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The New Republic ^ | 6/4/2002 | Laurence Grafstein

Posted on 06/05/2002 6:19:25 AM PDT by ex-Texan


Age Limit

by Laurence Grafstein

Picking up The Washington Post recently, I found two pieces that showed just how far we have traveled down Yasir Arafat's moral dead-end road. The first was a dispatch from Gaza City by Edward Cody, which described the apparent debate over suicide bombings currently afoot in the Hamas stronghold. "Some suicide attacks, [the people and leaders of Gaza] have concluded, surpass the limits of what is acceptable, even for a people with its back against the wall," Cody reported. And what makes "some" of these attacks unacceptable? It is not, alas, the nature or the age of the targeted victims--civilians, oftentimes children. Rather, it is the age of the perpetrators and the efficacy and extent of the murder. Cody paraphrased Ismail Abu Shenab, quaintly identified as a "Hamas activist," to the effect that the attacks "should not be carried out by such young boys ... and should be planned in a way that gives them a real chance of inflicting damage on Israel."

The occasion for this introspection was the death of three 15-year-old boys after their ineffective assault on nearby Netzarim. By contrast, an attack committed by a 17-year-old on a school of "army-bound religious Israelis at the Gush Katif settlements" that killed seven "young cadets" in southern Gaza "remained within the bounds of what is acceptable."

Why? Because the 17-year-old had been trained in the use of his rifle and grenades, and he was "a long-time follower of ... a legendary Hamas activist ... who was killed by Israeli troops after a lengthy run of leading anti-occupation agitation." Imagine: the Gazan equivalent of the debate over the drinking age.

The substance of internal Palestinian and Arab debate over the murder of innocents has turned not just on the appropriate age of the designated killer but also on precisely which innocents to kill and when. There is the orthodox view of the president of Syria, who believes all Israeli civilians are legitimate targets.

There is the Saudi Arabian corollary, which is that Israel cannot legitimately respond to attacks committed by Saudi-sponsored Hamas "activists" because to do so would undermine the Saudi-sponsored "peace process." There is the recently muted position that any attacks on Israeli civilians should be directed at settlers only.

There is disagreement as to whether the deaths of Israeli-Arab civilians who frequent restaurants are acceptable collateral damage, though the prevailing opinion seems to be that they are. On one thing all parties agree: Seeking out and shooting a 5-year-old through the head on the West Bank is just fine. But let us not imagine consensus is easy to reach on all matters.

There is the Arafat policy that suicide bombings must be tactically opposed at certain moments, versus the Hamas policy that suicide bombings must continue until Israel is destroyed. Then there is the vexing question of whether American civilians are legitimate targets. Who would have thought the deliberate targeting of civilians contained so many rich aspects for debate?

The central media conceit of the last 20 months is that the upsurge of attacks on Israeli civilians is explained by Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

But it's more accurate to say that the upsurge of attacks is explained by Israel's de-occupation of these territories during the Oslo process. The Palestinian Authority permitted the militarization of these areas and embedded a political culture that worships the killing of civilians.

A related myth is that Arafat suffers politically from enabling these attacks. In fact, his popularity among Palestinians, and Arabs in general, rises with the frequency of these civilian murders; and he suffers no parallel reduction in support from Europe or the United Nations. The Bush administration, meanwhile, continues to advocate a Palestinian state in the near future and to accept Arafat as the Palestinians' leader. And this failure to stigmatize and penalize the murder of civilians, troubling enough among politicians, has now suffused the language of the American media as manifested in Cody's own prose.

A more subtle, and more depressing, article in the same issue of the Post came from The New Republic's distinguished former editor Michael Kinsley, titled "ANSWERING SHARON." Kinsley asked how the Bush administration could insist that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon display restraint in response to what Cody might call "anti-occupation agitation" and negotiate with the P.A. at a time when the president has declared an all-out war on terrorism. The answer, according to Kinsley, is that "terrorism is not an evil that transcends all other considerations.

This does not mean, as some would have it, that suicide bombing is justified as a legitimate response of an oppressed people. There may be circumstances where that is true, but the circumstance of the Palestinians ... is not even close. Nevertheless, an illegitimate tactic used in a legitimate cause, as part of a conflict with legitimate and illegitimate tactics and aspirations on both sides, is different from an illegitimate tactic used for purposes that are utterly crazed and malevolent. In short, circumstances matter. They may not matter morally, but they matter in terms of what you do about it."

Sorry, Michael. Apologies also to the P.A., the 20 Arab autocrats, the Iranian theocracy, numerous other prominent Sunni and Shiite clerics from around the world, the European Union, Kofi Annan and his many U.N. organs, CNN, certain circles at the U.S. State Department, and the American university left.

