The following editorial about the mass slaughter and displacement of Christians was originally publish in an Austrian daily paper. Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, who recommended it for translation, sends this brief introductory note:
This is an opinion piece by a former US ambassador to Austria. Given his rocky relationship with Austria at the time of his tenure in Vienna, these words are especially significant. One wishes for the same clarity in the utterances of Austrian politicians. They are elusive…
The editorial from Die Presse, as translated by JLH:
Christians in the Slaughterhouse — The World Is Silent
US air attacks will not be enough to stop the wave of terror in Iraq
by Ronald S. Lauder
The Near East and parts of Central Africa are in the process of losing entire Christian communities that have lived there in peace for centuries. In the north of Nigeria alone, the terrorist group Boko Haram has kidnapped and killed hundreds of Christians. During the Syrian civil war, which has lasted over three years, half a million Christian Arabs were driven out. And Christians have been hounded and killed from Lebanon to Sudan.
Historians may look back on this era and wonder whether humanity has lost its way. Only a few journalists have gone to Iraq to witness the raging of a Nazi-like wave of terror that is sweeping across that land. For the most part, the UN is silent.
The rulers of the world seem to be occupied with other things in the summer of 2014. There are no flotillas embarking for Syria or Iraq. And all those beautiful people and aging rock stars — why are their social antennae not quivering from the slaughter of Christians?
President Barack Obama is to be applauded for ordering air attacks to save tens of thousands of Yazidis from Sunni fanatics. Unfortunately, air attacks alone are not enough to stop the wave of terror.
A Well-Oiled Murder Machine
The Islamic State is not a loose confederation of jihadist groups. It is a military force which has conquered parts of Syria and Iraq. This terror organization is using money from banks and gold from companies in cities it has conquered. On top of that, they have oil resources and ransom money to finance their murder machine. It has become the wealthiest terrorist group in the world. Where it really excels is in the carnage of its medieval orgies of slaughter, ruthlessly directed against Shi’ites, Kurds and Christians.
“They actually beheaded children and put their heads on sticks,” reports a Chaldean-American businessman named Mark Arabo to CNN. He was describing a scene in a park in Mosul.
Finally, 200,000 Aramaeans fled their ancestral home in Nineveh after already having fled from Mosul. The widespread indifference to IS, with its mass executions of Christians and its deadly confrontations with Israel, is not just wrong, but also shameful.
Israel was among the first countries to come to the aid of the Christians in southern Sudan. In contrast to many places in the Near East, Christians can openly practice their religion in Israel. This bond between Jews and Christians makes sense. We share much more than most religions. We read the same Bible and share moral and ethical values.
Unfortunately, we now share a type of anguish: Christians must die for their faith because they are defenseless and because the world looks on indifferently, Good people must come together and put an end to this gruesome wave of terror. We are not powerless. Jewish people understand only too well what can happen if the world is silent. This campaign of murder must be stopped.
Ronald S. Lauder was US ambassador to Austria in 1986-87. He is currently president of the Jewish World Congress.