Wednesday, July 18, 2012

More Children Die for the “Crime” of Being Israeli

While details are still sketchy, it appears that at least 3 and perhaps 7 (or even more) Israeli teenagers have been killed in a bus bombing (perhaps a suicide bombing) in a resort town in Bulgaria. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the families of those killed and wounded.

I’m sure in the next few days, as we learn more about what happened, we’re going to hear phrases like “cycle of violence” or “retaliation”. But don’t fall into that linguistic trap. Because the murder of vacationing teenagers is not the same — not even close — to casualties inflicted upon those who seek to inflict harm.

Look, I have compassion for Palestinian families who have lost loved ones in the conflict with Israel. I really do. That said, those sympathies do not extend to the families of Palestinians who have strapped explosives to their bodies and detonated them in discotheques, in pizza parlors, at Passover Seders, or on buses in order to kill Israelis (and often children). My sympathy does not extend to the families of Palestinians jailed for breaking into the home of an Israeli family and then slaughtering that family, including infants. My sympathy does not extend to those Palestinians who would use their own children as human shields or who allow rocket-wielding terrorists to take refuge in or about their homes.

And I ask again, precisely how many buses has Israel blown up? How many jetliners have Israeli terrorists hijacked or bombed? How many cruise ships have Israeli terrorists commandeered? How many Muslim community centers in places like Argentina have been blown up by Israelis? How many Olympic athletes have been taken hostage and murdered by Israelis?

There is a difference between an Israeli teenager killed in a random bombing in a pizza parlor and a Palestinian teenager killed while throwing rocks at an Israeli soldier. There is a difference between an Israeli woman killed by a bomb while attending a Passover Seder and a Palestinian killed in the act of launching a missile against a target is Israel. There is a difference between an Israeli family murdered in their beds by knife-wielding Palestinians and a Palestinian family killed when a Hamas-fabricated bomb explodes prematurely. There is a difference between an Israeli killed while vacationing in Bulgaria and a terrorist arranging an arms shipment in Dubai or a nuclear scientist helping Iran obtain nuclear weapon. A life is a life, but there is a qualitative difference between the reasons for the respective loss of life.

The point bears repeating: If the Palestinians (and Arab/Muslim states) put down their weapons and came to the negotiating table, there would be peace. If Israel puts down its weapons, there won’t be an Israel.

You know, we haven’t heard about many bus bombings in Israel in recent years. Why not? Because the security barrier built to keep terrorists based in the West Bank from infiltrating into Israel worked. Israel didn’t build the fence just to spite the Palestinians or out of a sense of superiority; it built the fence to defend its citizens from ongoing, repeated terrorist attacks emanating from the West Bank. So now that the fence is doing the job, it appears that those who hate Israelis are taking their campaign of violence outside of Israel.

What do you think that the United States (or Britain, France, or even Russia) would do if a busload of its teenagers, on holiday in some distant land, were murdered simply for being Americans (or British, French, or Russian)?

Two further points that I want to make briefly. It is worth noting that today is the 18th anniversary of the bombing of a Jewish community center in Argentina. 87 people were killed. Eventually, evidence surfaced that the bombing was orchestrated by Iran and its proxy Hezbollah.

And next week, the Olympics begin. This will be the 40th anniversary of the terrorist attack on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, in which 11 Israelis and a West German policeman were murdered. The families of some of those slain, as well as Israel, the US, and a number of other countries, pressed the International Olympic Committee and the London Organizing Committee to include a moment of silence at the opening ceremonies of the London games. One minute. To honor athletes who were killed during the Olympics. But the IOC and the London Organizing Committee said no. One member has apparently acknowledged that the refusal to allow that moment of silence was due to pressure from the Arab and Muslim countries. Deobrah E. Lipstadt, author of History on Trial, and Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, wrote about this refusal in Tablet Magazine. Her article, Jewish Blood Is Cheap, is worth reading. Sadly, I have to agree with her conclusion. It will be interesting to see if the world’s reaction to today’s bombing does anything other than reinforce her premise.

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