The Lord will wage war with Amalek from generation to generation” (Exodus 17:16)

Some stories we hear as children stay with us for a lifetime. They speak to something deep within our psyche, our soul. The story of Amalek is one such story. It is about those who wish to kill the Jews. People who believe that the Jews must be exterminated as a people and as a nation. Their hate is so strong that they encourage the deaths of their own in this endeavor.

Forty years ago Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov wrote in Book of our Heritage:

“Hatred brought them to the point where they were prepared to commit suicide if only to allow it to be expressed. He (Amalek) came to destroy and hate.”

The Jewish people are taught, “The Eternal will be at war against Amalek throughout the ages.” This implies that Israel is commanded to wage a holy war of extermination against Amalek (Deut. 25:12–19). We learn about the Amalekites during the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. They are infamous for preying on the weak, the sick, the women and children, the stragglers coming out of Egypt following their enslavement to Pharaoh. They are like hyenas that go after the weakest in the herd and vultures that circle overhead waiting until the prey is too weak to move. They are cowards.

Notice I write in the present because the Amalekites and their leader, Amalek, are amongst us today.

We are told in rabbinic literature that we must retain an eternal remembrance of Amalek  because Amalek is the irreconcilable enemy and it is forbidden to show mercy foolishly to one wholly dedicated to the destruction of Israel. And just as importantly it is incumbent upon us to remember that the attack of the Amalekites upon the Israelites encouraged others.

Islamic State

Islamic State terrorists: the Amalekites of today? (AP photo)

Over the centuries many important enemies of Israel were identified as direct descendants of Amalek. Haman, regarded as a descendant of Agag (I Sam. 15:8) the Amalekite king, is “remembered” each year at Purim.

It seems to me that Amalek remained quiet, relatively speaking, until he arose in the form of Hitler. Or perhaps Amalek was always present, just under the surface, but we just didn’t pay attention to the little “evils” committed here and there: the prosecutions and persecutions, expulsions and forced conversions of the Jews. Perhaps in our self-defence we remained wilfully blind, praying the evil wind would blow over, while the rest of the world chose wilful blindness to our sufferings. And that made the world ripe for the evil of Amalek to rise in Hitler.

But Amalek was not defeated with the death of Hitler. Yes, the world wept when they heard the truth about the ovens. But their tears dried up, quickly, making it possible for the Amalekites to reappear. They first appeared in the Islamists who call for the destruction of Israel. While Muslims attacked the Jews in Israel for decades, the West looked away. Not their problem. If anything, after 1973, the West began blaming Israel for the attacks on the Jews. They blamed the victim. And today, the attack of the Amalekites upon the Israelites has encouraged others to attack the rest of the West, as the rabbis had warned us: “The attack of the Amalekites upon the Israelites encouraged others.”

Israel is the ‘West’ in the Middle East

It seems the West refuses to acknowledge that Israel is the West in the Middle East. How often have we heard “Death to Israel…Death to America”? To these Islamists, these Amalekites, Israel and America are one and the same. As is Europe. Walking away from Israel, refusing to stand up the false claims that Israel is an occupier – a red-herring – has come home to roost. The Amalekites dressed as “Palestinians” encouraged others to attack Israel – the symbol of the West – and now, sadly, we are  experiencing the truth of this hate as the Israelis have experienced it since 1948.

It has nothing to do with Israel and the “Palestinians” and everything to do with culture. But the tolerant, inclusive, accommodating West refused to see what so many of us saw so long ago: that the values of the West, which come from the Jewish people, are anathema to the Amalekites of today.

Robert Fulford,  following the traumatic events in France and Belgium, wrote about the culture clash in the National Post:

Man grieves in Paris recently following Islamic terror attacks the previous night. (AP)

Man grieves in Paris recently following Islamic terror attacks the previous night. (AP)

“Mirror-thinking is a grave error, the temptation to guess that opponents are much like us and respond to life as we respond.  To avoid that mistake we must imagine a radically different belief system. We must consider growing up among people who preach the radical Islamist way.…While the West finds life increasingly complicated, radical Islam finds it altogether simple, reducible to a bundle of clear rules. Non-believers, including Shia Muslims, are infidels, not entitled to live. A true Islamic soldier who dies in battle goes immediately to paradise, so death can be preferable to life.”

When the West closes its eyes to attack on Jews as we did during the reign of the Nazis, and now on the Jewish state of Israel, we are merely encouraging others to attack the West. Too many leaders in the West still try to justify and excuse the evil, barbaric behaviour of these present day Amalekites.

After the most recent terror attack in Paris, two of the most influential people in the West had the temerity to try and diminish the viciousness of these attacks by attempting to rationalize and diminish them.

John Kerry, Secretary of State, USA: “There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of—not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, ‘Okay, they’re really angry because of this and that, This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate.”

And Barack Obama,  President of the USA: “The terrible events in Paris were obviously a terrible and sickening setback.”

Amalek Running Rampant in Europe

How quickly we forget our own values: our laws about human interactions; our rules: Article 3 of UNSC Resolution 1566 of October 2004 (passed under Chapter VII and, therefore, binding on all States) which declares (emphasis added):

“…that criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act, which constitute offences within the scope of and as defined in the international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism, are under no circumstances justifiable by considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other similar nature, and calls upon all States to prevent such acts and, if not prevented, to ensure that such acts are punished by penalties consistent with their grave nature.

The Amalekites, the Islamists, are on a murderous rampage in Europe. They already attacked Canada, Australia and America. Wherever they go, they attack “soft targets,” a euphemism for innocent civilians not expecting to be murdered strolling down the street, at the movies, the cafés, the sport stadiums driving their cars, tending to their children, attending their places of worship, doing the things that free people do every day. These savages honor no “rules of engagement.” There are no “Officers and Gentlemen.”

They have rights!

“It is the right of our young men to cause Israeli ( ed.or European or American or Australian) women to cry like our women are crying, even though our women make sounds of joy after their sons’ and husbands’ deaths as martyrs.”

“Hatred brought them to the point where they were prepared to commit suicide if only to allow it to be expressed. He(Amalek) came to destroy and hate.”

As I write this, Belgium is under lockdown. The Amalekites, the Islamists, are on the march, encouraged by the West when we refused to respond to their attacks on the Jews. What excuses will our Western leaders make now?

Is there amongst us a new Amalek?

Article by Diane Weber Bederman

Diane Weber Bederman is a multi-faith, hospital-trained chaplain who lives in Canada, just outside Toronto. She writes about religion in the public square and mental illness on her blog, "The Middle Ground: The Agora of the 21st Century." Bederman is the author of "Back to the Ethic: Reclaiming Western Values," published Dec. 2015 by Mantua Books (available on Amazon).