Departing from the local stuff today for something that affects us all as Americans, and something from which we in Maryland have not been protected.
Across the nation, Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) and schools have been victimized by phoned threats of terrorist violence. Estimates are that the total number of these threats, in the United States and Canada, are at or have exceeded 100. And, while thankfully, none of the threats have been carried out, that the threats exist and that they continue puts an especially vile sheen on the continued War on Terror.
The threat makers are as yet unknown, and there is speculation that the threats are coming from foreign sources. Regardless, this is the sort of terrorism that I recall writing about years ago. This is the sort of terrorism that I believe, can strike at the heart of this nation with the greatest ferocity. And this is the type of terrorism that we must move to stamp out quickly and with certainty.
My belief is that while attacks on American landmarks and symbols are certainly horrific and terrible, ultimately, we as a people prove our resilience and bounce back from the tragedy. While 9/11 is far from forgotten, and while all of us of age can remember where we were on that fateful day, we acknowledge that day, make peace with it, and move on. We keep moving forward.
However, having lived in this area during the sniper attacks in the Baltimore/Washington area in the fall of 2001, I can vouch for the fact that the far more damaging, far more insidious, form of terror is that which cuts to the core of our being, our fabric of our society. Like, in the case of the sniper attacks, going to a department store or a restaurant. Or, in this present case, going to a community center or a school. Suddenly, places that are sources of social activity, fellowship, and education are under assault. And people don't feel safe.
Add to this the fact that these threats are strong examples of anti-Semitism (although there are no weak examples) and thinking back to the concept that the source of these threats is overseas, and one must wonder what the game is. Is it to divide us even further as a people? Is it to fire up anti-Semitic sentiment? Is it to cause more backlash in this country against Muslims, since the obvious thought would be that these threats would be carried out by ISIS or their sympathizers?
Within the last few years, America has been under assault like never before by foreign powers who wish to destabilize our systems and our culture. There is so much smoke with respect to the effect Russia and Russian interests had in the 2016 Presidential election, that there has, absolutely has, to be fire. The only question is how hot does the fire burn? And how high?
And now this. At a time when we're trying to debate, with whatever civility we can muster, issues of immigration and citizenship and diversity and culture, this happens. Another attempt, another effort to create division and argument and discord.
I hope beyond hope that these threats remain just that-- simply threats. Although "simply threats" is putting it very mildly. Moreover, and more importantly, I hope that whoever and whatever is generating these threats are dealt with swiftly and with certainty by whatever force this country is able to muster.
Although, destroying these terrorists may be the easy part. Fixing the damage they may have already done, without detonating one gram of explosive, may be a much tougher charge.
Let's be careful out there.
#JCC #USTerror #USpolitics