Latest update: February 21st, 2013
“NAIL IN BRAIN; nail in heart.” For a time, such graphic labels attached to X-Rays in Israeli hospitals had become routine. Several years ago, a victim of Palestinian suicide terror arrived at Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tikva with nearly fifteen nails and metal fragments embedded in his body. One of the “merely wounded,” this thirty-one year old man had multiple shrapnel penetrations along the left-side of his body and second and first-degree burns on the left side of his face and chest, on his hands, and on his left leg. His injuries required five types of surgery. After regaining consciousness, he was weaned from a ventilator and now – in 2013 – still faces additional years of painful rehabilitation.
What kind of people fighting for “national self-determination” inflicts such harms on defenseless noncombatant populations, and then cheers the most awful casualties in gleeful ceremonies conducted with their own young children? What kind of an America or U.N. General Assembly could ever accept such harms as understandable, or even permissible? Is there any reasonable way in which any civilized international community could justifiably equate the search for self-determination of such a people with the victims of the Holocaust?
Palestinian terror seeks national self-determination but shouts endlessly to the world that even after statehood violence will continue against “The Jews.” Significantly, every map of every Palestinian group features a new Arab state (the 23rd) that incorporates all of Israel. Therefore, not only Hamas but also “moderate” Fatah has already exterminated Israel cartographically.
Terrorism has brought suffering throughout the world, but Palestinian terrorism in particular will remain fiendishly unique even where it is manifestly counterproductive. Given the opportunity, it is probable that, ultimately, Palestinian terror groups will seek to exploit the particular horrors that still lie latent in weaponized pathogens and/or fissile materials. Earlier, in Latin America, groups such as MRTAand Sendero Luminoso (“Shining Path”) had resorted to extensive bloodshed in a more or less class-based fight for social, economic and political equality.
But their violence was plainly instrumental, and limited by specific objectives. Their ultimate goals had nothing to do with genocide. In Peru, moreover, whenever Sendero Luminoso exploded bombs in cars and buses, the citizens themselves uniformly condemned the terror.
If undertaken by Palestinians, who would openly condemn bioterrorism against Israel? Certainly President Obama would, but to what end? The proper position of any American president seeking peace in the Middle East must be to prevent war and terror, not to use American resources after the fact to help bury the dead.
All Palestinian terror groups are relentlessly determined to use violence against noncombatants, even on those occasions where it is plainly unsuitable for political gain. To these organizations, “Palestine” refers to all of Israel proper, as well as to Judea, Samaria and Gaza. As for Palestinian civilian populations, they still regularly applaud even the most heinous forms of anti-Jewish terrorism.
When, years back, two lost Israelis were lynched outside a P.A. “police station” in Ramallah, a mob of literally thousands danced a frenzied bacchanal on top of the mutilated bodies. This is undeniable. We know this because of the heroic film work done that day by an Italian television crew in the area.
What defensible human emotions can move a mob of “ordinary” Palestinians to torture, gouge out the eyes of, beat and then burn two utterly helpless human beings? What, one must inquire, was more incomprehensible that October morning in Ramallah, the elbows-deep-in-blood attacks launched by a desensitized people, or the spontaneously twisted celebrations of the multiple Arab bystanders?
Arab women as well as men could not contain the ecstasy of their cruel involvement. What kind of human beings can commit the horrors that Palestinian mobs inflicted on that terrible day upon Vadim Norjitz and Yossi Avrahami? While the answers to these questions are complex, they have a great deal to do with understanding the incessantly distinctive barbarism of Palestinian terror groups, a barbarism that now frequently manifests itself in intra-Palestinian battles between Fatah and Hamas as well.
Latin American terror groups have sometimes fought for human improvement and survival, but then seemed to look ultimately toward some forms of reconciliation and peaceful coexistence. Palestinian terrorists, on the other hand, fight only to expunge an entire people, the Jews, from (at a minimum) the face of the Middle East.
Whatever the rhetoric of the moment, Palestinian terrorism is never really a plea to Israel to relieve material needs, but rather a hideous demand to die so that certain Muslims can realize their alleged spiritual wants. Citing to a major hadith (an Arabic term that refers to the oral tradition by means of which sayings or deeds attributed to the prophet Muhammad have been handed down to Muslim believers), King Saud once informed a British visitor to his court: “Verily, the word of God teaches us, and we implicitly believe it, that for a Muslim to kill a Jew, or for him to be killed by a Jew, ensures him an immediate entry into heaven and into the august presence of God Almighty.”
Palestinian terrorism, now based solidly on fanatical religious hatreds and intentionally wanton killings, bears no close resemblance to other forms of contemporary terror violence. Starkly medieval, it seeks the death and dismemberment of individual Jews and, cumulatively, the annihilation of the Jewish state. There can, therefore, be no justification for its manifold crimes and harms. UN-legitimized Palestinian statehood will only hasten genocidal terrorist goals.
For Mahmoud Abbas, as earlier for Yasir Arafat, “Palestine” can never be allowed to coexist with any Jewish state. Rather, religiously and ideologically, it would be raised triumphantly upon the ruins of Israel, an irremediable objective that could imperil not only Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, but also New York, Washington and Los Angeles.
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.
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