The murder of 20 Israeli teenagers by a Palestinian suicide bomber certainly warrants a response from Israel that would inflict considerable damage on Palestinians. But as of this writing, Prime Minister Sharon has exercised the greatest restraint in the hope of rallying international public opinion to Israel’s side in this brutal and bloody war between Israel and the Palestinians.

The blood lust exhibited by fanatical Palestinians in the last few months defies rational understanding. What can they possibly hope to gain by alienating even the “Peace Now” Israeli doves. It will take years of peace to rebuild trust among Israelis for their Arab neighbors. Israel is in a terrible dilemma. It cannot live with the Palestinians and it can’t get rid of them. Their only recourse is a war of attrition in which the Palestinians will be worn down to the point of exhaustion.

But I have an idea that might – only might – stop Palestinians from killing more innocent Israeli civilians. Every time a terrorist kills an Israeli, the Sharon government ought to announce that it will build 100 new houses in the settlements as a memorial to the victim. It should build these houses in addition to the ones already authorized by the government.

In the case of the teenagers murdered in Tel Aviv, the government ought to announce the establishment of an entire new settlement to commemorate the victims of the suicide bomber, naming streets, public buildings and parks after the victims so that they will never be forgotten by the Israeli public.

Nothing would pain and frustrate the Palestinians more than the announcement of more buildings in more settlements. And if the suicide bombers persist, then military retaliation should also be forthcoming.

The suicide bomber mentality among Palestinians is what is making a peace settlement virtually impossible. They are so removed from reality, so driven by their hatred of Jews, that, as a community, they border on the insane. They have destroyed their economy, their credibility, and any hope of a friendly, stable relationship with their Israeli neighbors. While refugee problems around the world have been solved by resettlement, Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war have remained in squalid camps for 53 years, in the hope that someday Israel would be destroyed.

While the Arabs claim that the Jews have usurped their land, it should be remembered that both Arabs and Jews are descendants of the biblical patriarch Abraham. The Jews come through Abraham’s wife Sarah, and the Arabs come through Sarah’s maid, Hagar. Sarah could not bear children and so she gave her maid Hagar to her husband so that he could have a child. And, indeed, Hagar became pregnant. This upset Sarah, who then sent Hagar away. The Lord took pity on Hagar, and the Bible tells us:

And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ismael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of his brethren.

God then decided to give Sarah a child, Isaac, with whom the Lord established a covenant. As for Ishmael, the Palestinian is exactly what the angel of the Lord said he would be: a wild man, with his hand against every man, and every man’s hand against him. And if you believe the Bible, then you must accept the fact that the Lord gave the land to the Israelites. The Palestinian intifada has simply strengthened the resolve of the Israelis to keep the land and resist any attempt to drive them out. They’ve been fighting this battle since the 1920s, when the Arabs first tried to massacre the Jews into oblivion. They could not succeed then, and they certainly cannot succeed now.

But Israelis have had to reach the sober conclusion that the Palestinians simply want to kill Jews now and forever. There is no reason to believe that Hamas or Islamic Jihad or any of the other terrorist groups will ever be satisfied with anything short of the extinction of the Jewish state. They have waited patiently for the opportunity to destroy Israel, but all they have succeeded in doing so far is destroy the Palestinian economy and revive the Zionist spirit of the Jewish people.

The lynching of the two reservists in Ramallah, the murder of the two boys in the cave, the killing of the internet pen-pal, the murder of the two Jewish restauranteurs having lunch in the West Bank, the killing of two hikers, the murder of an Israeli who had put his car in a West Bank repair shop, the sniper murders of motorists on the highways, the suicide bombing at a shopping mall, the trusted Palestinian bus driver killing Israelis at a bus stop – the list of outrages goes on an on, but its effect on the Israeli public has been to rudely awaken them from their Oslo pipe dream. So intense is the hatred of Jews among extremist Palestinians that if they had the power to do so, they would massacre every Israeli man, woman and child they could get their hands on. That’s the sober reality that Israelis face today.

So how can peace be established? The Israelis simply have to be patient and let the Palestinians frustrate themselves to death. If they are a community intent on suicide, then let them kill themselves. But if they dare to kill another Israeli, let 100 new houses rise in the settlements as a fitting memorial to the murdered Jew and as an affirmation that the Jews are there to stay.

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