web analytics
August 29, 2014 / 3 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



After Yeshiva Mercaz HaRav Kook: Understanding The Horribly Human Face Of Arab Terror


Beres-Louis-Rene

Pain can sometimes be sanitized by language, but it can never be truly anesthetized. For the Arab terrorists, violence against the innocent is always a jubilant abstraction; a “purifying” ritual, even after their crimson tide has been loosed. For the victims, suffering is inevitably a deeply personal violation; stark, undimmed and always inexpressible.

History is abundantly clear on this point. Most recently, we mourn victims of the March 6, 2008 Palestinian terror attack on the Mercaz HaRav Kook Yeshiva. Significantly, for the Palestinians, both for the active murderers and for the literally tens or even hundreds of thousands of cheering sympathizers, there is really nothing new under the sun. For this savagely twisted Arab community, deliberate and barbarous assaults upon the innocent have always been its raison d’etre, its very reason for being.

“I murder, therefore I am.” This cadaverous phrase might just as well be the proud credo of Palestinian terror violence, from its defiled early beginnings all the way up to Mercaz HaRav. Consider that on January 17, 2002, a Palestinian terrorist entered a banquet hall in Hadera, Israel, opening fire (as in Mercaz HaRav) in every direction with an assault rifle. There to celebrate a Bat Mitzvah, six guests were killed, and 30 were injured. The Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades, an operational element of “moderate” Fatah, claimed responsibility. In Tulkarem, hundreds marched gleefully through the streets soon after the attack. Shooting wildly into the air, these “freedom fighters” sought to collectively confirm their just-completed “victory” against old women and young children.

In Hadera, six persons were killed and 30 injured in what the terrorists had termed a “military action” (the Mercaz HaRav attack was also termed a “military action” by all Palestinian communities). But what does terrorism really mean in such circumstances? What is the distinctly human face of terror in these assaults?

Here is the way in which the Hadera attack was described to me directly by Dr. Moshe Rosenblatt, a personal friend and a skilled Israeli surgeon who worked tirelessly on that earlier terror-filled day to save innocent lives:

“Dear Lou. The terrorist attack took place at the other end of my street, some 800 meters from my building. I’ve been many times in this wedding hall, so I could easily have been one of the people there. I would be dead now, and/or my wife and children. Fortunately, this time at least, it didn’t happen.

“Despite the fact that I’m the director of a surgical outpatient clinic, on these events I always go to Hadera’s hospital to help my colleagues. That’s what I did today. I ran to the operating room where I entered into an almost heroic operation to save the life of a middle-aged woman. One of the terrorist bullets had ruptured her liver, stomach, bowels and major vessels. We couldn’t stop the bleeding. So we opened her chest to cross-clamp the aorta, while undertaking direct heart massage. All in vain. She died of massive hemorrhage, blood and feces strewn everywhere.

“I then changed my surgical clothes and entered another operating room to begin, with my colleagues, another operation. This time the patient was a young guy with an abdomen full of shrapnel. We had to resect the lower part of his ruptured large bowel, but − at the end of the operation − he was still bleeding profusely through his wounded hip. I left the room while the orthopedic surgeons began to operate on his right hip. I believe he will also die. He is bleeding too much, likely because of a disastrous medical problem called DIC (Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation), which depletes all of the coagulation factors − leaving the patient bleeding everywhere. The anesthetists and intensive care teams will try to overcome the problem; I’m praying for this young man.

“Many other patients were treated by other surgeons. My surgical dress was full of blood. I took a shower and here I am, at 4:00 in the morning, writing to you, my friend. I just can’t sleep now. Although very tired, I’m too excited because after all these years of seeing blood and death on my hands, I never quite get used to it.”

“…I never quite get used to it.”

Yet, this is what Israelis are asked to endure (sometimes daily) yesterday for the ill-fated Oslo “Peace Process,” today for the so-called “Road Map.” It is still an altogether lurid and inexcusable cartography. For Israel, it is still land for nothing. For Israel, the territorial concessions will always be unrequited. For the West in general, and for the United States in particular, Israel remains the miner’s canary, a presumably instrumental sacrifice to satisfy resolute and (literally) bloodthirsty enemies. Naturally, this is not “normally” the sort of allegation that one cares to make out loud.

