In the fall of 1938, Winston Churchill was aghast after Czechoslovakia lost its territorial integrity following the signing of the Munich agreement.
Consequently, in a public broadcast Churchill stated: "We ought not to allow ourselves to be drawn into a theoretical antagonism between Nazidom and democracy, but the antagonism is here now. It is this very conflict of spiritual and moral ideas which gives the free countries a great part of their strength."
Though 68 years have passed since he uttered those words, the conviction and tenacity that Churchill expressed while describing the enemy of the day applies all too well to our own situation today.
America was attacked via the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, and Israel was attacked by Hezbollah this summer — both without provocation. The sole reason for these acts of war stem from the fact that these two countries stand for freedom and democracy, and now we all face a common enemy that ascribes to a utopian-totalitarian ideology: Islamism.
Israel is in the midst of fighting two terrorist organizations that share a lot in common. Most importantly, neither Hamas nor Hezbollah recognizes Israel.
The two organizations are well-ingrained in areas Israel evacuated unilaterally.
Given the above, it is important to understand that this war is waged against all those who are non-Muslim "infidels," not only against the Jews.
Because of this very reason, the Center for Israel and Overseas and the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is hosting Brigitte Gabriel author of Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America.
Gabriel, a Lebanese Christian, tells a personal tale of persecution in Lebanon, and how she was affected by the jihadist war against all that is non-Muslim.
Her voice underscores how long and widespread the war against Islamism is.
America has been fighting this war for at least 27 years, and unfortunately, the government has not been reading the signs well. The bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in 1983, the hijacking of TWA Flight No. 847 in 1985, and Pan Am Flight No. 73 in 1986. And again in 1988 with Pan Am Flight No. 103. And don't forget the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996, and the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000. All of the above have the footprints of Islamism written all over them.
Connecting the dots is vital to understanding that Israel's war on terror, and America's are one and the same. In addition, the world needs to understand that jihad means warfare, and not a psychological, spiritual act that one strives for.
'Policy by Other Means'
The early 19th-century Prussian soldier and intellectual Carl von Clausewitz wrote On War, a book that has become the most important single work ever written on the theory of warfare and strategy.
Clausewitz's famously wrote that "war is merely the continuation of policy by other means."
In essence, Clausewitz accepted the fact that political violence is inevitable. Americans, too, should be prepared to deal with the war against Islamism in a Clausewitzian manner.
Individuals like Brigitte Gabriel are a living testimony to Clausewitz's truth as to why the world should not engage with those who seek its destruction.
As Gabriel writes, "I refuse to stand by and let the same thing happen to my adopted country, the United States. Even after 9/11 there are those who say that we must 'engage' our terrorist enemies, that we must 'address their grievances.' Their grievance is our freedom of religion. Their grievance is our democratic process. Islamic religious authorities and terrorist leaders repeatedly state that they will destroy the United States and Western civilization.
"Unless we take them at their word, and defend ourselves, they will succeed."
Asaf Romirowsky is the manager of Israel & Middle East Affairs for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.