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Op-Ed: Suspicious Behavior

It's getting harder to know when to be alarmed. Some of us think there is no reason to be.
Published: Monday, August 25, 2014 7:01 AM


On most trains in and around New York passengers are advised to report suspicious packages or suspicious behavior. Israelis don’t need to be reminded.

The New York announcement gives a special hotline to make the call. Israelis know the number by heart.

This alarm is something new for us, as if maybe we’re catching on.

But we’re still not convinced…even after 9/11. We still think it is not our problem.

Obama keeps hedging his bets, though he is not rushing to Cairo for a peace process with ISIS. No, this he demands only of Israel as regards Hamas. Eric Holder believes that the beheading of American journalist, James Foley, is business as usual for the lawyers.

Radical Islam? That term has been scrubbed and is still forbidden throughout the Department of Justice and also the Department of State.  

Speaking on The Five on Fox News, commentator Bob Beckel avers that there is no chance of ISIS getting here. Right, play ball and ignore what’s happening.


We face Jihad crazies who are simply crazy, very crazy, terribly crazy, super crazy, totally crazy, insanely and certifiably nuts.
In the UK, they appear to be more astute, with asterisks, however. Writing for the Gatestone Institute, Douglas Murray reminds us that Jihad is a revolving door – it was a British convert to Islam who beheaded Foley and it was a Brit, Omar Sheikh who arranged the decapitation of Daniel Pearl. (Omar? Brits used to be named Trevor.)

However, some British Muslims – man-on-the-street – want to know Foley’s political views, to suggest that if they were the wrong views, he deserved to die.

Welcome to the 21st Century. Is ISIS as bad as it gets, or is there worse over the horizon?

So on this particular train ride in Manhattan en route to Connecticut a group got on and they were as American as Mom and apple pie. The men spoke Arabic, and that too is American, and the women were covered in those black sheets from head to toe – no longer a strange sight.

In France, the UK, and all over Europe the skyline is changing rapidly, from steeples to minarets. In America it’s taking longer.

So who were these people who just got on the train…and were they doing anything suspicious? Yes and no. They were somewhat loud. Is this suspicious behavior? Some had packages. Is this anything to report? It’s perhaps unfair to ask ordinary citizens to make such snap decisions.

One covered-up woman was especially obnoxious, but if her name were Peggy Sue we wouldn’t give it a second thought.

So it goes in a world that gives Hamas every benefit of the doubt, Hamas being a synonym for ISIS. Same people.

Check your own man-on-the-street and ask about Daniel Tragerman, the gorgeous Israeli boy who was killed by a Hamas mortar shell.

Ask…what were this 4-year-olds political views and explain how this was justified.

It’s gotten so topsy-turvy that there is serious talk about supporting Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, the man who uses chemical weapons to kill thousands of his own people. But apparently he is the lesser of all the other evils. So from this distance it’s become quite baffling for people outside the Caliphate neighborhood.

We know the world has gone bonkers, from bad to worse, but where is the scorecard? It’s like a tiresome ballgame gone into extra innings, this world.

In Israel, they face the clarity of Hamas every day.

We only know this…

There are various strains of Jihad. We are asked to beware. But of which ones, since they fall into six categories on an advancing scale as follows:

We face Jihad crazies who are simply crazy, very crazy, terribly crazy, super crazy, totally crazy, insanely and certifiably nuts.

Next time you’re on a train or a plane, you figure it out and decide when it’s time to make the emergency call. 

Jack Engelhard writes a regular column for Arutz Sheva. Engelhard wrote the int’l bestseller Indecent Proposal that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. New from the novelist, Bonus Edition of his award-winning memoir Escape From Mount Moriah. Website: www.jackengelhard.com