Sunday, November 18, 2007

Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America

Brigette Gabriel, found of American Congress for Truth spoke today the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven as part of its celebration of Israel's sixtieth birthday. Gabriel is a Lebanese Christian woman whose mother's life was saved by Israel and whose own life was completely changed, and probably also saved, by Israel. Her message is well-worth pondering. The following are some notes taken during her talk. Items in quotes are direct quotes; most other comments paraphrase what Gabriel said. My observations are in italics.

The enemy, radical Islamists, Israel is facing is a world wide enemy. Israel has been facing it since its re-establishment; much of the world does not yet realize it faces the same enemy.

At the time of its independence, "Lebanon used to be the only Christian country in the Middle East." It was a melting pot, with the best universities to which Arabs from all over the Middle East sent their children. It was a democratic country, a republic like the US, making it very different from all the other Arab countries.

All that changed as the demographics changed and, after thirty-four years, Christians became a minority. This, along with the influx of Palestinian Arabs, led to the Lebanese civil war.

The Palestinian Arabs fled to Lebanon after "King Hussein killed more Palestinians in Black September than Israel has killed in all its conflicts" in 1975. When no other Arab country wanted them, Lebanon took them in.

"Yassir Arafat was able to use [our freedoms and our democracy] to topple our democracy" and used Lebanon to establish a base with which to attack Israel.

"The [Lebanese civil] war erupted when Palestinians walked into a church on a Sunday and opened fire."

Gabriel spent considerable time describing the barbarism of the Palestinian Arabs. "We as Westerners need to see the barbarism that is coming our way."

She described the horrible conditions her family and other Christians in southern Lebanon were forced to live under from the outbreak of the civil war until Israel established a security zone with Operation Litani in 1978.

When she was nine or ten, her family's home was burned down and she was in hospital for 2 1/2 months. When she was released, her home was gone and her family "lived underground with no electricity because the Palestinians cut off the electricity to our town."

People are outraged today that Israel is considering temporary power disruptions in Gaza as a defense against Kassam missiles being launched against homes in Sderot, the the world was silent when the Palestinian Arabs cut off electricity for Christian Lebanese for years.

For two years, when she was between the ages of eleven and thirteen, she didn't go to school. They expected to be saved, "but nobody paid attention. the whole world was asleep while we were being killed." They lived in bomb shelters during that period.

Finally, "a few people from our town decided to go to the Jews to ask for help. ... The Jews were supposed to be the enemy, [but] we knew that of the two enemies, the Jews and the Muslims, if we went to the Jews for help, they wouldn't kill us."

Israel agreed to help. They brought supplies for the Christian militia, so it could defend the families, and brought "milk for the children."

When she was thirteen years old, her family was told of a coming attack by the Palestinian Arabs and expected to be killed. She put on her best Easter dress so she'd look pretty when she was dead, knowing nobody would be there to bury her.

That turned out to be the night in 1978 when Israel came physically into Lebanon and set up a security zone. Was it not for that Israeli invasion, she probably would have been killed, along with the rest of her family. Instead, "this was when we began going back to school," often being transported to and from school by the Israelis. "Many days I was driven to school it a big tank."

This was the way her family lived for another five years, until 1982 when Israel invaded Lebanon in order to push away the Syrians and Palestinian Arabs away from where they were attacking the Galilee and forcing the Israeli families to live in bomb shelters just as they were forcing the Lebanese Christians to live in them.

One day, as they were leaving their bomb shelter, Brigette's mother was wounded by Palestinian bomb outside their bomb shelter. Her life was saved when she was taken to an Israeli hospital. For Brigette, it was a "life-changing experience" as she went with her mother and got to know Israelis.

She described her experience in the emergency room where her mother was brought. "Doctors were treating everyone (Arabs, Israelis, Lebanese, Palestinians, terrorists) according to their injuries," paying no attention who who they were. Her mother was treated "before they treated the Israeli soldier next to her."

"For the first time in my life I experienced civilization, I experienced compassion. ... I spent 22 days in that hospital; those days changed my life."

"I saw the Israelis has something I didn't have. ... The difference between Israeli culture and Palestinian culture is the difference between civilization and barbarism."

I had heard about Brigette Gabriel and known she was a strong supporter of Israel, but had not understood why. After hearing her story, I understood. It was also interesting to hear about a side of the 1982 Lebanese War that's generally ignored.

She spent most of the rest of her talk discussing the terrorist threat faced not only by Israel, but by the entire civilized world. I had not realized, for example, how far Hamas' stretch reached, naïvely believing its presence in the United States, for example, was primarily for the purpose of raising funds to support terrorist attacks against Israel.

"Hamas has the largest infrastructure in the United States" of any terrorist organization, even more than that of Al Qaeda. "Hamas is America's problem as much as it is Israel's problem. ... They have cells in 40 states in the United States."

She views illegal immigration as a deadly problem, not because of the Mexicans coming here to perform menial jobs. Rather, "we need to shut down the Mexican border because a chemical bomb, a nuclear bomb, is going to come through the Mexican border, nowhere else."

She's also concerned with the indoctrination of our youth. "Saudi Arabia has been able to exploit" the Title VI program, supposed to teach about other cultures. They're setting up Middle East Studies programs and endowed chairs and are appointing professors who are brainwashing our children. "We pump gas; they pump poison into the hearts and minds of our children."

Gabriel emphasized the importance of educating our Jewish children, pointing out it is young Jewish children who are leading the anti-Israel charge for groups like the Palestinian Solidarity Movement.

"So many times in the last 100 years, people have stood by and done nothing" to combat evil.

During a question and answer period, she urged people to take a stand and start monitoring the mosques in which indoctrination takes place. "Tolerance is important, but tolerance of evil is evil. ... Why are we giving Egypt $2 billion per year when they are airing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion" on their televisions? ...People are afraid to call a spade a spade."

Gabriel urged people to go to the web site

Gabriel is highly critical of the media. "You're not going to hear the information I'm giving you from the New York Times or CNN." She's critical of politicians, insisting "we need to look at the terrorism issue as an American issue." It's not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue.

"Radical Islam declared war on America back in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini."

"America has been asleep since 1979."

She believes people should learn more about Islam, asking who had read the Koran. Virtually nobody in the audience had. "A lot of people who don't know what Islam is all about have trouble understanding why the Muslims don't love us." She recommended the web site as a place to learn what the Koran says about various issues. She also noted there are many contradictions, but "when there are two verses that contradict each other in the Koran, it is the latter verse that is to be followed."

She recognizes there are moderate Muslims, estimating that only fifteen to twenty-five percent of Muslims are radicals. Unfortunately, the moderates sit on the sidelines. As an analogy, she noted during the Nazi period, there were plenty of moderate Germans.

Regarding the Iranian nuclear program, she has no doubts. "Ahmedinejad is developing a nuclear bomb. He will use it against Israel."

When it comes to confronting Iran, she also has no doubts. "We will fight Iran. It's not a matter of if; it's a matter of when" and whether it's on their terms or ours.

She had one final recommendation about educating our youth, concerning her book, "Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America." She recommended parents get copies and give them to the teachers and to the library in their children's schools.

Brigette Gabriel's message is a strong one and a frightening one. The notes here do not do justice to the horrors she and other Lebanese Christians lived, and died, through as the Palestinian Arabs ripped Lebanon apart. Her message is a valuable one which should be listened to.