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Eradicate Terror

Eradicate Terror

Terror should not be interpreted. It should be eradicated.


My daughter called me crying from school. Her 13-year-old schoolmate Hodaya had been killed that morning on her way to school in a terrorist attack on a bus in Jerusalem. I heard sobs from her and, in the background, school children crying out in sadness.

And yet as a country, we sit, day in and out, attacked almost each hour by terror.

The truth no one wants to admit is this: A suicide bomber is not an aberration, but the apotheosis of all that is authored by the Palestinian Authority. He is the hero of the Palestinian story.

It is difficult for many of us to believe that such a cruel "hero" could be purposefully created and celebrated. We want to deny the evil of such a creation. So we indulge in believing the twisted story of a causal relationship between despair and terror, as if there were a correlation between hopelessness and killing.

In this interpretation, terrorists kill because they have no choice.

Many Israelis also buy this apologetic plot line. One mother whose daughter was killed by a suicide bomber on Jerusalem’s Ben-Yehuda mall said, "The guy who killed my daughter was crazy enough to kill himself as well because he had nothing to lose; he had nothing to live for because of the occupation."

The character of the terrorist created in this distorted version of reality is crazy and hopeless, pathetic. This interpretation would be absurd if it weren’t so dangerous. My 13-year-old son, Koby, was stoned to death by terrorists not because his murderers had no hope -- but precisely because they had hope.

Terrorists are not hopeless; they are ruthless.

A more nuanced reading of terrorism would discern that terrorists are not hopeless, but ruthless. The terrorist is not in despair, but indoctrinated with an ideology of evil where meaning in life is equated with the destruction of Jews.

In fact, many terrorists are educated in universities where violence is taught as the master narrative of the Palestinian people.

America gives credence to the Palestinian text of hate when the US talks about its road map, about the need for each of the two sides to take steps to calm the situation – as if the intifada were a cycle of violence and not violence perpetuated by a Palestinian leadership inciting its population with the murderous intent to destroy Israel.

When Secretary of State Colin Powell justifies the targeted killing of al-Qaida operatives in Yemen at the same time condemning Israeli targeted killings of terrorists, he supports Palestinian terror.

When Bush calls for a tough stance against Iraq while countenancing the killing the innocent Israelis, he encourages terrorism. When the European Union calls for the Palestinian Authority to desist from killing Jews in Israel proper while allowing the killing of Jews in the territories, it sanctions murder.

It is time to stop trying to understand and analyze the cruel behavior of the Palestinians. What is needed is a Palestinian narrative coming from its own leadership that can encourage its people to adopt a strategy of hope and compromise rather than the infantile language of victimization, rage and violence.

It is unlikely to come into being in the foreseeable future. Instead, the "Quartet" must make one condition, and one condition only in its "road map": No progress can be achieved until the Palestinians renounce terror.

We cannot allow ourselves to engage in the deceit that the text of terror has more than one interpretation. Terror should not be interpreted. It should be eradicated.

This article originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post.

November 30, 2002

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 10

(10) Sara Chaya, August 18, 2011 11:02 PM

Attacking civilians is murderder

Let us be clear. Terrorism is nothing but murder. Attacking unarmed civilians in civilian vehicles in a sovereign country is invasion and the terrorists, invaders, to be hunted down and gotten rid of as the vermin who they are.

(9) David, U.S.A., December 6, 2002 12:00 AM

The U.S.'s only true ally: Israel

The Palestinians are a race of terrorists. They have no legitimate claim to any land within the borders of Israel. They will never be placated with land offerings for "peace". They are on par with the Nazis and Adolf Hitler. Arafat has the same mindset, as do all of Israel's neighbors--to destroy the Jewish people. The Palestinians need to be kicked out or killed off.

You have many friends in the U.S. Even though I voted for Bush, I do not agree with his current public stance toward Israel. I pray President Bush starts acknowledging Israel for what they are: our ONLY friend in the world. He also needs to start addressing Arafat, for what he is--a terrorist! This man is not a statesman. He deserves no respect. What he deserves I hope Israel will give him--a bullet to the head.

Self-defense is not murder.

God Bless Israel and all who support her.

(8) Char, December 5, 2002 12:00 AM

Eradicating Terror

The world is on the brink of disaster. The Holy One of Yisrael is near to doing battle once again for His Chosen Ones. We must be united. There is no safe haven. Yisrael, you are not alone. President Bush is not your boss. The United Nations is not your boss. HaShem only is our hope and strength, not any nation, not any man.

(7) Benjamin S. Frank, December 5, 2002 12:00 AM

They will always hate us.

We Jews must resign ourselves to the irresolvable problem of antisemitism. They (in every nation, in every age) have always hated us, and they always will. The Arabs are just the most current and savage manifestation. This problem has no solution. Being moral and ethical is not enough. We have long been the moral and ethical spine of humanity, and it has bought us nothing. Six million dead bought us fifty years of relative peace, but the gloves are off again, and we will pay. We need NOT resign ourselves to being murdered. We must remain vigilent. We must remain defensive. We must remain vocal. When you hear the Jew-hater speak, denounce him loudly in clear language. Impede them as they preach for your demise. Write and phone the media. Write and phone your friends (both Jew and non-Jew). Fight!

(6) Marcos A. DeBarros, December 5, 2002 12:00 AM

Who's Upholding That Terror?

It causes me unrest just to think that such terror is orchestrated by legally organized governments. I'm not really stating it but rather casting my query into the air. Why? Doesn't Israel have friends? What do they say? Doesn't the UN have a say on this bitter bloodshed?
Happy Chanukah anyway.

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