Before I start, I feel I need to let you know where I'm coming from. I live in Israel. I believe we need to pursue the peace process with the Palestinians. Their plight weighs on me. I've personally expended considerable time and effort to reach out to Muslims, Palestinians, online and in person, to dialogue with them, try to find common ground and discuss solutions. I'm not a typical "right winger". I'm open to any number of possible political solutions, providing it "works" - i.e. provides people with freedom, security, self-determination, and makes for a more safe, stable, successful future for everyone here.
With that, on to "Sandy Hook and Jihad"...
I'd like to talk about something that came to mind for me in the wake of the massacre. I was reflecting on how hard it is to fathom that anyone could walk into a school and deliberately shoot up whole rooms full of precious little kids. If you had to conceive of the worst thing a person could possibly do, that would just about be it. As people have been pointing out, this suggests a case of severe mental illness. Now whether the murderer (I don't want to give him the posthumous pleasure of saying his name) had a diagnosable "DSM" mental illness I don't know. He may have just been a sicko, with an ultra-narcissistic, sadistic evil streak that ran away with itself. But either way, I'd classify that as "mentally ill" for all practical purposes. He was a person not fit to be in society. And unfortunately we didn't find that out until it was too late.
Now as I stated above, I live in Israel. A Sandy Hook-type massacre is not something that's ever happened here, where some random person just walks into a school and wantonly kills kids for some unknown insane personal reason. HOWEVER... We have experienced very similar horrors, where a Palestinian gunman walks into a Yeshiva, a private home, a bus, a restaurant or along a crowded street and deliberately murders as many innocent men, women and children as possible. The weapon of choice could be a gun, knife, hand grenade, bomb strapped to the chest - the point is to inflict maximum carnage.
Here's the main difference as I see it between Sandy Hook and Israel. In Israel, it's not "random". While it always comes as a shock, it's not completely out of the blue. Because we're not talking about one person's internal psychotic breakdown, some sort of sick personal vendetta. No, here it's "b'shita" - it's part of a methodology, a cold-blooded widely-disseminated philosophy that believes it is good to kill as many Jews as possible, and to take oneself with them if necessary. (Actually, not even "if necessary" - it's deemed a "mitzvah" to die while killing Jews.)
If we knew about the Sandy Hook murderer's mental health issues ahead of time, we could have saved all those lives. We could've been spared all the horror, all the anguish and mourning. Yet here in Israel, we have a mental health EPIDEMIC that we're all well aware of. It's not in the DSM, but it should be. It's called "Jihad", militant Islam, a movement which is breeding people, training them in droves in fact, to commit precisely the kind horror that the Sandy Hook murderer did, to want to slaughter innocent civilians, to make the streets run with blood. How? By deluding people into crossing out the word "innocents" and writing in "infidels", "pigs and monkeys", "devils". By deluding them into thinking it is the "will of Allah". I suppose then it is a clinical diagnosis - a kind of paranoid delusional psychosis, only on a mass scale.
Children from an early age are taught to believe in martyrdom. It is spoken about explicitly in mosques, broadcast with pride over television and other media. Jihad is a culture that is actually gleeful over the slaughter of innocents, where people pass out candies to celebrate a terror strike - at the very same time that Zaka volunteers are sorting through body parts. There are actually governing bodies in the world (Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran) which have identified themselves and their political/military platforms on the basis of this mental illness and use whatever power they have to advance its agenda.
Again, think about the worst thing a person could do, to murder as many innocent people as possible, and then think about a culture which is mass-brainwashing people to do just that. By any standards of normality, this kind of thinking would be considered completely and dangerously psychotic. And yet it is talked about as part of a "conflict". It is rationalized as part of a "struggle". But if we can't recognize Jihad for what it is - a "Sandy Hook ideology", psychotic and insane, then that makes us partly insane ourselves.
Ok, so let's say we call Jihad the dangerous mental illness that it is. That's a good first step. The question is, what are we going to do about it?
Here's where we get to the tricky part. If we try to stamp out the epidemic by targeting the political/religious leaders espousing it (an ostensibly reasonable strategy), this only incites more craziness, catalyzes further madness. And by doing this we also alienate the reasonable people on the Muslim/Palestinian side who might otherwise be our allies and partners. On the other hand, it's a philosophy that thrives on weakness and passivity, on the naive good will of the infidels, the people they perceive as their enemies. It thrives on doves and gets worked up by hawks.
So then aside from bombing one another to smithereens, or packing up and moving to Brooklyn like Spielberg would have us do (see the movie "Munich" for that suggestion) - or simply putting anti-psychotic meds in the drinking water, what are we supposed to do? The only solution I can think of is to work on building more alliances with the sane majority of Palestinians and Muslims. And then hope that through these connections the realization will develop that it's better to align oneself with people who want to make something out of their lives than with psychotic killers - and maybe, just possibly, we can start an epidemic of sanity.
What say you, readers?