There are simply no circumstances in which the premeditated targeting of innocent civilians is justified. And the widespread, institutionalized use of this illegitimate tactic by what Cody calls "activists," even in a supposedly legitimate cause, not only undermines that cause, but also calls into question the very legitimacy of that cause.

To see why this is so, suppose the Israelis were to agree with the 75 percent of Palestinians who back the age-appropriate suicide bombers. Why not employ the (admittedly illegitimate) tactic of targeting innocent Palestinian civilians in the (admittedly legitimate) service of Israeli self-defense? Why not use superior force to kill as many Palestinians as possible before some of those people kill Israelis? It would indeed be self-defense. It would also be a disaster. The tactic of deliberately attacking civilians, which the Palestinians are so obtusely debating (and much of the world is so readily tolerating), depends for its success only on the moral superiority of the adversary--on the willingness of the Israelis to refrain from the abhorrent behavior the Palestinians broadly support. Similarly, Osama bin Laden's widely held belief that he promotes Islam by destroying the World Trade Center is dependent on America's willingness to refrain from destroying the sacred sites of Islam, which it could surely do. By relying on the superior morality of their enemies, the advocates of terrorism concede their own immorality and forfeit their own legitimacy. And it's hard to think of a consideration that this particular form of evil "transcends."

Laurence Grafstein is managing director at the investment bank Lazard in New York.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Israel
KEYWORDS: hamas; suicidebombings
Islamic terrorism cannot be justified on the basis of any moral argument.

KILL THEM ALL. Let God sort them out.

1 posted on 06/05/2002 6:19:26 AM PDT by ex-Texan
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To: ex-Texan
The writer will probably get his hands slapped; Lazard is a huge supporter of left wing and Democrat causes
2 posted on 06/05/2002 6:37:40 AM PDT by gaspar
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To: ex-Texan
I must admit, the differences between our Western morality when it comes to not targeting women, children and other non-combatants, and the the deliberate, perverse nature of the cruelty of these various groups of Muslims (let's face it, that's what we are talking about here, this is in fact a world war with Islam, and they started it) has my moral compass spinning like a top.

I must admit to harboring a lot of dark thoughts these days. After looking at the pictures of all the little Palistinian kids dressed as suicide bombers, parading down the streets in various West Bank towns, a very dark idea came to mind.

Wouldn't it be kinda funny, in a sick way of course, if a bunch of Mossad agents infiltrated the Palestinian areas and set up a new (but fake) radical "Islamic" group, then started recruiting these little Pali martyr wannabees, then sent them out to parade around wearing what they thought were fake bomb belts (except that they were REAL, with a remote detenator controlled by the Mossad guys?

Then as they pass the "reviewing stand" with all the Al-Jazeera types taking pictures.... well, you get the picture...

Jeez, now I'm all ashamed of myself for thinking like that.. [sigh] oh well....

3 posted on 06/05/2002 7:23:21 AM PDT by Kenton
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To: Kenton
I think that you are on to something kenton. From the get go of watching those crazies crash into the WTC, I thought there are moms to blame for this. The only way unfortunately that the world will be rid of this rediculous nonsense of suicide missions is probably with the destruction of that particular group.
4 posted on 06/05/2002 7:29:36 AM PDT by DooDahhhh
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To: ex-Texan
Sow the Wind; Reap the Whirlwind!

young Palestinian girl in uniform with hand grenade. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause Palestinian child holding Koran and toy rifle at anti-Israel rally - note child's non-semitic features young Palestinian girl in uniform with AK-47. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause Young boy in Gaza displays a toy gun and a Koran. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah
A Palestinian boy aims a toy rifle during a rally against Israel by Palestinian children in Gaza. Nazi theater - Arab kids act out as the terrorist Jew (with Kippa and earlocks) about to shoot a poor Arab Two Palestinian children with fake explosives strapped to their waists at the Ein el-Hilweh camp
Pali children marching in formation over the flags of the US and Israel Young Palestinian boy points rifle during basic training small Palestinian girl with toy rifle at anti-Israeli rally
Palestinian child with pistol Palestinian boy in training camp with rifle and knife
Small Palestinian boy wearing bomb belt Small Palestinian children with pistols in crowd of fighters
Thanks to TomGuy for much of the above.

An honorable, moral solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Isn't the only honorable way to "solve" the Arab-Israeli conflict through the use "ethnic cleansing?" (And by that term I mean the polite, but forceful removal of all 3 million Pali from Eretz Yisrael -- which is not "genocide", as some on the Left misuse the term.) Let me explain.

