I’m terrible at remembering things like quotes, inspirational sayings and other stuff that sounds like a Hallmark card.
Who was that who said what?
Let me go look it up. That works. I often resort to cutting and pasting quotes or saving a litany of small pieces of paper with the quotes or sayings on them.
It may be a challenge finding them, but at various times it’s worth the effort.
Like tonight. Reflecting on Friday night’s events in Paris I couldn’t help but look up the following quote:
“Never, ever deal with terrorists. Hunt them down and, more important, mercilessly punish those states and groups that fund, arm, support, or simply allow their territories to be used by the terrorists with impunity.”
Good advice. But hardly new.
It’s not from President Obama, George W. Bush, George H.W Bush, Ronald Reagan or any other U.S. president faced with fighting terrorists.
Nor is it from a world leader.
It’s from the late Rabbi Meir Kahane. Yes, that Rabbi Kahane. If you’re not familiar with him, go search him out on the Internet.
Yes, he was extreme – especially in his time – but his words seem to ring truer today more than ever before.
Kahane, who was assassinated at age 58 in 1990, had extreme views when it came to the sanctity of Israel. Rabbis tend to do that. He was, however, extreme.
Putting religious and political differences aside, when you take into consideration his thoughts on dealing with terrorism, they may not be that extreme.
In the past 12 to 18 months, some countries that were victimized by terrorism followed Kahane’s advice.
Jordan, for example, took harsh and swift action against ISIS sites after the brutal murder of Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh in February. England has responded following the murders of British nationals at the hands of ISIS.
And now it’s France leading the charge. And who can blame them? It seems that the murders of 128 innocent civilians who were doing nothing more than watching soccer game, dining or attending a concert, was the catalyst for the French air force to unleash a barrage of attacks on ISIS strongholds.
A call to action.
In France it was death of civilians; for Kahane, it was the reality of survival.
A call to action doesn’t necessarily mean taking up arms or bombs.
It’s a wake-up call for people to take stock of the world around them and within them. Kahane’s quote about terrorism does just that by raising the question – what should be done?
We’ve heard – and seen – different ideas from closing our borders to sending American troops to Syria and back into Iraq.
Are those effective ways to, as Kahane said to “mercilessly punish those states and groups that fund, arm, support...” terrorism? Who knows?
But the reality is this; something needs to be done to avoid the senseless slaughter of innocent people.
It doesn’t matter where the terrorism takes place or who is behind it, the idea of ”Never, ever deal with terrorists” is not just a quote, nor just a call to action.