I like context. Things when viewed in context offer a remarkable clarity to things that may appear to be seperate and completely irrelevant. American authorities have become somewhat hysterical about the handful of Somali American young men who appear to be leaving the US to go back to Somalia to wage jihad. In officials’ wildest dreams, they think after fighting in Somalia these same young men would return to the States and resume the fight here. Huh? Somali-Americans are doing everything they can to cooperate with federal and local authorities and no doubt this whole idea is the brain child of Hollywood scriptwriters of action movies seeking to cast the next group of bad guys to be bowled down by an overly aggressive American administration.
What these same writers left out is the other side of the story, the rest of the story, where this type of pan-nationalist recruitment goes on everyday with people who hold dual loyalties between America and ‘choose your other country and insert here’. I’m sure this story of Jewish Americans who go to help their second home has as much traction if not more than that of any Somali adventurist. Sometimes, however the Jewish American jihadist tends to confuse his loyalties and winds up fighting for the wrong “good guys” against American interests. However those who possess singleness of mind can find themselves filling slots their adopted country needs filled in order to justify its territorial grab of Palesinian land which further entrenches them in a place they are not wanted for which they need to fight to defend. It’s sad young men such as the two examples above don’t see themselves as cannon fodder for states’ interests that have nothing at all to do with them as individuals or their survival.
American Teens are fighting back in Israel
Later this year, 21-year-old Ephraim Khantsis will pack a couple of suitcases, say good-bye to his mother, leave his home in Brooklyn, and move to Israel. On arrival in Jerusalem he will enroll in a yeshiva, or religious school, that is popular with Americans. After a few months he will make his way north, to a place this young American feels is his true home: the Jewish settlement of Kfar Tapuach.
Khantsis, who is in the process of applying for Israeli citizenship, will fit right in. Like the assassinated Brooklyn-born rabbi Meir Kahane, the man some in Kfar Tapuach consider their spiritual leader, Khantsis believes that all Arabs and Palestinians should be forcibly removed from territory controlled by Israel, including the West Bank.
“It’s the most humane way to solve the situation,” Khantsis—who has just graduated from Stony Brook University, on Long Island, with a degree in computer science—says, sipping a soda in an Israeli-run kosher pizzeria in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, this past June. He acknowledges that he is advocating ethnic cleansing.
There are now more than a quarter of a million Jewish settlers living among almost 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank—and many of the radicals resisting Obama’s wishes are American. The approximately 100,000 U.S. immigrants in the West Bank and Israel have been influential from the beginning of the movement, and many of them have been among the most extreme of the pioneers: Kahane founded a political party that was deemed racist and banned from the Knesset before he was assassinated in Manhattan in 1990; Brooklyn-born Baruch Goldstein shot dead 29 Palestinians in Hebron in 1994; and a group of settlers in Hebron, whose spokesman is New Jersey–born David Wilder, was involved in a violent confrontation with the Israeli military last year.
Israeli immigrants, Somali jihadists, both fighting American allies but given two different designations. That’s the beauty of yellow journalism and distorted history. One man’s terrorist is another man’s guerilla/freedom fighter. The next time you hear of someone leaving the shores of America to fight in a land far, far away, remember it’s not just Muslim American who may be doing that.