Friday, August 05, 2005

Evil among us

Yesterday in Israel, four Israeli Arabs were murdered by an obviously misguided young Jewish man. As I mentioned in an aside in another post, Bentsi Lieberman, a Yesha leader, put this in perfect perspective.
"Murder is murder is murder, and there can be no other response but to denounce it completely and express revulsion."
Arutz-7 reports that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said,
"This was a reprehensible act by a bloodthirsty Jewish terrorist who sought to attack innocent Israeli citizens.... I send condolences to the families of those who were murdered and my best wishes for a quick recovery to those who were wounded. The entire State of Israel, regardless of race, religion or sex, strongly condemns this act of terrorism."
He was absent without leave from the army, deserting in protest of the upcoming disengagement, and his parents had recently requested that the army take away his weapon - afraid of what he might do. Obviously, they did not act fast enough.
After seeing the responses of Lieberman, Sharon, and others, it immediately struck me as a distinctly different reaction than the one often seen when the reverse occurs. The most recent attack on Israelis, about a week and a half ago, was met with a far different type of reaction among the Palestinians.
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas Sunday condemned the killing of an Israeli couple in Gush Katif on Saturday night, saying such attacks provided Israel with an excuse to launch retaliatory attacks on Palestinians, including targeted killings.
He said that the timing of the attack, on the eve of Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, did not serve the Palestinians' interests.
Despite Abbas's condemnation the PA-controlled media hailed the two attackers as "martyrs", calling them "resistance fighters" involved in a military operation.
Khaled al-Batsh, a senior Islamic Jihad leader in the Gaza Strip, explained that the attack was in the framework of efforts to "correct the path of the Palestinian resistance by directing our weapons only toward the Zionist enemy."

While Lieberman expressed disgust and Sharon wished for the recovery of those who had been injured, Abbas was only concerned with the PR aspect of an attack on Israeli Jews; while the PA media and Islamic Jihad were openly thrilled with the attack.
I wanted to speak about this stark contrast in the two societies, but was not sure how to put it - until I saw today's Best of the Web:
In the typical terrorist attack by Palestinian Arabs, Palestinian officials, if they criticize it at all, do so only on the ground that it's counterproductive, and the parents usually hail their child's "martyrdom." So, while Jewish terrorists are every bit as despicable as Arab ones, Israel's response to this atrocity shows that Jewish civilization is vastly superior to its Arab counterpart.

And so we must remain.

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