But We Are All Hostages
But We Are All Hostages

From our Sages we have this most chilling thought: “One never knows what a day may bring.”

You’re blissfully praying at a synagogue in Jerusalem or peacefully having coffee in Sydney and in an instant, the unexpected.

Your life is shattered and the world turns dark.

Can you be called a bigot if by their incendiary words and by their treacherous deeds they have turned you into one?
You never saw it coming. You never had a chance. You never had a moment to explain, to reason, to debate, or even to protest.

Every day it’s something else, or rather, every day it’s the same thing but someplace else – all the madness arriving from the one source, a radicalized brand of Islam whose mindless fury knows no boundaries and whose hand is on every neck. They have grievances against everyone, everywhere; even tribe against tribe.

The other day it was Pakistan where the Taliban entered a school and slaughtered some 150 children. As depraved as that was, listen to NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel say that “US support for Israel creates more terrorists.” This is the depravity that we have come to expect from Engel and the rest of the news media.

Which brings us headlines that move too quickly to stop at any particular act of savagery. We hardly have time to absorb.

There has never been a war quite like this wherein all of us have been taken hostage. If you doubt this, if you think “we’re winning,” or if you think you enjoy the maximum blessings of freedom, try getting on an airplane as you used to when the world was young.  

We face checkpoints and heightened security wherever we go. Our bodies get scanned and X-rayed to protect our rights to life and limb.

But all of it amounts to the fact that we are not free. We are imprisoned by fear, fear of what’s coming next.

In a word, we are hostages, all of us. Every one of us. The BBC and The New YorkTimes and all the rest of them will scoff and slander about a security fence built in Israel to stave off a particular menace. Yet to enter their buildings everyone faces the same wall of security measures to stave off the very same menace, the same population that has the entire civilized world on edge.

Even our minds have been taken hostage. Our upbringing commands us to love our neighbors and to greet everyone with approval. We were taught to be careful and cautious. But we were not taught to be suspicious and hateful. Certainly we were never instructed to be bigoted.

What follows is perhaps the most vital question I ever asked and I asked it in a novel, “The Bathsheba Deadline,” which was finally published after being turned down by eight sniveling publishers in New York for being “too far ahead” of my readers. This is the question:

“Can you be called a bigot if by their incendiary words and by their treacherous deeds they have turned you into one?”

Am I too far ahead of my readers?

Because of an insatiable foe against which we cannot build enough barriers, we act differently. We think differently.

Into each one of us they have instilled a form of anxiety that comes close enough to be called bigotry.

We do not like this about ourselves. But there it is.

In the same book, I wrote, “The Koran has arrived and it has come to devour the Bible.”

The same publishers snickered that I was going “off on a limb” and needed to give the world time to catch up.

Has the world caught up?

Jack Engelhard writes a regular column for Arutz Sheva. New from the novelist, the acclaimed anti-BDS thriller Compulsive. 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. Website: www.jackengelhard.com