To be or not to be blown up

By Ilana Mercer

An editorial in the Egyptian government paper Al-Akhbar celebrated the killing last week of “11 Israeli terrorists” and the wounding of dozens in “a martyrdom operation in occupied Jerusalem.” The Egyptian government’s mouthpiece credits “Palestinian martyrs” for the “brave ambush,” and blames the “terrorist state of Israel.” “It is the Jews who are behind every calamity,” hissed the editor of another such mouthpiece, Al-Gumhuriyya. And this from a government Israel is officially at peace with.

Among the “Israeli terrorists” murdered were four children – two 13-year-olds, an 8-year-old boy who died along with his grandmother, and a 16-year-old boy whose mother was also killed.

Reporting on what has become an unremarkable event in the lives of Israeli civilians – Palestinian homicidal bombers have killed 309 Israelis over the last 26 months – the Associated Press went through the motions: Bomber boards an early morning bus in a Jerusalem neighborhood. The blast shatters the humdrum of children on their way to school and the elderly off to market for early-morning shopping. The AP cursorily mentions dismembered body parts and limbs littering the pavements. The clean-up operation consists invariably in gathering and matching bits of anatomy – a foot here, a hand there, a piece of hair – to give the victims a Jewish burial.

In this instance, 47 people were also wounded – at least nine are in critical condition. Although the networks rarely cover this aspect, the task facing Israeli medics has become a routine. Surgeons must slice open the victims of these fiendish devices, picking from the flesh and burrowing in the bone for embedded shards of shrapnel, ball bearings and nails. The rat poison is a diabolic touch, intended to intensify internal bleeding. If they survive, victims are left maimed and wracked with life-long disfigurement and pain.

Few commentators, Alan Keyes excepted, have had the heart and spine to express the existential meaning of painstakingly – almost lovingly – packing parcels of shrapnel, ball-bearings, nails and rat poison, to lodge in the bodies of Israeli civilians. Keyes, whose MSNBC program was axed shortly after a magnificent display of outrage, was man enough and moral enough to point out that this premeditated evil – supported by a majority of Palestinians – bespeaks the will to exterminate Israelis, and creates a deep and dark reality in the human heart.

Contrary to what the various pop-analysts claim, these bombs aren’t a response to hopelessness. In the words of Howard Jacobson of the British Independent, “It is fanaticism of sympathy to grant the power of life and death to those who are dissatisfied, as though unhappiness were a sort of absolution that wiped out every other human obligation.”

This fanaticism of misplaced sympathy is what those on the Far Left and on the Old Right consistently display. With a welcome exception. The paleoconservative Paul Gottfried is unable to figure out what one does with enemies who try to blow you up even when you offer to give them back what they had lost in war. Gottfried advises that “the most the Israelis may be able to achieve in the present unsatisfactory situation is making those who are blowing up their families pay a high price.”

To be fair, belittling Israel’s survival efforts is not the sole purview of the Far Left and the Old Right. The neoconservative Jewish lobby does a dandy job of it. Of late, it has intensified the bid to hitch the legitimate Jewish struggle to the fight against global terror. This terrorism tag-along diminishes half a century of defensive wars, fought for survival. Even if Israel and the U.S. are indeed at war with the same enemies, Israel has been warding them off for decades and should not stoop to tailor life-and-death self-defense to the broader unholy neoconservative agenda.

Israeli leadership, moreover – and this is Sharon’s instinct – must defend the right of an ethnically homogenous people to live free of aggression. Instead, her lobbyists persistently pretend Israel’s a pluralistic melting pot, made in the image of the U.S., the kind neocon globalists want to see replicated worldwide.

“The neocon attempts to compare an ethnically specific Jewish state to the multicultural toilet that the U.S. is becoming” make professor Gottfried bristle. Israel’s ethnic coherence has not prevented the integration of “a large Palestinian minority, who in Israel proper exercise the rights of citizens,” he notes. Gottfried also observes that the absence of pluralism has not precluded the establishment in Israel of “parliamentary opposition parties, a free press and the rule of law” – unique in the neighborhood.

On the upcoming elections in Israel, Gottfried tells me that if he were living in Israel, he’d vote for Sharon: “He’s a blood-and-soil nationalist, like the old Afrikaners, and won’t do anything to endanger the security of his nation to please Barbra Streisand or Joe Sobran.”