How to Punish ISIS

What Obama should do about ISIS, but don't hold your breath.

Prof. George Jochnowitz

OpEds Prof. George Jochnowitz
Prof. George Jochnowitz

President Obama should invite Binyamin Netanyahu to the White House and make a statement saying that the United States needs to benefit and honor Israel as a way to fight terrorism.

He should say, “We are inviting Israel’s Prime Minister in order to punish you, ISIS, for burning an innocent man to death. Your actions have made us understand that we must fight you by joining with Israel. Whenever there is an act of terrorism in the world, we will respond by granting Israel a diplomatic or military favor.”

Leaders of the world everywhere would scream in horror at this action. But they did the same thing when Israel announced it would withdraw from Gaza. Even before the withdrawal took place, on July 9, 2005, 171 non-governmental organizations voted to boycott, divest from, and impose sanctions against Israel. That was the beginning of the BDS Movement.

A thousand years ago, Islam was open to rationality and science. There were Muslim scientists who made important discoveries. In 1006, as Professor Bernard Goldstein has shown, `Ali b. Ridwan described a supernova and located it with great precision in the constellation Lupus. Contemporary scientists have checked the information out and found it to be accurate.

Today, on the other hand, the energies--intellectual and otherwise--of the Islamic world are devoted to irrational hatred. The primary cause is hatred against Israel, but when hatred exists, it lands on other targets as well.

ISIS has not directly attacked Israel at all—its victims have been Yazidis, Shiites, and now an innocent Jordanian who was burned alive. These targets are being attacked because hatred knows no bounds. What is happening in the Middle East is analogous to what happened to the Roma and Sinti peoples, formerly known as Gypsies. The Nazis hated them, to be sure, but there would not have been an attempt to exterminate them if the Nazis hadn’t already gotten into the practice of exterminating minorities because they were trying to rid the world of Jewish genes. One hatred leads to another.

Thomas L. Friedman wrote an Op-ed piece telling Binyamin Netanyahu not to get involved in the controversy concerning a treaty with Iran. “Just lie low, Mr. Netanyahu. Don’t play in our politics.”

Friedman’s column reminds one of the New York Times and its silence during World War II, and of America’s very slow response to the Holocaust. Both the Times and the Roosevelt administration were afraid that making an obvious effort to rescue Jews from the death camps would lead the world to believe that American involvement in World War II was simply the result of Jewish pressure. Independent of the fact that anti-Semitism was a force that was motivating Hitler, the United States needed to defend itself against the Axis powers. Independent of the fact that anti-Zionism is driving Muslim extremists crazy, the United States needs to defend itself against terrorists.

Showing extremists that they are helping Israel by their vicious acts is a way for America to fight these fanatics.