CHULA VISTA, California –George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
This statement has proven true time and time again. Such common-sense wisdom ought to be obvious to any student of history. How many revolutions have we seen in the past two hundred years where popular revolts end up with individuals seizing absolute power as we witnessed with Napoleon, Stalin, and Mao? Yes, despite our superior intellects, human beings have yet to show the wisdom to evolve to the next level of human consciousness.
The inner primitive which I call the “atavist” is always lurking in the shadows of our soul; but to evolve, we must, as the Psalmist would put it, “obtain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12)
Therefore, it is with great surprise—as we recall the attacks upon our nation on September 11, 2001— that The New York Times wrote:
18 Years have passed since airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center. Today, families will once again gather and grieve at the site where more than 2000 people died.
Notice the politically correct nomenclature the writer chose, “airplanes took aim,” and not Jihadi terrorists.
Imagine if the NY Times had covered Pearl Harbor attack much in the same way, “On December 7, 1941, airplanes took aim and seriously damaged the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor.”
The Times deliberately left conspicuous facts out of their story; the writer also deliberately reduced the number of people that were murdered. Seldom have I seen such outrage from the vox populi, as I did with this tweet.
Finally, they relented; the Times deleted the tweet and rewrote the article. The new text read, “Eighteen years have passed since terrorists commandeered airplanes to take aim at the World Trade Center and bring them down.”
The manipulative motive behind this correction that omitted the words, “Islamists” or even “al Qaeda.” And on the Op Ed page, all the editor could focus upon is the effects of Islamophobia on American Muslims post-9/11.
Jewish readers need to ask themselves the obvious question: Why is the Times being so coy and deceptive?
In his famous book, 1984, George Orwell coined the phrase “memory hole.” Defined: the memory hole was a small incinerator chute used for censoring, through destroying, any information that Big Brother considered necessary to censor. In 1984, Orwell depicted legions of bureaucrats, who was led by the “Minister of Truth,” whose task was to erase actual historical records; alter its documents, newspapers, books, and so on. The “Memory Hole” also helped to eradicate any trace of a person or event’s actual existence.
Orwell reminded us of an ancient device used by historians since antiquity. By the changing the narrative, one can control history.
Radical Islamic apologists are skilled at this artifice. Changing the narrative is what the Islamic fanatics of ISIS have done in destroying ancient artifacts and remnants. Among casualties of history that ISIS destroyed, the ancient city-state of Palmyra was destroyed; it had remained an important tourist site in Syria for over millennia. ISIS destroyed the 1,900-year-old Temple of Baalshamin with explosives. ISIS sacked artifacts from another famous city, selling priceless Roman mosaics for tens of millions of dollars to fund their operations. In 2001, the Taliban dynamited the Buddhas of Bamyan which were two large monumental statues.
A rich Roman-era trading city, Apamea has been badly looted since the beginning of Syria’s civil war, before ISIS appeared. Satellite imagery shows dozens of pits dug across the site; previously unknown Roman mosaics have reportedly been excavated and removed for sale. ISIS is said to take a cut from sales of ancient artifacts, making tens of millions of dollars to fund their operations.
Concerning the NY Times, the “memory hole” is no less evident in the infamous discourse when Ilhan Omar nonchalantly said, “‘some people did something.” And in one gathering, she expressed sympathy for radical Islamists and made a special request to a Minnesota judge that he rule “compassionately” towards nine men who were planning to join ISIS.
It is astounding how we have soon forgotten the real truth that happened on that terrible day. As Americans, we should feel a collective sense of outrage for the deliberate attempt of those who wish to destroy one of the darkest chapters of American history in the name of “political correctness.”
Rabbi Samuel is spiritual leader of Temple Beth Shalom. He may be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org