- Saturday, October 28, 2023

Why is Halloween fun? Why do we like horror movies?

Because we know they’re not real. We laugh when we give the children in monster masks candy as we exclaim, “Oh, isn’t that cute!”

After the lights come up in the theater, we breathe a sigh of relief. Freddy Krueger won’t follow us home.

But evil is real, and the choice is simple: We can hide from it, or we can confront it.

We hid in the 1930s (when we were promised peace in our time) and got World War II and the Holocaust. During the Vietnam War, hippies had love-ins. The left had peace marches. When the war ended, the Vietnamese got gulags, and the Cambodians got killing fields.

To those who say, “I can’t believe people can be that cruel,” in response to the horrors unleashed on Israelis on Oct. 7 — women who had their breasts hacked off, unborn children cut out of their mothers’ bodies — one question: Where have you been for the past 5,000 years? (You may have heard of Auschwitz.)

Evil has always been with us. The first recorded homicide recounted in the Bible was a man who killed his brother out of jealousy.

Evil is the pharaoh who slaughtered a generation of males to secure his power. It’s the legions that destroyed Jerusalem and the barbarians who sacked Rome.

It’s the Inquisition, the expulsions, the ghettos and the pogroms. It’s the Jacobins with their guillotines, the communists with their gulags and the Nazis with their gas chambers.

It’s the filthy fanatics who fly planes into buildings. It’s the savages who make holy war by raping women and parading them through the streets, and cutting off the heads of babies.

There are always rationalizations. The Treaty of Versailles was unfair. People everywhere are entitled to self-determination. Israel is an apartheid state. Ending capitalism will stop human suffering. Protesting police brutality by burning and looting is the only way to secure the rights of minorities.

It’s all window dressing on the human urge to hurt, maim and kill, and the lust for power.

It comes down to good versus evil, civilization versus savagery, and the rule of law versus chaos.

We are enjoined not to stand idly by as innocent blood is shed, as it was by Hamas in the Oct. 7 attacks, as it was in the Black Lives Matter and antifa riots of 2020. Naturally, Black Lives Matter hangs with Hamas. Vultures of a feather.

And now, in the streets of America and other Western nations — and in the intellectual wasteland of academia — come the inane slogans of support of this barbarity.

“End the war on Gaza now!” Sure, give Hamas a chance to regroup and kill another 1,400 Jews and take more hostages later.

“The Palestinians are entitled to a homeland.” They can go to any of 23 Arab nations, from Algeria to Yemen, whose inhabitants speak the same language, have the same religion and have the same history as the Palestinians. The Jews have only Israel.

In 1948, Jews and Arabs lived in Mandate Palestine, administered by Britain. A United Nations partition plan was accepted by the Jews and rejected by Arabs, who couldn’t bear the thought of a sovereign Jewish state anywhere in the Middle East.

Over 800,000 Jews, whose ancestors had lived there for millenniums, were driven from the Arab world. Most were resettled in Israel. The Arabs who left what became Israel were confined to wretched refugee camps and left to fester.

“Israel is an occupying power.” How does a nation occupy its own territory? More than 1,400 years before the birth of Muhammad, Jews lived in the land described in the Bible.

Now, the monsters are in our streets, on our campuses, crossing our border and agitating in Congress.

How should we respond?

There’s a scene in the television miniseries “Band of Brothers” where a young soldier asks a captain who is absolutely fearless how he does it.

The officer replies: “The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’re already dead. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to function as a soldier is expected to function.”

Those of us fighting evil are such soldiers.

The monsters win by striking fear in our hearts. Only by accepting the inevitable that we will likely be casualties of war (with the promise of reward in the hereafter) can we do our duty.

• Don Feder is a columnist with The Washington Times.

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