With President Obama set to visit Israel in the next few months, the pressure on Israel to make further tangible concessions for the sake of a “peace of paper” will be intense. He has been marketing this visit as if it a major sacrifice on his part that demands some reciprocity from Israel. Whatever the composition of the new Israeli coalition, Obama is likely to find a PM Netanyahu also eager for some show of flexibility that will win him temporary plaudits from the international community and permanent antipathy from the Israelis who will pay the price for any new concessionary folly. Both should look at a single news item from last week and abstain from any “peace-making.”
On January 28 (last week), Fatah – the ruling junta in the chaos known as the Palestinian Authority – fêted the deceased Wafa Idris, who 11 years ago became the first Arab female suicide bomber to murder Jews in Israel. She was praised as a “beautiful flower,” whose life’s work – so to speak – forced Israel to “revise their security considerations” that had theretofore only guarded against male suicide bombers. Her great achievement involved sneaking into Jerusalem in a Red Cross ambulance while wearing her suicide bomb vest, violating another cardinal precept of civilized society, i.e., not utilizing hospitals, ambulances, schools and children as shields from behind which one perpetrates horrific acts of terror. Of course, the world of Fatah – the “moderates,” as the credulous Western media would have it – and their acolytes are not at all civilized, but readily compete with each other in displays of barbarism and primitivism.
I remember well the Idris suicide bombing, as I was in Israel at the time, and dear friends of mine were seriously injured in the attack. Idris entered a shoe store on Jaffa Road in the heart of Jerusalem, looked around, then left the store, stood outside at a bus stop, and blew herself up. One Jew – an artist – was murdered, and more than 100 people were injured. What sounds prosaic – it happened hundreds of times during that dark period a little more than a decade ago – should be contemplated. Someone purporting to be a human being – presumably with a life to live and a family to love – willfully decided to insinuate herself into a group of complete strangers, who had never harmed her at all, and to end her life along with those of as many victims as she could take with her.
The frequency of such attacks – replicated on an even wider and savage scale in the United States by Muslim Arabs on September 11, 2001, just a few months before the attack herein – should not blind us to what should be a typical, normal reaction of sane, decent human beings: Wafa Idris was demented, but perfectly representative of a demented, diabolical people. The fact that those attacks became commonplace – and still are across the Muslim world – should not obscure their essential heinousness. They are satanic, from a different planet. Even the Nazis – malicious mass murderers – were only interested in murdering Jews, but had no fervent interest in killing themselves in the process.
Can “peace” ever be made with a society that celebrates its murderers as well as the mass homicide of innocent people? Of course not. After World War II, Germany underwent a “denazification” campaign – a systematic attempt to rid Germany and Austria of the sordid political, social, cultural and economic influences of Nazism. The theory was that German society could not be rehabilitated (or trusted) as long as the effects of Nazism lingered in the populace. Within a year, 90,000 Germans – apparently, incurable Nazis – were incarcerated, and almost 2,000,000 others were barred from meaningful employment. The Nazi poison had not yet left their systems, and so they posed a threat to the body politic. Distinctions were made between hard-core Nazis – true believers – and those who were merely followers and could be reformed. The program lasted almost five years and was a mixed success, owing to the difficulty in fully ascertaining the evil that lurks in man’s heart.
Last week, Fatah dutifully reported that Wafa’s mother said that “she is proud of her daughter, and hopes that more girls will follow in her footsteps.” Remember that Fatah is not a fringe group in Arab society, but the governing party in the PA. They are the establishment. They cannot be taken to task for their unfortunate choice of heroines, because they are perfectly reflective of the people who voted them into power. This is the world of Mahmoud Abbas – the designated “partner for peace” – not the world he purports to fight against, which is for Western eyes only. The Nazis must be defeated before they can be denazified.
Such a de-Islamization program is critically needed in the Middle East but now is unfortunately premature, as the war continues and the barbarians are being emboldened by their victories and America’s retreat. They sense weakness, and their blood lust is activated by thoughts of US pressure on Israel for more territorial surrender, more expulsions of Jews, and by the realization that America, too – like Israel in Ehud Olmert’s day – is tired of fighting and leading, and anxious to withdraw from the world’s problems.
A society that celebrates the murderers of innocent people, that glorifies suicide bombers, that loves death when it takes innocent Jewish lives along with it, is not ready to be part of the civilized, enlightened, and cultured world, much less ready for peace. But surely they all can’t be so merciless? One would hope not, although the fact that are no voices emanating from that society that articulate the disgust they should feel about the monsters in their midst is a searing indictment.
Those who think that primitives can become refined through a peace of paper have already cost the world – Jewish and non-Jewish – thousands of innocent lives and through their headstrong naïveté will undoubtedly jeopardize the lives of thousands more. Many who hold such delusions have served in high office in Israel and the United States; many still do.
Before they seek to pontificate further about public affairs, they should learn the lessons implicit in the lionization of Wafa Idris by the morally bankrupt society that spawned her and the disdain that society feels for her innocent victims. The festivities took place neither a century ago nor a decade ago, but just last week. Those celebrants are the same people who danced on rooftops when the Twin Towers fell, and they still dance and revel when Americans and Jews die.
They need to be purged of the demonic pathology that governs their lives, or we will all continue to pay a frightful price for our wishful thinking.
Purchase or Learn More about My Books
- The Majesty and Meaning of the Rainbow [audio]
- Great Rabbis of the 20th Century, Part 10: Rav Yitzchak Hutner [audio]
- Pre-Selichot Divrei Hit'orrerut [audio]
- Is there a "split" between American Jewry and Israel? [audio]
- Great Rabbis of the 20th Century, Part 9: Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach [audio]
- Parshat Sh'lach - Vision [audio]
- Ask The Rabbi - Questions about Torah, Judaism and Life [audio]
- Great Rabbis of the 20th Century, Part 8: Rav Aharon Kotler [audio]
- Six Additional Knocks [audio]
- Mutual Respect in an Age of Intolerance [audio]