Jihad has rapidly taken a new and ominous shape.
In the past, bombs were exploded—either human homicide bombs or car/truck bombs. Rockets were launched. Unbelievably, planes were once flown into major Western targets.
Now, President Obama empowers the radical Islamic world further by refusing to join the words “terrorism” and “Islam” and by insisting that Islam is a religion of “peace.” Obama continues to empower Iran to become a nuclear power and, most fatefully, empowers the recruitment efforts of The Islamic State.
He does so each time he refuses to say that the Free World or the Judeo-Christian West is at war with Islamic barbarianism or with radical political Islam.
I once feared and tried to monitor Palestinian and pro-Palestinian surging, potential lynch mobs in the Middle East, in Israel, and globally. The marches and demonstrations, both in the street and on campuses in the West have, over the years, become more aggressive, louder, more entitled.
Now, the threat is a more individual one. Radicalized Islamist sleeper-cell individuals, or “lone wolf” jihadists, dressed in civilian clothing, are taking civilians hostage. They do not “look” like traditional soldiers—they dress like the people they hold hostage and like the people they massacre. We have seen this happen recently in Australia and in France.
Israel has long been used to this kind of challenge—that of facing warriors dressed as civilians who, in addition, hide behind innocent human shields; when they die in the combat which they began, the West counts them as “civilian” dead. The soldier disguised as a civilian, who is fighting a non-traditional war, is a phenomenon that the world at large has refused to understand as long as the victims are mainly Israelis.
Now, more ominously, individuals dressed as civilians are running their cars into crowds yelling “Allahu-Akbar!”
They have butchered Jewish rabbis at prayer in West Jerusalem and as of today, one individual Jihadist has stabbed civilians on a bus and on the street. (Such wild stabbings have happened before in Israel).
It is important to note that the attack took place in Tel Aviv, not in Hebron. As I have always said: The “settlement” that most offends the Arab world is Tel Aviv; the “settlement” that offends is a Jewish infidel presence in the Islamic world.
“It-bak el Yahud”—butcher or slaughter the Jew, is a very up close and barbaric method of homicide. We see the soldiers of the Islamic State be-heading captives and broadcasting their gory deeds. This has attracted sociopaths, angry Muslims and people of color who have converted to Islam and who live in the West.
To the extent to which the Free World does not stop the slaughter of the Jews, it will inevitably get to experience this form of “individualized” Jihad in their own countries.
Prof. Phyllis Chesler
The writer, a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum and recipient of the 2013 National Jewish Book Award, is the author of fifteen books, including Women and Madness, Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman, and The New Anti-Semitism. She has published three studies about honor killing and is at work on a fourth. Her latest book is An American Bride in Kabul, (Palgrave Macmillan). Professor Chesler may be reached at her website www.phyllis-