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An Open Letter To New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

nyterrorismDear Mayor Bill de Blasio,

I write to you with a too-familiar and painful feeling in the pit of my stomach. I write because you are making a mistake. Terrorism is a scary word; it’s a painful word. It’s one that wants to send your world out of control. It’s also reality.

When a bomb goes off in a civilian area, meant to target and injure innocent people, the cause is most likely terrorism. In fact, I can’t think of an instance when a bomb goes off in a civilian area when it isn’t terrorism. Twenty-nine people have been injured. A second “device” has been found nearby. OMG, it’s terrorism.

You admit it is “intentional” but as yet it is undetermined or not necessarily terrorism. What does that mean? I guess there could be criminal reasons, though I have to admit, I really don’t remember another instance where criminal elements left TWO bombs. More, even if it were some mafia-type organization, wouldn’t that change the motive, but not the act?

The act of setting a bomb is terrorism. It might be that the motive was criminal or political or religious. If you said it is too early to announce the motive for the terrorist attack that has just taken place in New York, I might be going about my day here in Jerusalem calmly. There was a terror attack last night, almost around the time of the explosion in New York. An Arab jumped out and stabbed a soldier on the edge of a Jewish community where I have many friends.

First, it is a terror attack, though the victim this time was a young officer rather than the civilians the terrorist was probably hoping to target. Second, it largely failed because our troops are on alert; our civilian population always aware. It is the cost we pay for living in such proximity to those who believe terrorism is a proper and justifiable means of attaining ones goals.

This is not the first time terrorism has come to your streets. It won’t be the last either. Fifteen years ago, I listened in disbelief as news reporters suggested that the plane that had just crashed into the Northern Tower of the World Trade Center might have done so accidentally. It was terrorism then; it is terrorism now.

Denial is often a way of dealing with fear. The only ones who gain by denying the act, are those who perpetrated it. At this moment, as doctors are rushing to treat the wounded and police are rushing to investigate, the motive may not be known, but the act itself was clear. It wasn’t a workplace accident; it wasn’t a random act.

It was intentional. It was meant to injure and terrify. It targeted civilians. It was terrorism.

About the author

Picture of Paula R. Stern

Paula R. Stern

Paula R. Stern is the CEO of WritePoint Ltd, a leading technical writing company in Israel. She is also a popular blogger with her work appearing on her own sites, A Soldier's Mother and PaulaSays, as well as IsraellyCool and a number of other Jewish and Israeli sites.
Picture of Paula R. Stern

Paula R. Stern

Paula R. Stern is the CEO of WritePoint Ltd, a leading technical writing company in Israel. She is also a popular blogger with her work appearing on her own sites, A Soldier's Mother and PaulaSays, as well as IsraellyCool and a number of other Jewish and Israeli sites.
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