Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Glare That Silenced the World

It was merely 78 years ago when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain proclaimed in his famous speech concerning the ill-destined Munich Agreement, “Peace for our time.” Ironically and sadly, less than a year from that naïve proclamation, Hitler’s continued aggression and invasion of Poland was followed by declarations of war on Germany by both Britain and France. The rest is bloody history. And, it is history that has repeatedly taught us that violent aggressors are not thwarted through appeasement. Instead, the earlier they are stopped, the less violent and costly it becomes for all mankind.

Yet, 78 years later, President Obama has repeated the same naïve appeasement of a blood-thirsty aggressor. In response to Iran being the world’s top sponsor of terrorism, her repeated declarations of insatiable desire to genocidally exterminate Israel, and constant chants of “Death to America,” our President has defied the will of the American people by removing sanctions, creating a path for Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon within 11 years, and providing them with $150 billion in aid. In return for giving Iran everything Iran wanted, their leaders responded by leading chants, “Death to America!” while they continue to hold 4 American hostages. It happened before and is now being repeated within three generations. And, once again, it will be at the bloody expense of Israel, America and the world at large. America continues to turn its back on our greatest ally in the Middle East. However, turning our backs is not insult enough. We have also agreed to all but supply the dagger to Israel’s most violent enemy.

As a response, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, made an address to the United Nations on October 1, 2015. His address is much more worthy of repeating than that of our own appeasing leaders. Netanyahu said the following in his address:  “Iran is setting up dozens of terror cells. Imagine what they will do after the sanctions are lifted." Netanyahu later remarked that Iran is spending billions on weapons and satellites, “Do you think Iran is doing that to advance peace? … When bad behavior is awarded, it only gets worse. I’m gravely concerned the nuclear deal with Iran will prove to be the marriage certificate of that unholy union.” In the most powerful part of his speech, Netanyahu stopped to directly address the nations in attendance, “If Iran’s rulers were working to destroy your countries, perhaps you’d be somewhat less enthusiastic about the deal. If Iran’s terror proxies were firing thousands of rockets at your cities, perhaps you’d be more measured in your praise. And yet the response from every one of you here, utter silence - deafening silence.” After those remarks, he stood at the podium and glared at the delegates around the room for about one minute. The world practically stood silent before him, with zero will to do what is right or courageous. The last time this happened the cost was much greater than heeding the call to stop violent aggression before it blooms.

In fact, the cost of World War II over a six year period was the violent deaths of over 73 million people, 24 million of which were military. Compare that with total deaths in the Iraq War of 25,286 and Afghanistan of 31,520. Had we known in 1938 what we know now, we would have stopped Hitler before he invaded Poland. Aggressors must never be appeased. Appeasement is viewed by aggressors as weakness. And, violent aggressors prey upon weakness. Weakness to aggressors is an insatiable temptation for them to pounce. Iran is likewise aggressive towards Semitic genocide. Appeasing their wishes for nuclear weapons will probably result in an even worse death toll than World War II. The use of nuclear weapons by Allied Forces played an instrumental role in ending World War II. In contrast, a war started with nuclear weapons will be unthinkable. This deal must be stopped at all cost. Iran must be stopped at all cost. Israel must be protected at all cost. And, you play an individual role in that.

By way of example to us individually, Deitrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor, who became historically famous for his anti-Nazi dissent in the early stages of World War II. His famous resistance against the Nazis included vocal opposition to Hitler's euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews. As a result, he was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and imprisoned at Tegel prison for one and a half years before he was transferred to a Nazi concentration camp. He was ultimately executed by hanging in April 1945, just two weeks before Allied forces liberated the camp and three weeks before Hitler's suicide. Bonhoeffer was a hero in staunch opposition to evil. He famously said (as if to us today), “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to act. Not to act is to act.” May we remember, be inspired by, and deliberately follow these words for our time.

Psalm 82:3 says, “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.” And Isaiah 1:17 says, “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” Christian, if the God of the Bible is your God, standing up for Israel and making your voice heard is not an option. America’s government from top to bottom is corrupt. We must honor her authority. But, when she acts in violation of the will of her people by opposing our staunchest allies and making concession for the path to nuclear weaponry/war along with $150 billion of our tax dollars, we have no choice but to publicly oppose. That is democracy. That is what is right. In fact, the defense of Israel is one of few causes that is worthy of risking our very lives.

Remember World War II resulted in the deaths of approximately 49 million civilians. Is life-preserving justice something you are willing to die for? Or, do you value your life more than the millions of innocent women and children who will be brutally slaughtered?

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