National Security & Defense

Farook Was Obsessed with Israel — What Else Do We Need to Know?

According to the father of the San Bernardino terrorist, Syed Farook, his son was “obsessed with Israel.”

In an interview in the Italian newspaper La Stampa, the senior Syed Farook said, “My son said that he shared [Islamic State leader] Al Baghdadi’s ideology and supported the creation of the Islamic State. He was also obsessed with Israel.”

Likewise, the Los Angeles Times reported, “As the investigation unfolded, friends and family of the shooters came forward to offer snapshots that may point to what motivated Wednesday’s attack, including Farook’s apparent fixation on Israel and Malik’s devotion to a fundamentalist strain of Islam.”

There is no greater predictor of violence than Jew-hatred. It predicts violence as accurately as animal torture does.

But while it is universally acknowledged that childhood torture of animals predicts violence, relatively few people understand that the same holds true of Jew-hatred.

Given that there has been no exception to this rule, one would think that non-Jews would learn from it and immediately oppose Jew-haters. But, incredibly, that is not the case. Most non-Jews have regarded Jew-hatred as the Jews’ problem — or as in the case of Israel-hatred — the Jews’ fault.

When the Presbyterian Church USA or the American Anthropology Association votes to boycott one country on earth, and that country is the only Jewish country on earth, it strains credulity to argue that Israel’s being Jewish is irrelevant.

In the 1930s, when the Western democracies had a chance to crush the Nazis, they did nothing despite the fact that Hitler and Nazism were as obsessed with the Jews as Syed Farook was with the Jewish state. The West regarded Hitler’s anti-Semitism as essentially the Jews’ problem. Eventually, about 50 million people were killed, 44 million of them non-Jews.

So, too, when Israelis were being murdered by Palestinian Muslim suicide bombers in the so-called Intifada, the murders were largely ignored, or worse, “explained” by Western liberals as the understandable Palestinian reaction to Israeli occupation.

Then came 9/11, and America and the world began to appreciate — though the Left still doesn’t — that Palestinian terror was about Islamists killing Jews with the ultimate aim of annihilating Israel, not about “asymmetrical warfare,” or use of the “poor man’s atom bomb,” or “a reaction to occupation.”

Of course, some will object that it is neither fair nor accurate to lump Israel-hatred with Jew-hatred. So, let me briefly explain why Israel-hatred is just another form of Jew-hatred, or anti-Semitism.

First, we are talking about Israel-hatred, not Israel-criticism. No prominent defender of Israel — not one — has ever equated criticism of Israel with Israel-hatred or with anti-Semitism. It is a common charge made by anti-Zionists that defenders of Israel equate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, but it has no truth.

What is equatable with anti-Semitism is anti-Zionism, the belief that the Jewish state has no right to exist.

Why is that the same as anti-Semitism?

Because when one argues that the only country of the world’s more than 200 countries that has no right to exist is the one Jewish country in the world, there is no other possible explanation. There are 22 Arab countries, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Persian Gulf, and they all have a perfect right to exist, but somehow there is no room for one Jewish country the size of New Jersey.

When the Presbyterian Church USA or the American Anthropology Association votes to boycott one country on earth, and that country is the only Jewish country on earth, it strains credulity to argue that Israel’s being Jewish is irrelevant.

Israel is probably the oldest country in the world with an indigenous language and culture going back 3,000 years. Yet, much of the world denies these roots and favors the claim to the land made by Palestinians, a group that had no distinct identity before the mid-20th century.

The Jewish state plays the same role among the world’s nations as individual Jews played within the world’s nations: a superbly accurate way to assess a group’s moral compass. As George Gilder calls it, it is the Israel Test.

Those obsessed with the Jews in a negative way have a moral compass whose pointer points south. That’s why Syed Farook mass-murdered innocent Americans.

Farook and all the Islamist terrorists are ultimately Yasser Arafat’s and the Palestinians’ legacy to mankind — and especially to fellow Muslims, the greatest victims of the suicide terror introduced by the Palestinians.

Or, to put it in a positive way, show me Muslims who accept the right of the Jewish state to exist and I will guarantee you that they will never support ISIS or engage in terror.

When will the world learn this simple lesson?

Dennis Prager — Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His second volume of Bible commentary, The Rational Bible — Genesis: God, Creation, Destruction, is published by Regnery.  He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at

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