By Joseph Frager, MD
2015 was one of the worst years ever when it comes to terrorism. Here is a sampling.
It started on January 7, when 12 people were brutally murdered at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
On January 9, Ahmedy Coulibaly of ISIS killed four people in a kosher supermarket in Porte de Vincennes, France.
On January 21, Hamza Mahmoud Hasan Matrouk began a series of stabbings in Israel by stabbing 12 people on a crowded bus.
On May 3, a massacre was averted by a security guard in Garland, Texas, where Geert Wilders was being featured.
On June 26, 38 Westerners were killed on a beach in Sousse, Tunisia.
On July 17, Muhammed Abdulazeez killed 5 servicemen at a military recruitment center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
On August 21, another massacre was prevented by heroic former U.S. servicemen against a man with an AKM assault rifle on a train from Amsterdam to Paris.
On October 1, American citizen Eitam Henkin and his wife Na’ama were murdered in Israel.
On November 13, 130 were killed and 368 injured by ISIS in Paris.
On November 19, American citizen Ezra Schwartz was murdered in Israel.
On December 2, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, inspired by ISIS, barbarically murdered 14 and wounded 22 in San Bernardino, California.
The ISIS attack on Paris on November 13 was the worst single day of carnage since the World Trade Center attack of September 11, 2001, where over 3,000 were killed or died in response, including 343 firefighters; the Madrid train attack of March 11, 2004, where 191 were killed; and the London bus and Underground bombings of July 7, 2005, where 52 were killed.
President Obama was noticeably absent at a rally attended by 3.7 million people and the majority of world leaders, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, on January 11 after the Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket killings in France.
Israel is still reeling from the wave of stabbings, car rammings, sniper attacks, and drive-by shootings that has continued unabated to the present. Mahmoud Abbas to this day has failed to condemn any of the attacks and has actually instigated the terror. Abbas had the gall to call Samir Kuntar of Hezbollah a martyr after he was killed despite the fact that he crushed the head of an infant in 1979 in a terrible act of brutality. Abbas has continued to incite, all the while remaining the darling of the Obama administration.
While on his way to prayers at the Cave of the Patriarchs on November 6, Eli Bochorov was shot through the thigh by an Arab sniper. The Obama administration seemingly remained, as in other episodes of American citizens wounded or killed in Israel, indifferent.
On November 23, in front of 80,000 people, Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots football team, called for a moment of silence in memoriam to Ezra Schwartz. He also paid a shivah call to the Schwartz family. Soon afterwards, after the outcry from the Jewish community, President Obama for the first time in his presidency called the family of an American Jewish victim of Arab terror.
The president defied Congress and the American people when he made a very bad deal with Iran in September. The deal permits Iran to build ballistic missiles after eight years (they illegally fired one soon after the deal was announced) and acquire nuclear weapons after 15 years if they stick to the deal, which few believe will be heeded. Four Democratic senators voted against the deal with Iran: Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Charles Schumer of New York, Benjamin Cardin of Maryland, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
On March 3, Prime Minister Netanyahu was warmly received by Congress in his attempt to convince Americans that the Iran deal was a bad deal. The majority of congressmen in both parties attended. The following Democratic senators did not attend, out of protest: Al Franken (Minn.), Martin Heinrich (NM), Tim Kaine (Va.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI).
The president was furious and tried to interfere in the Israeli elections of March 17 by sending over campaign strategist Jeremy Bird and other groups, including V15. The Israeli people reacted by giving Prime Minister Netanyahu 30 seats instead of the predicted 20 seats. The president pursued his bad deal with Iran despite this.
The BDS movement gained some steam by getting the European Union to begin labeling products from Israel in order to boycott them. The Obama administration remained indifferent and made matters worse by saying that labeling was not boycotting. To further aggravate the volatile situation, Roger Waters, one of the chief members of the BDS movement, was invited to a conference organized by the Leftist Haaretz newspaper in New York on Chanukah, a celebration of the Hellenists’ defeat 2,000 years ago. Nothing has changed.
After Netanyahu’s election victory, Danny Danon, a Likud Party hawk and promulgator of annexing Judea and Samaria, was chosen as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations.
President Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch did not block the parole of Jonathan Pollard after his 30 years in prison. They did make sure that Pollard’s parole conditions were as onerous and oppressive as possible.
And one cannot talk about 2015 without discussing the rise of Donald Trump. He has changed politics in America. Nobody knows what will ultimately happen, but he has made politics more popular than ever.
The world has changed immensely in 2015.