While there’s always plenty of blame to share in the continuous bloodletting between Jews and Palestinians, this much needs to be said. Now more than ever.
It no longer matters who started it — or who has a better case for retribution. Neither is history an overriding factor. Everybody has their version — as well as a wholly convenient holy book to selectively cite. Proven true believers have all the proof they’ll ever need.
But here’s what does matter. Here’s where any sense of moral — or even immoral — equivalence summarily stops. It is this. Only one side would do the following: recruit a young mother to become a piece of shrapnel. Israel wouldn’t do that. The Third Reich wouldn’t have done it. Only the Tamil Tigers, the terrorists from Sri Lanka, have a similar modus operandi.
But becoming a human cruise missile is what 22-year-old Reem al-Reyashi, the mother of a 3-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter, did the other day.
With marching orders from Hamas, she feigned a limp, requested medical help and then — in a fit of humanitarian irony — blew herself up at a Gaza Strip security inspection center for Palestinian workers. She had even strapped on ball bearings and screws for an extra measure of lethality. As a result of her suicidal homicide, she killed four Israeli security personnel and wounded — make that maimed — seven other people, some of them Palestinians. Collateral damage for the cause.
Another day at the office from hell.
But it gets worse. The twisted premeditation of it all was evidenced by the standard video that the bomber left behind explaining the inexplicable.
“It was always my wish to turn my body into deadly shrapnel against the Zionists, and to knock on the doors of heaven with the skulls of Zionists,” implacably noted the suicide killer.
“God gave me the ability to be a mother of two children who I love so,” said al-Shrapnel. “But my wish to meet God in paradise is greater, so I decided to be a martyr for the sake of my people. I am convinced God will help and take care of my children.”
Allah as nanny.
Such sick ambition, sophistic reasoning and perverted rationales underscore the only reality that matters. It IS about Islam. The movement comes from the mosques — not the universities. Terrorists now go imam-shopping.
For obvious reasons, President Bush can’t say that. Even had to apologize for using “crusade” as a verb. But we, at least, can acknowledge the obvious. Would that the sense of jihad were limited to the struggle for a Palestinian homeland. Were it, Yasser Arafat might have accepted the Bill Clinton-brokered deal.
This is not about compromise or coexistence. This is not about agreeing to find a way to end the bloodshed, for bloodshed is a Fundamentalist strategy. This is about victory — and pay back. A millennium’s worth of traumatized pride and underachieving Muslim cultures. The Middle East crucible is merely the most visceral of rallying points.
This is about Koranic parsing over suicide and justification for that which yields Paradise — 72 black-eyed virgins and all. This is about dividing the world into believers and infidels, the result of which too easily excuses and encourages any mistreatment of the latter. The Nazis — by dehumanizing and demonizing Jews — provided an excellent model to build upon.
It is also about picking on democracies, open societies that — in response to heinous acts — will stop considerably short of the “Mongol method” — the wholesale slaughter of a suicide killer’s native population.
Would that the contemporary threat to the West — and America — were confined to the evil likes of Osama bin Laden or Muhammad Atta. But the pernicious appeal of Wahhabism is growing — not slowing. The number of Muslims who applauded the World Trade Center atrocity was hardly limited to al-Qaeda fanatics.
The seeds of jihad are many places. As are infidels. And that’s us, the U.S.
It IS about Islam.
We ignore that cold-blooded reality at our own peril.