Dr. Moshe Rosenblatt’s unvarnished account of a single physician’s day in the aftermath of Palestinian terror wears a distinctly human face. In our shadowy world of otherwise comforting euphemisms and endurable abstractions, it is a frightful but palpable description. Only in such a boldly straightforward account may we actually understand the true meaning of “terror victim”, whether at a Bat Mitzvah in Hadera or in a Jerusalem Yeshiva.

The terrorist, too, has a discernibly human face. Much as we may wish to deny it, he or she is also human, all-too-human in fact. More often than we acknowledge, this other human face reveals the sheer voluptuousness of terrorist violence, a longed-for ecstasy that often bears no relation to any strategic or tactical advantage. This last point warrants especially careful attention, as it is plain that repeated Palestinian murders of defenseless Israelis actually undermine the stated Palestinian goal of self-determination and statehood.

Terrorism is a codified crime under international law. From the jurisprudential standpoint, anyone who deliberately targets noncombatants, and who does so with clear intent of maximizing pain and suffering, is a terrorist. Period. There is NO legal validity to the popular cliché, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” This uninformed remark, usually uttered in the contrived accents of a pretended sophistication, is always an empty witticism.

The distinctly human face of terror can be detected in both the victim and the perpetrator. The Jerusalem and Hadera attacks in Israel uncovered a very basic but still unrecognized truth about both faces: 1. Terror victims have no nationality. We are all potential victims of lawless insurgencies, and the anguished human face of terror is common to us all. 2. Terror perpetrators often terrorize for the sheer human exhilaration of bringing pain to others. Terrorists always claim to act on behalf of very precise and tangible social, political or religious objectives, but their deeper human motives would suggest very different goals.

Perhaps, once it is better understood, the human face of terror can become the starting point for more genuinely effective strategies of counter-terrorism. Heaven knows they are desperately needed before Palestinian murderers start to turn to chemical, biological or even nuclear weapons.

Copyright © The Jewish Press, April 4, 2008. All rights reserved.

LOUIS RENÉ BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and is the author of many books and articles on terrorism and counterterrorism. He is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

About the Author: Louis René Beres, strategic and military affairs columnist for The Jewish Press, is professor of Political Science at Purdue University. Educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), he lectures and publishes widely on international relations and international law and is the author of ten major books in the field. In Israel, Professor Beres was chair of Project Daniel.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “After Yeshiva Mercaz HaRav Kook: Understanding The Horribly Human Face Of Arab Terror”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS in Quneitra
Updates from Kuneitra, Syria [video]
Latest Indepth Stories
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz reviewing maps on the Golan Heights.

The bad news is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are on the Syrian Golan. The good news is that every terrorist in Syria is killing each other.

TorahScroll AoT17

The congregants, Ethiopians spanning generations, were beaming with joy and pride.

Troodler-082914

The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip nine years ago did not enhance Israel’s security.

Eisenstock-082914

How does a soldier from a religious home fall in love with a soldier from a non- religious kibbutz?

In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities

Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.

Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.

One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

We risk our lives to help those who do what they can to kill to our people .

Twain grasped amazingly well the pulse of the Jewish people.

The entertainment industry appears divided about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

More Articles from Louis Rene Beres
Louis Rene Beres

President Obama’s core argument on a Middle East peace process is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Louis Rene Beres

Once upon a time in America, every adult could recite at least some Spenglerian theory of decline.

President Obama’s core argument is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Specific strategic lessons from the Bar Kokhba rebellion.

Still facing an effectively unhindered nuclear threat from Iran, Israel will soon need to choose between two strategic options.

For states, as for individuals, fear and reality go together naturally.

So much of the struggle between Israel and the Arabs continues to concern space.

An undifferentiated or across-the-board commitment to nuclear ambiguity could prove harmful to Israel’s’s overall security.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/after-yeshiva-mercaz-harav-kook-understanding-the-horribly-human-face-of-arab-terror/2008/04/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: