Hope is Stronger than Jihad

Hope is Stronger than Jihad
September 10, 2015

As I write these words, I have just read Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s prediction about what awaits us during the next twenty-five years. He said, “I’m telling you first, you [Israel] will not be around in twenty-five years time and God-willing there will be no Zionist regime…  Second, during this period, the spirit of fighting, heroism, and jihad will keep you worried every moment.” 

The Ayatollah isn’t the first to make predictions. Adolf Hitler told the world that his Third Reich would last a thousand years, but it only lasted twelve. 

When Simon Wiesenthal celebrated his 90th birthday, he insisted the celebration take place in Vienna's Imperial Hotel.  When I asked him why the Imperial, he said, because it was Hitler’s favorite hotel and he and Himmler had permanent suites there.

I will never forget that night at the Imperial when Simon spoke just after the band played, “Mein Shtetala Belz” (My Little Town Belz), a lullaby that evoked the innocent happiness of childhood. With tears in his eyes, Simon gazed up at the elaborate crystal chandeliers that lit the room like six million stars in the night sky, leaned to me and whispered, “You see? Even the chandeliers are shaking because this is the first time they have heard such music in this hotel. But the important thing to remember is that Hitler and his pipe dream of a thousand year Reich is gone, but even here in the Imperial, his favorite hotel, Jews are still alive and still singing.”

For thirty-five hundred years, the Jewish people have lived with hope; even Israel’s national anthem is Hatikva, “The Hope”. To the Ayatollah we say, hope is stronger than jihad and the day will come soon when the music of that hope, Hatikva, will be heard in the streets of Tehran.

Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy New Year!

Rabbi Marvin Hier
Founder and Dean
Simon Wiesenthal Center

This New Year, become a partner in the fight against anti-Semitism and hate, stand with Israel and defend the safety of Jews worldwide by supporting the Simon Wiesenthal Center