
very well what we’re up against, they will at the end of the day advocate
negotiations, cultural understanding, and blaming the victim (Israel),
rather than face up to the real problem. This must be a major explanation for
policies that seem to appease Islam.
I have no doubt that our troops in Iraq
would have no qualms about striking terrorists in a mosque, but political
considerations prevent them from doing so. The result is an enemy that rightly
sees a weakness and exploits it by placing women and children in harm’s way, as
a shield. Israel
has dealt with this for a very long time.
And these naughty figs have more than Jews in their sights. About 3,500
Christians live in the Gaza Strip, which is now controlled by Hamas. That
terrorist group has recently targeted churches, schools (including the American International School),
libraries, and cafes. According to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center in Israel,
bombs were detonated near a school run by nuns.
Notice this. Not only does Hamas target innocents — they are also
targeting American and Western
groups. This should be proof to our leaders that it’s only a matter of time
before they extend their reach. Supporting Israel
is not only a moral imperative, it is an existential one, as well. Simply put,
if they kill “them,” they’ll also kill us.
This is lost on both the liberal and “moderate” elements in our society.
Danger lurks, but the victim is blamed, thus becoming the villain!
One can see the signs, especially traveling in Israel.
Once, on a trip to the south to see
Masada, I noticed that two security guards sitting under
the shade of a canopy were each wearing pistols. The weapons weren’t meant to
protect against unruly sixth-graders. Guns in Israel
are seen in malls, restaurants, all public places. I’ve even seen them in
churches (King of Kings fellowship in Jerusalem)
and weddings, for heaven’s sake!
Drive anywhere in the country and you’ll see bus riders waiting behind
concrete barriers. Barriers with bullet holes in them. Or, try being at the
scene of a bus bombing, with dead children hanging out the shattered sides of
the bus. Sorry for the graphic description, but perhaps it’s time for graphic
The Barbarians are always at the gates.
By contrast, notice how often Israel
sends foreign aid and advisors when a natural disaster occurs anywhere in the
world. Notice how much Israeli technology improves the quality of life for
people everywhere. Notice the myriad ways in which Israelis demonstrate the
value of human life.
In April, Hamas’s television network (satellite, Al-Aksa Television),
ran a segment called “Brilliant Children,” in which a child stabs American
President George Bush. This to avenge the “crimes” against Iraq, Lebanon, and Gaza.
Instead of an international outcry against such insanity, in various
power centers (politics, even entertainment), appeasement is the order of the
day. There is lip-service paid to being vigilant against, for example,
Palestinian incitement in school textbooks, but nothing is ever done. The Arabs
know that public rebukes mean nothing.
Instead, we hear Israel
rebuked for taking steps to erect a security barrier. The barrier has saved
many, many lives. The truth is, if it has saved only one life, it’s been worth
it. Yet the international community condemns Israel
for “cutting off the Palestinians.”
Who cares? We shouldn’t care about the inconvenience of the
Palestinians, so long as even a single Jewish life is saved. The international
community (biblically, “the nations”) should stand shoulder-to-shoulder against
the barbarism in the Palestinian territories. This past spring, even a
terrorist, Ramadan Abdallah Shalah, head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, admitted
that terror bombers are prevented from entering Israel,
because of the security barrier.
But what will a possible Barack Obama Administration do? I predict that
at some point, his State Department would howl long and loud about Israel’s
security measures, and press for easement of checkpoints, such as those
advocated by the hugely disappointing Condi Rice.
Although it’s a simplistic argument, it’s obvious to me that there are
people in the Holy Land who are good. And there are people
who are very, very bad. It doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to figure out which is
Fig-ure it out.