The current wave of "suicide" bombers (a misnomer, since their primary goal is not suicide but the mass murder of civilians) is unprecedented and unrelenting. But it should not be unexpected. It is the direct (and obviously planned) result of brainwashing that started with Pali children as young as kindergarteners. Look at the faces of the babies in the pictures above. What vomitous horror - visiting this upon their heads. What unspeakable evil.

The Palestinian descent into barbarism does not have some dimly-lit origin. These suicidal homicidal-bombers are not some unforseen phenomenom that sprung forth from the "hopelessness" of the populace (as the PA "leaders" would have us believe). They are part and parcel of the war machine created by the PA to wreak systematic havoc on Israel. Someone paid to have the Pali youth trained -- or more accurately, brainwashed -- in "martyrdom". Someone paid to have the explosives acquired and the bombs made. Someone paid to have surveillance put on weak spots in Israeli defenses. Someone paid to have these weapons stored and then distributed to the homicidal-bombers. Someone paid to have videotapes made of the bombers' farewell messages. Someone paid to have these homicidal-bombers transported across security lines. Someone paid to have the deeds of the homicidal-bombers favorably publicized. Someone paid the family tens of thousands of dollars specifically for the "martyrdom" of their children. And, as we are now learning, those paymasters include Yassir Arafat, Saddam Hussein and the Saudi elite.

The PA has not been preparing its people for peace, but radicalizing them for the sole purpose of destroying Israel. The PA has appointed militant clerics who preach hate and "martyrdom". By doing so, they have knowingly turned this into a religious war, one in which compromise is heretical. And in doing so, the Palestinians have rejected the Oslo premise that the conflict is about borders, about which compromise is required. Indeed, as Henry Kissinger has noted: The result of Arafat's strategy of hatred is now known: Pali society cannot co-exist in peace with Israel. Recent polls tell the story clearly. Over 87% of the Palis support the murder of Israeli men, women, and children, even babies. Given these numbers and the underlying religious fervor, there is NO POSSIBILITY of a negotiated settlement that would be honored by the Palis within their lifetime. Arafat has filled the Palis with visceral hate to prepare them for unrelenting war. He has brainwashed an entire generation of youngsters to become terror-bombers. He has unleashed almost 10 years of official "judeo-nazi" indoctrination on the Pali people. Arafat has committed crimes not only against the entire populace of Israel, but against Palestinians and their children as well. Truly, these are Crimes against Humanity.

Current conditions make ethnic cleansing not only justified, but morally required. As antithetical as it sounds to liberal ears, ethnic cleansing is literally the only humane solution. To pursue a negotiated settlement is akin to locking a tiger and a human with a gun in the same cage. Assign the roles to whomever you wish, but the result is the same. Someone in the cage is eventually going to be killed, maybe both.

The world community's role in this to date has been to create this inhumane spectacle, this caged, semitic death match. The world community's response going forward ought to be the equivalent of an "Allied invasion of Nazi Germany" because nothing less will suffice to rid the world of this monstrosity. Eject all Arab peoples from Gaza and the West Bank (because once you remove the terrorists, their supporters and their families, virtually nobody is left). Then round up the PA "leaders" (including "clerics" and "teachers"), and put them on trial for their Crimes against Humanity. If they are found guilty, hang them in public.

And to the extent that this PA policy was conducted, funded, supported, promoted, or otherwise enabled by their Arab bretheren (notably Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia) then it is incumbent upon these countries to pay for their sins by taking in the Palis. Arabs created this mess. Let Arabs bear the toll for the human misery they created.

Even Tom Friedman of the New York Times has come around, finally grasping the global ramifications of Arafat's evil: What is needed is the elimination of this cancer on humanity. End it quickly before more innocent lives are lost. End it now or it will escalate to Weapons of Mass Destruction. End it clearly and with finality so that there is absolutely NO ambiguity that Western civilization finds this abhorent. If nothing else, as a sop to liberal sensibilities, end it for the children. Moral clarity demands nothing less.

A six-year-old Palestinian boy holds a hand grenade during a protest against Israel in Gaza City.

Ruh Roh!
It looks like this idea is picking up some steam!
GOP leader: Palis should move to unsettled Arab lands
Dick Armey: Israel should expel West Bank Palis
Human Rights Watch
Calls suicide attacks a Crime Against Humanity

I know! Instead of "Ethnic Cleansing" let's call it "Repatriation".
Doesn't that sound better? Let's help the Palis go home, back to Egypt and Jordan.
5 posted on 06/05/2002 7:50:46 AM PDT by My Identity
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To: ex-Texan
Morality and Islam : Oil and Water
6 posted on 06/05/2002 7:56:03 AM PDT by TADSLOS
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To: My Identity
Thanks for posting Pali photos proving crimes against humanity !
7 posted on 06/05/2002 8:08:35 AM PDT by ex-Texan
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