International Conferences, World Jewish Congresses, high-level meetings - so many events; so many discussions; so many good intentions.
Indeed it is an important group of people and action. Possibilities are analyzed and discussed, strategies are decided upon and plans are formulated.
This is the civil world - one where people dress prominently, good coffee and cakes are served while polite chatter echoes through the halls between energetic and heart wrenching speeches.
Alas, there is another world that exists parallel to this one. It is a world where everyday people drive to work everyday. It is a world where the simple folk go about their daily chores, where children go to school. It is a world where most of us live.
This is a world where those that don’t attend the conferences sometimes voice their opinions - sometimes civil, sometimes not. This is a world where words sometimes get translated into action - sometimes civil, sometime not. This is a world where a person’s heart can make all the difference - not just for one person, but an entire family or more - again sometimes civil, sometimes not.
Beyond the conferences, congresses and discussions, this is another world that exists. It is the world where rocks and firebombs are still thrown at Jewish cars making their way home with the sole intent of causing a driver to crash his/her car and cause serious injury or death. It is the world where explosive devices are placed next to Jewish villages and shots are still fired randomly at houses. It is the world where the danger of being kidnapped exists only because you are a Jew. It is the world where an enemy, who does not wear a uniform and is only clothed by hatred, targets civilians whose only crime is that they are Jews and live in the heartland of their country.
It is a world where Jewish land is the prize and spilling Jewish blood is the means.
It is a world where most only react after they’ve seen the horrified pictures - after they’ve read through the list of names - after it’s too late.
This is the world where ALL of us can make a profound difference.
I understand that blood and gore makes good headlines… that a shot up car evokes emotion, that a bombing supplies great media. In fact, it has always been a tragedy to me that One Israel Fund’s heyday of raising funds was in direct correlation to the times when bus bombings were prominently displayed on the cover of US publications and when drive-by shootings were considered events to be covered by the media. It has always pained me that most people react to the aftermath of terror when it is well within their power to prevent these incidents before they occur, to alter these scenes before they happen.
During my ten-year stint as a security chief I witnessed more than my share of terrorist acts. One of the most valuable lessons I learned was that the main goal is to prevent these incidents from ever taking place and, when they do occur, to bring the people back alive and unharmed. It is not the ultimate goal to contribute to victims of terror (though that is noble). Rather, it is our goal to do everything in our power to preempt these attacks.
I daydreamed that instead of scenes depicting Jews suffering at the hands of terror we should see terrorists suffering at the hands of Jews. At least we should see more Jews being protected or saved from these heinous acts of evil.
The most important lesson that I learned is that everyone can and must make a difference.
After all wouldn’t you want someone to do the same for you?
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