by Noga Gur-Arieh:
Brigitte Gabriel (49,) a bestselling author, activist, a leading expert on global Islamic terrorism, and founder and President of ACT! for America, has one fascinating life story. She was born in Lebanon to a Maronite Christian family, and spent her childhood in amid the Lebanese Civil War. When she was 10, Islamic/Palestinian militants launched an assault on a Lebanese military base near her family house, destroying her home leaving her wounded. She then spent seven years living underground in a bomb shelter, with no sanitary systems, electricity or running water.
Her only life line was Israel who provided medical help, and protection during those years in the bomb shelter. Later in 1982 when Israel invaded Lebanon her mother was seriously injured by Muslim/Palestinian rocket and was taken to Zefat hospital for treatment. For her mother it was a life saving experience, for Brigitte it was a life changing experience. Gabriel was surprised by the humanity shown by the Israelis to their enemies who were brought there for treatment such as the Palestinian and Muslims terrorists, in contrast to the constant propaganda against the Jews she saw as a child.
She moved to Israel in 1984 and worked as news anchor for World News, an Arabic-language evening news broadcast of Middle East Television based in Jerusalem. In 1989 she immigrated to the United States. After 911 Brigitte realized that the Islamic radicals she thoughts left behind in the Middle East have now come to America. She launched ACT! for America a non-profit, non partisan organization that educates and empowers citizens to help play a role in enhancing public safety. Today,ACT! has 280,000 members and 875 chapters nationwide including chapters in 11 countries around the world.
You were born in Lebanon, in times of constant war with Israel. What did you feel about Israel and Israelis as a child, and when did your opinion change?
“By the time I was born into Lebanon the population had shifted from majority Christians to majority Muslims because of the Islamic birth rate. That situation was aggravated by the influx of Palestinian refugees who were majority Muslims. That tipped the scale and brought the haters of Israel together hoping to use Lebanon as a launching pad to attack Israel and drive the Jews into the sea. The only thing standing in their way was Lebanese democracy.
As a child I was surrounded by voices on television nightly news and news radio talking about the horrible things the Israelis were doing to the “poor Palestinians”. At my home, however, hatred was never taught nor practiced. I lived in the Christian town of Marjayoun on the border with Israel.
In 1975 the combined forces of the PLO and the Muslims bombed my home bringing it down burying me under the rubble wounded. I ended up in a hospital for two and half months and later ended up living in a bomb shelter with my parents for 7 years till 1982 when Israel invaded Lebanon.
Since 1975 as we were surrounded and bombed daily and nightly by the PLO/Muslim armies, and Israel was our only life line. Few people from my town went to Israel and begged for help. Israel started coming in the middle of the night bringing food for the children, as well as blankets, bombs shelters and weapons for the Christian military. So since I was a 10 year old child I knew that Israel was our friend and protector from the Islamists and PLO. However in the rest of Lebanon, they looked at Israel as the invader and looked at us as traitors working with the enemy. “
Can you tell a little bit about your childhood in Lebanon? About a leadership that worshiped violence and called for death to the Jews?
“The first 10 years of my life were ideal. I was born into a very civilized country. Beirut was Paris of the Middle East. Lebanon was the Switzerland of the Middle East. Because of the influence of the majority Christians who were good in business, in education, in the arts as well as great hospitable warm people who valued life and family Lebanon prospered. Unfortunately, Lebanon was the only small Christian country in the Middle East and had bought into the whole Arab nationalism thinking if we side with the Arabs we will be protected as “Arabs” as a part of the “Arab Ummah,” Arab nation. The Christians in Lebanon learned the hard way that we were all along considered infidels due to our Judeo Christian heritage.
Despite all that, the culture of worship of death is only an Islamic culture and progressively got worse as the Muslims expanded and drove the Christians out of Lebanon, and now we see out of the Middle East whether in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Bethlahem or Egypt. Today’s Christians in Lebanon would leave in a heart beat if they were able to. The ones who are still there are stuck.”
What brought you to fight against radical Islam and its impacts of Western Civilization?
“I am an eye witness to terror. I am the Anne Frank who lived to tell about it. I know what happens where people turn a blind eye to terror thinking it is not going to happen to me, it is all the way over there. Now that I live in America, I came from “over there”. After September 11th I realized that those radicals I left over there have followed me here. On September 11th my two young daughters came home from school as I was glued to the TV screen watching the images fo the attacks of that day, watching the images of the World Trade Center collapse crying. My youngest daughter looked at me and asked “Mommy why did they do this to us?”. She reminded me of me as a child her age, laying in a hospital bed in Lebanon, looking up at my father asking him the same question. My father’s answer was: “They hate us because we are Christians. The Muslims consider us infidels and they want to kill us.”
I learned since I was a 10 year old little girl that I was wanted dead simply because of the faith I was born into. I had to look into my daughter’s eyes and repeat to her what my daddy told me: “They hate us because they consider us infidels and they want to kill us.” That day was my defining moment. That day I was born as an activist. That day I vowed that I will do everything I can to make sure that my daughter will never have to look into her child’s eyes and tell him or her what my daddy told me and what I had to repeat to her. That day I found my purpose!”
What is your final goal? What are you trying to achieve?
“I am trying to wake up Americans to stand up against evil. When evil goes unchecked, Evil grows like a monster and spreads worldwide. When Christian blood was shed on the streets of Beirut and Jewish blood was shed on the streets of Tel Aviv no one cared. Today innocent people’s blood is being shed all over the world by the same hatred driven radicals who have no conscious, who are willing to kill their own children in order to kill those of us whom they consider infidels. I want to ignite a fire in the heart of every apathetic person to make them realize their responsibility to the universe and to each other as human beings to stop evil whenever we see it, identify it and fight it.
I do not come to this from a Christian point of view. I come to this as a human being and a citizen of the world who has a moral duty to be kind to others and treat others the way I want to be treated and make sure we leave this world a better place than we found it for our children and their children. As someone who comes from the Middle East I appreciate the freedom that America’s constitution gives me to express my views and rally others to stand up and speak up against evil.”
Read more at Jewish Journal
Brigitte Gabriel supports Israel as the vanguard against Islamism:
Uploaded on Apr 30, 2010 by DemoCast