timesofisrael.com: Jacob Kimchy- On the 13th Anniversary of 9/11, Terrorism is More of a Reality than Ever

Thirteen years ago, the world stopped breathing as everyone watched in horror as the Twin Towers were attacked and fell, murdering 2,700 innocent people and leaving hundreds of thousands of victims in its wake and countless others in trauma.

The skyline of New York City changed forever that day, and despite the Freedom Tower standing tall and proud this year, the city has a scar which will remain there forever.

I was a student when it happened. My father called to tell me about the attacks. I rushed home and sat around the TV with my family watching the unimaginable. I remember my father’s words “the towers won’t fall. They are strong and will survive.” But that wasn’t how it ended, and minutes later we all cried as a new reality set in for the entire world. And in seconds, hundreds of families of the 2,700 innocent victims, as well as the hundreds of thousands that were there that day, joined a new club – victims of terrorism.

Eight months later my family joined that very same club. My father was murdered in a suicide bombing in our hometown of Rishon Letzion, Israel, along with 14 other innocent people.

Terrorism is a cancer that continues to spread around the world. Overnight it seems, the face of terrorism has changed and become darker and more evil. Just a few months ago, the world was focused on sanctions with Iran and the war with Hizbollah and Hammas.  The world put its focus on Tehran and its nuclear program without knowing that a new group would emerge, ready to storm the world with horror videos and quickly spread its ideology and recruit supporters.  All the while the Western world enjoyed summer time.

But the conversation has changed and this new group, ISIS, is much stronger and more violent than we have seen before, and doesn’t discriminate between its victims.  Like a cobra, ISIS surprised us out of nowhere, leaving the world in shock, struggling to find a way to react.  And the social media tools – facebook, twitter, and youtube – that we all love so much, are also being used by these terrorist groups to recruit and push their ideology.

We aren’t doing enough to stop this cancer from spreading. We lack a strong coalition and leadership.  And in the absence of both, global terrorism is becoming stronger and more popular.  We see photos of children holding the ISIS flag, British rappers beheading American journalists, and more and more Westerners turning to radical ideology and joining ISIS.

As fear of ISIS increases, so does the reality of another attack in Europe or on American soil.  We can only wish that September 11th won’t happen again, but we all know that is a far-fetched reality in today’s world.

These who have never faced terrorism will have hard time understanding how cruel its hand is and the scar it leaves. We must hope that our government can act fast and swift and radiate the cancer before it spreads, in order for all of us to live in a better world.

Via timesofisrael.com

tlvfaces.com: For The Sake of The Next Generation

Another Holocaust Remembrance Day has passed, leaving the Jewish nation with much sobbing, memories and pain. I sat down with my family to watch various movies detailing the stories of Holocaust survivors and I heard from my dear aunt’s mouth the personal account of the voyage she made from France to Israel, together with my grandfather on the ship, The Exodus.

It is difficult to describe what the Jews went through at the time of the Holocaust and comprehend the extent of evil that led the Nazis to try to exterminate the Jewish nation.

The many photographs that were shared among my Facebook friends made tangible the severity of hate that exists for the Jewish people. It is not easy to look at piles of Jewish bodies next to smiling Nazi officers, Nazi soldiers cutting the beards of Rabbis, and Jewish children lifting their hands, fearfully before a shooting squad.

It all began through brain-washing, the use of media, and the transference of hate, where Jews were depicted as animals and bloodsuckers. Millions of people stood by, doing nothing to stop the deluge of poison that eventually brought about the Second World War.

The question that begs to be asked is, what has changed since then? The answer is one thing alone-the State of Israel.

The current, 2013 edition of global anti-Semitism is record-breaking and continues to spread without hindrance. You can now spot swastikas in every corner of Europe, New York and even in Israel. The octopus drawings that liken the Jew to one who possesses long arms, appear today just like they did 70 years ago and the physical injury to Jews has begun to rage, as well.

In various places within the U.S., there are still those who believe that Jews have horns, and millions more around the world today are driven by the erroneous notion that all of the world’s Jews are holding on to millions of dollars from their own bank accounts.

Even if I try to describe the magnitude of the anti-Semitism phenomenon that is quickly expanding by global proportions, I couldn’t assess the exact figure, nor the extent of danger, but the only answer that stands before us in order to continue existing in a world filled with such immense evil, is for all of us to support the Jewish State.

The Jewish people must concern themselves of the fact that the Jewish State must remain strong and firm. We must cultivate every corner of Israel and raise our children with the values and ideology that will lead us to a prideful and united future.

The State of Israel is our precious diamond and our children’s future but we must not forget our brothers in the Diaspora.

Currently, in many of Europe’s cities, it is becoming nearly impossible to remain living as a Jew.For many years now, Jews do not dare to wear kippas or go around with Stars of David around their necks for fear of the repercussions. It is easy to observe in cities like New York, which is home to approximately 2 millions Jews, when synagogues are protected by police teams and private security personnel for fear of attack. These same synagogues are situated right next to churches which need no such protection.

The State of Israel is obligated to stand with Her back straight and serve as the voice of Diaspora Jewry before the political leaders and religious figures of Europe. It is not possible that an additional storm of hate and attacks on the Jewish people will occur silently, in the very same places where 6 millions of us were murdered.

The same evil which has been allowed to spread in a democratic fashion, must be stopped. The small trickle of human injury, such as those witnessed in Toulouse, France show us precisely what awaits us in the future.

The words, “never again,” hold a much deeper and important meaning than a momentary saying usually does. These two words must lead us in two directions. On the one hand, we must continue to remember our past, yet we must just as importantly, fight the evil that is anti-Semitism, so that we can all have a deservedly bright future.

tlvfaces.com: Israel Releases 26 Terrorists; What about the Families of the Victims?

26 terrorists were release from an Israeli jail last night. These 26 murderers left the families of the victims with a hole in their heart and a lifetime of pain. It’s a kind of pain that follows you everywhere and stays with you for years, even in the happiest of events.

I lost my father to a suicide bombing during the second Intifada. And while the terrorists being released had nothing to do with my father, their release has hit home and is an unbearable turn of events.

But more importantly for the victims, there is a need to prepare them for the fact that those who murdered their loved ones are now free.  Even more disappointing than the release is the fact that the Israeli government has failed to do this. Most of the families heard the news from friends or surfing the web, not from the government or through psychologists deployed to help prepare them for this torturous day.

It is accepted that when a soldier is hurt or killed in battle, a group of psychologists and government officials, will go to the parent’s home to tell them the news. So why is the release of a murderer not equal to this? It is a second loss for the family and they need, now more than ever, the government’s full attention to help them recovery. It is like sitting a second “shiva”.

After speaking with many victims of terrorism over the last few days, and based on my own experiences through my organization, One Heart, which I founded to help victims of terrorism, I know all too well that this event touches the hearts of many, and the help that the Israeli government needs to provide is even wider. The release of these 26 terrorists causes a new pain to the thousands of Israeli victims of terrorism. One cannot imagine what we see when we close our eyes, and recent events have only brought those to the forefront once more.

A release should be well thought out and looked at from many angles. After all, for many victims, today it feels like our loved ones have been killed all over again.

Via www.tlvfaces.com