After Iraqi and Syrian forces have led multiple successful campaigns against ISIS, most notably in Raqqa and Mosul, member of the terror group flee in drag (queen costumes) or are caught.
Among the caught are currently four German women begging to get home to their families.
Many lives have been destroyed and the ultimate question is still never asked.
Who is responsible?
That sounds easier at first than it actually is. Wouldn’t you kill for what you belief? If the belief is strong enough? If you believe, for example, that you are physically attacked, wouldn’t you kill? You would!
So who is guilty? The suicide bomber who puts his very being on the line for what he believes or the people who make him believe?
What is with the very people that claim Muslims are under constant oppression, persecution, harrassment and violence by non-Muslims? What is with those who don’t stand up and clarify what is real discrimination and what is a hoax? What is with those that don’t care about the lies that drive some to violence? The truth is that many have blood on their hands. Maybe most of us.
As Jews we know how important our past is and always has been over the course of more than three thousand years. We learn because we remember. There is a case to be made to remember our roots, grow out of the mistakes of the past and to be nurtured by the successes.
This post is not a pledge to erase history. It is a caveat for times when politics are played rough.
Since the Byzantine captivity we can clearly see how memory can be passed through family and tradition. We shall keep that in mind when we must be silent in public.
Cynics say that history is the lie that survives. Winners write it. But under the deception lies the truth, kept in your families, in your books and your habits. At the moment we watch the onslaught of UNESCO on our heritage and on the truth. And yet truth will survive.
We face a time where dissent becomes increasingly more difficult in the West and that includes not just the present but also the past.
You may opine that abolition was well under way across Europe and North America when Lincoln started his war (before freeing the slaves in his own territory). You may also opine that he was a tyrant and his assassin a freedom fighter reestablishing the democratic republic. But you better don’t say so.
You may opine that the modern day political left shares more with the Nazis than today’s political right. But you better don’t say so.
You may opine that the French Revolution was a dud, a bloodshed for no good, but you keep your lips close.
You may opine that the French contribution to democratic ideas are either plagiarism or at best overrated.
You better don’t say so. But for the dangers of silence say so as soon as you feel you can.