It may still be done, but miners used to hang an canary cage in coal mines, not as a pet but as a check on the air quality. If the canary dies it means its time to get the heck out of the mine. In a way Israel has acted as the worlds canary in the coal mine when it comes to Islamic fascism and terrorism. Israel has been fighting the world wide caliphate for over 60 years, during most of that period the western world’s leaders have been appeasing terrorists. Its time for our leaders to realize that if Israel “dies” in the coal mine, so will most of the free world:

As goest Israel …If the Jewish state can’t survive the onslaught of militant Islam, neither can the rest of the civilized world
Lorne Gunter, National Post

Israel is Western civilization’s canary in the coal mine. If Israel cannot survive, perhaps Western civilization — pluralistic, democratic, individualistic, secular, free-trading and devoted to the rule of law — will be unable to last, either.On the eve of Israel’s 60th anniversary, those of us who cherish our own fundamental freedoms had better hope the Jewish state makes it through its second 60 years; or else our own right to think, say or worship as we please (unless, of course, we come under the scrutiny of a so-called human rights commission) is in jeopardy.To many Canadians, that may seem a farfetched warning.What has Israel’s survival got to do with us? Israel is far away. It has different enemies than we do. Even among Islamic extremists, they are battling Hamas, Hezbollah, the PLO and Islamic Jihad, while the West is confronting the Taliban and al-Qaeda.Besides, if we’re nice and accommodating of diversity, the terrorists will respect our attempts to honour their culture and faith and leave us alone.Nice theory. Too bad jihadis of every label view Israel and the West as conjoined and inseparable. Even though we may not see our destiny as inextricably linked with Israel’s, they do. If we give up on Israel, they will simply take that as a sign they might be able to pressure us next to give up on Quebec, Mississauga, Michigan, Birmingham and the Paris suburbs.This week, Riyad Na’san Al-Agha, Syria’s culture minister and a man long touted in the West as an intellectual moderate, told Al Hiwar TV, an Arab-language channel based in London, that he longs for the destruction of Israel (so much for his moderation) and that he is “optimistic that within 10 years, Israel will come to its end.”What then? Arabs can concentrate on driving the infidels from their neighbourhood and, who knows, perhaps even take the fight to the infidels’ homelands.Remember, this is from a government official, not from a terrorist.Hamas, despite occasionally insisting it can live peacefully with Israel, has never given up its dream of destroying “the Zionist entity,” and never will. But what would Hamas do if it ever managed to dismantle Israel: pat itself on the back and close up?Not at all. Hamas co-founder Mahmud az-Zahar has long said that should that happy day (for him) ever come, his organization would merely turn its efforts to the spread of Islam in the rest of the West, by force if necessary. To this end, Hamas has set up training camps in the former Soviet republic of Georgia.And Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, has frequently urged Palestinians to fight not only Israel but the whole of the Western world, which he has described as satanic.Aaron Klein, an American journalist who now lives in Israel, last year released a fascinating book, Schmoozing with Terrorists: From Hollywood to the Holy Land, Jihadists Reveal Their Global Plans — To a Jew!. In it, he recounts how in hundreds of hours of interviews with dozens of terrorists their declared hatred of the West was nearly as great as their hatred of Israel. They were not motivated by poverty or political oppression as much as by faith and ideology, and nearly all spoke of establishing a worldwide caliphate once they had dispatched the Jewish state. They were especially enraged by our equal treatment of women and our tolerance of gays and lesbians.Most of the Palestinian attacks on Israelis of late have been centred around the small industrial-agricultural city of Sderot. Since 2001, there have been more than 6,000 rockets and mortars launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel, an average of nearly three per day, most of them aimed at Sderot. The pace has quickened since the beginning of the year.Seldom has a day gone by since January when Sderot’s schools and markets have not been emptied by the blare of air-raid sirens that sometimes provide only 15 seconds notice of an incoming Katyusha or Qassam rocket.If we permit Israel to lose the battle for Sderot, if we in the West wag our finger at Israel’s efforts to defend herself, it may not be long before we find Sderot’s plight repeated in Markham, Newark or Leeds.