How can any human being today, anywhere in this world, not be fearful and angry? We have turned into a society where hate is a primary emotion. People are killing people, nations are destroying nations; it's a never ending battle of might over right. Is that magnificent line from Eden Ahbez's song "Nature Boy" no longer what defines us as a civilized society? 'The greatest gift that we can learn is just to love and be loved in return.' It's a great line, a golden rule if ever there was one. It's the philosophy of life.
Have not our leaders, all leaders throughout the world, realized yet that terrorism begets terrorism? Hate begets hate? Actions beget reactions, whether positive or negative? Have we forgotten love begets love, goodness triumphs over evil, live and let live?
The world has become a free-for-all in which there is no sense or sanity anymore, and where the victims are our children. Don't we have a responsibility to protect them? To shield them from the realities of hate, prejudice, immorality, fear, and pessimism? It is no wonder we have more depressed children than ever before, more children on medication, more children acting out their anger and angst against others in ways we could never before have comprehended. What is to become of our next generation as they grow into adults? What is to become of the twenty-first century? Where is all this negativity leading? What frightening questions.
People must look to the past to understand the present and prepare for the future. In modern, civilized times, let's go back just some 65 years as an example. On November 9, 1938, Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party smashed all the window of every Jewish family's home, synagogue, and business (Kristallnacht - The Night of Broken Glass) and herded them like chattle into ghettos. No one came to help them. It was the beginning of a genocide we still can't, nor should not, ever forget. When no country would take them in, as if they were vermin, not even the United States, these millions of people were moved into concentration camps throughout Eastern Europe, separated from their families, starved and tortured, not for anything they had done, but for who they were. And then the horror began as the mass shootings, gas chambers, and indiscriminate murders started. The United States did not come to the Jewish people's aid until 1941 when Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese. What would have happened if the Japanese didn't attack? Would the United States have joined the allies to help save these destined people? Or would they have allowed the genocide to continue, the illegal massacre of the world's first religion, God's chosen people as the Bible states, the religion of Christ? Did Christ advocate killing, especially his own people. If he were alive, he would have been the first to denounce it, the first to fight it, and the first to die for it.
Just imagine: Six million Jews were killed in the concentration camps in a six year period. Of course there were many others, six million non-Jews were also slaughtered, but for this thesis, let's focus on the Jewish people, the people who were being blamed for the Depression. If six million Jews were killed in six years (1939-1945), that's approximately a million innocent people a year, which is 83,333 every month, 19,380 a week, 2,769 every day, 46 every hour, which comes to 2 men, women and children each minute: each minute of each hour of each day of each week of each month of each year for six years straight.
Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in the June 22, 2003 New York Times wrote: "There is a worldwide surge in anti-Semitic violence. Last spring, physical attacks against Jews in France were occurring at a rate of 8-12 a day, with 14 arson attacks on synagogues in a two-week period. In Russia, signs reading 'Death to Jews' were placed along highways and rigged to explode if anyone sought to remove them."
An opinion survey of adults in ten European countries found that 21% harbor strong anti-Semitic views. The ADL's Conference of Global Anti-Semitism in 2002 found that:
* 58% of Germans believe the Jews still talk too much about the Holocaust, followed closely by Spain with 57%, Austria with 56%, Switzerland with 52%, France with 46%, Italy with 43% Belgium with 38%, the Netherlands with 35%, Denmark with 30% and the UK with 23%.
* The percentage of those who believe Jews are more loyal to Israel than their home country: Spain 72%, Italy 58%, Germany 55%, Austria 54%, Belgium 50%, Switzerland 49%, The Netherlands 48%, Denmark 45%, France 42%, and the UK 34%.
* The percentage of those who believe Jews have too much power in the business world: Spain 63%, Belgium 44%, France 42%, Austria 40%, Switzerland 37%, Germany 32%, UK 21%, The Netherlands 20%, and Denmark 13%.
Is it any wonder why the Jewish people fear for their lives around the world? And why what is happening in the Middle East right now is so crucial to their survival as a people?
Isn't it wonderful that our world is made up of such diversity, so many religious and ethic groups? How fascinating to meet someone new and learn more about their culture and heritage. We will never all be the same, no matter how much terrorism or genocide. Not every country will be a democracy, nor wants to be. We have no right to tell people, cultures that are thousands of years old, and know no other way to live, how they should now live. Terrorism is created by mankind when they refuse to accept other ways of life. We've rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein. Isn't it time to allow Iraq to rebuild its own country and government? It is our refusal to leave that is creating the insurgency. And for every insurgent we kill, hundreds more become resolute with rage and revenge. Worldwide terrorism en masse.
Today, Americans are living with the frightening possibility, or probability, that terrorism is going to come to America any time now, as detailed in the novel THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY (www.thetwentyfirstcentury.com). Can that be? The answer is apparent since 47 of our 48 contiguous states have terrorist cells ready to launch an attack on us at any time. Americans live with security checks everywhere they go, while our government is desperately trying to find these cells. Most Muslims who enter America are law-abiding, family rearing, good people. But, there are those who come into our country undetected or under false pretenses. Of the top ten states with the largest Muslim populations, four are border states: California, Michigan, Texas, and New York. Homeland Security must do a better job in protecting our borders, be more diligent, if they expect to protect their citizens.
We all hope our children, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim, will grow up a little less afraid of today and tomorrow, a little more optimistic with hope as their guide, a little bit safer because they have nothing to worry them, and, most importantly, a little bit happier, with beautiful smiles on their faces that were meant to be there. Let's not ruin their future. Let's learn from our mistakes.
Bruce Schwartz is a lifelong political activist. THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY, his novel on politics today, discusses this subject as well as others that affect every American. It is on sale only on the Web at http://www.thetwentyfirstcentury.com and at http://www.amazon.com. All of the author's royalties is being donated to the Alzheimer's Association.