by David Meiselman
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.
Martin Niemoller was a German pastor who vigorously supported many Nazi ideas in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. After Hitler came to power in 1933, Niemoller spoke out against the government and from 1937 to 1945 was confined to Nazi prisons and concentration camps. He issued the above warning upon his release in 1945.
Let me say at the outset, that while I take pride in being Jewish, I am not an Israeli. I am an American. I am not a Jewish American. I am an American American. I don’t need any hyphens. I have only one loyalty, only one country. I have never been to Israel. I do not know anyone in Israel. I do not speak Hebrew and I’m not afraid of or adverse to disagreeing with Israeli policy. My family has been in America for 160 years and generations of my family have seen combat for America in several wars, as volunteers, not draftees. I am a proud United States Marine Corp veteran who served with honor in Vietnam 1968-1969.
That having been said, this piece is not about Israel. It’s about America. We need to learn the lessons of history and see the big picture. What’s going on in the Middle East is our future, here at home. And I don’t mean 25 or 50 years from now. I mean soon, very likely within the next ten years. And if you don’t see it coming, it will only come sooner. They may not be coming for you today but they will be tomorrow.
It often starts with the Jews because they are an easy target. But they are only the first stop along the way. As Chris Rock prophetically offers, “that train is always on time.” Then, like with Hitler, it expands to other people and other countries. That is precisely what is happening today. Don’t be distracted by the shiny object. We need to see the world as it is. Evil is coming our way. Today it’s “over there” but soon the terrorism, the danger, the fear, the bombs, the hostages, the loss of innocent lives and the loss of our freedoms, will be here. 9/11 will look like a firecracker compared to what’s coming. This movement is global. Many of those chanting “Death to Israel” in our streets and on college campuses will soon be chanting “Death to America.” It’s no longer a question of “if” but “when.”
Make no mistake. This war is really against America, the “Great Satan.” When they say they are coming for you, believe them. When they say Jihad, believe them. Iran and its allies China, Russia, North Korea fervently believe their time has come. They accurately see us as divided,
weak and vulnerable. Their goal is to end our existence as a free and democratic nation. They know that if America falls, so does the rest of the world. And we are aiding and abetting them by refusing to see it, despite its obvious presence. Their strategic chaos is intended to destabilize us and the world order. We now have wars raging on three continents. We must not be fooled by propaganda, social media and talking heads. Let us not become part of the misinformed and misguided masses that are so easily led astray. They unknowingly march in favor of repression, violence and intolerance. There will be no BLM, LGBTQIA+, ESG, DEI, BIPOC, environmental or climate voices, safe spaces, criminal justice or women’s rights groups when Iran and China are in charge. Just look at what they do to their own people.
This is not about politics. We are all at risk. No one is immune. As in Iran and its allies, there is only one political party and no freedom to change that government by voting. Israel helps to keep America safe by being on the front line. Not supporting Israel is not understanding reality. It’s about survival for our children and grandchildren. We need to support Israel, Ukraine and any other country willing to fight our fight. We need to stop brawling amongst ourselves. We must not allow our politicians to divide us. We cannot allow our differences to strengthen our enemies, weaken our allies and make us vulnerable to those who wish us harm. Hating each other compromises us from within. All other issues pale in comparison to loss of our personal safety, fundamental freedoms and national security. This is one issue that should unite us.
So even if you do not support Israel in its existential battle, remember that they are fighting the evil that will soon be knocking at our door. That is why there is no place for antisemitism in America. If Israel is out of the picture, the full attention of their enemies, our enemies, will become laser focused on attacking America, even if that attack requires nuclear weapons. To think otherwise is naive.
Author is a formal journalist and US Marine.