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The Difference - Part I By: Patrick D. O'Brien
IsraelNationalNews.com | Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Early on the morning of February 25, 1994, an American-born Israeli Jew named Baruch Goldstein walked into the Cave of Machpelah (also known as the Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hevron, and opened fire on hundreds of Palestinian Arab Muslims at Friday prayers. Goldstein, a doctor, and a member of the now outlawed right wing movement of Rabbi Meir Kahane, Kach, killed 29 people before he was overpowered and lynched by the furious crowd.

Outside of the far-right fringe that he was a part of, Baruch Goldstein was roundly condemned by Israelis as a terrorist who had killed innocent people, and who had acted in blatant contravention to the principles and ethics of the Jewish state and the Jewish people. Three days later, the Knesset voted overwhelmingly to condemn the Hevron massacre. Then, two weeks later, the Kach and Kahane Chai movements were outlawed. In a 2001 Truman Institute Israeli/Palestinian Arab Joint Opinion Poll, a full three-quarters of Israeli Jews surveyed defined Goldstein's mass murder attack as an act of terror.1.

Jewish people worldwide, to the chagrin of some, were obsessed with Goldstein for some time after the tragic events of that February morning. I think it is because most Jews find such a callous and violent act to be repulsive and inimical to their values, no matter that it was carried out against an enemy sworn to Israel's destruction. It just wasn't right and it wasn't justifiable, and Israelis and the Diaspora knew this. It was also a shock because this sort of thing is a true rarity among Israelis - an isolated incident, if you will.

Terrorism is not in the character of the Jewish state. The democratic tenets of justice, righteousness and the rule of law, which Jews have always cherished, are protected and maintained through Israel's representative government2 and militarily, through the ethical code of the Israel Defense Forces:2

The Spirit of the IDF draws on four sources:

  • The tradition of the IDF and its military heritage as the Israel Defense Forces.
  • The tradition of the State of Israel, its democratic principles, laws and institutions.
  • The tradition of the Jewish People throughout their history.
  • Universal moral values based on the value and dignity of human life.
One could search forever in vain to find comparable ethical requirements among the hateful Islamic doctrine that guides Hamas4, Islamic Jihad5, Fatah6 and the other genocidal Palestinian Arab/Islamic terror gangs operating against Israel. They are committed to Israel's utter destruction, and whatever gets the job done is halaal (allowable, permitted) in Allah's book of hatred. Even the ostensibly secular ruling PLO is clear about Israel's (non)right to exist, let alone the right for Israeli civilians to go about their day without being blown into bloody pieces of flesh and bone.

Last week, for the second time in more than a decade, a criminal Israeli Jew - a terrorist - shot four innocent Palestinian Arabs to death on a bus in northern Israel in an abominable act of cruel depravity. At least a dozen were injured. Nineteen-year-old IDF deserter, Eden Natan-Zada - like Goldstein, a member of Kach - acted against everything that Israel and the Jewish people stand for. He lowered himself to the same base level as the "holy warrior" terrorists who strike at the most vulnerable members of Israeli society. What he did was no different from what they do.

And again, Jewish Israelis are outraged and disgusted. Within the first hour following Natan-Zada's cowardly killing of two young sisters, the 56-year-old bus driver, and a 55-year-old gentleman who was a passenger, the following headlines appeared on Israeli newspaper sites (Yedioth Ahronoth and the Jerusalem Post):

  • "Sharon: Shfaram attack reprehensible"
  • "IDF condemns Shfaram attack, says probing incident"
  • "MKs revile 'reprehensible' attack"
  • "'Vile act by terrorist'"
  • "IDF senior officer: Don't bury terrorist in military cemetery"
When one juxtaposes this almost palpable revulsion against the unabashed exaltation of the same sort of terror (and worse) found in the Palestinian Arab press,8 one is confronted by an immense divide of ethics and values.

A mother, her 10-year-old disabled daughter, and a reserve soldier are killed by a Palestinian Arab/Islamic murder/suicide bomber, who is adulated in a news story on the event:

In the name of Allah the merciful and compassionate. With great pride and esteem, and with faith in the destiny determined by Allah, the Hamas movement Al-Kassam in the district of Jenin is happy to notify the Arab, Islamic nation and our jihad-fighting Palestinian people that the heroic martyr from Al-Kassam, Muhammed Ziad Al-Khalili, carried out the brazen suicide attack in Hamra in the [Jordan] Valley, to avenge the execution of the commanders of the Martyr Brigade Iz A-Din Al-Kassam by the occupation forces in Nablus. -- Al-Ayyam, February 10, 2002
Two Islamic Jihad terrorists (who were also PA police officers) open fire at a crowded bus stop in Hadera, killing four Israeli women, and are killed by Israeli police. Yasser Arafat publicly condemns the mass murder, but the PA's official daily presents a more honest version of the Palestinian Arab reaction:

The Dura Hebron Alsweiti clan here and abroad share with the Alsweiti and Aljabali families from Jenin in the martyrdom of their heroic sons: the heroic martyr Yusuf Muhammed Alsweiti and the heroic martyr Nidal Taiseer Aljabali and offer the families of the martyrs the warmest and most heartfelt condolences in the face of this deep tragedy, while asking Allah to treat them with mercy and to house them in Paradise with the martyrs, the righteous prophets. -- Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, October 30, 2001
From a column in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida:

The suicide bombers of today are the noble successors of their noble predecessors... the Lebanese suicide bombers, who taught the US Marines a tough lesson in [Lebanon].... These suicide bombers are the salt of the earth, the engines of history.... They are the most honorable [people] among us.... -- Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, September 11, 2001
A Palestinian Arab/Islamic terrorist who murdered 29 Israeli Jews at their Passover Seder in 2002 has a soccer tournament named after him (in which all teams are named after murder/suicide bombers), and this is mentioned in passing on the sports pages:

In Tulkarm's Abd Al Majid Tia School soccer field, under the auspices of Jamal Tarif, director of education; Sport Supervisor Jamal Odeh; and in the presence of school principal Jamal Ayat; the head of the Sports committee, and committee members; the Tulkarm Shahids Memorial soccer championship tournament of the Shahid Abd Al-Baset Odeh, began with the participation of seven top teams, named after Shahids who gave their lives to redeem the Homeland. -- Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, January 21, 2003
And so on, and so on.

This institutional hatred and mass murder is, sadly, an ordinary - banal, almost - fixture of Palestinian Arab culture. In this hellish sociological phenomenon we see raw, implacable Arab belligerence, pride, anti-Semitism and justice by the sword combined with the unreformed, barbaric faith that it gave rise to. In such a pathological social milieu, the near-ecstatic glorification of unprovoked mass murder of those who challenge this narcissistic hubris is inevitable. And the Western enablers and useful idiots for Islam who apologize for these terrorists have certainly helped to perpetuate and vindicate their base behavior.


1The Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, Israeli Palestinian Joint Public Opinion Poll # (1) December 2001
2Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
3The Spirit of the IDF
4Hamas Charter
5Islamic Jihad's "Internal Charter" is largely influenced by the Universal Islamic Concept (al-mafhum al-kawni al-Islami) of Sayyid Qutb
6Fateh Constitution
7The Palestinian National Charter was to be amended, in recognition of Israel's right to exist, as per the Oslo Accords of 1993, but never was.
8special thanks to Palestinian Media Watch

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