Courtesy of The Arizona Republic

April 14, 2002 -- Who killed your mother, Dani Cohen?

You are 7 years old and you can't know why the world would steal someone so irreplaceable.

She was only 33; driving her car that day to pick you up at school. You waited, waited, but only people with grim faces ever showed up.

Then you crumpled.

Who killed your mother, Dani Cohen?

She was driving the Shlomi-Cabri Road in northern Israel that March day when gunmen with Kalashnikov rifles and grenades ambushed and murdered her and five others.

Now you huddle with relatives, your eyes swollen with grief and the recognition of a wrenching, sickening reality.

Who killed your mother, Dani Cohen?

People. Lots of them.

Your mother died because there is unspeakable evil in this world and multitudes of the morally blind who excuse it.

The day you lost your mother, evil came as Hezbollah gunmen, schooled in murder and steeped in hate.

They killed your mother, and they had an accomplice.


Balance is the way cowardice and moral vacuity are expressed these days. Western diplomats and journalists use it to avert their eyes and ours from evil.

A killer outfitted in an explosive vest places himself next to babies in strollers. He pushes a button to blast nails through bone and soft tissue. There are maimed bodies, sheets of blood, the agony of survivors and, in the international community, a vicious sort of neutrality.

Too many U.N. diplomats and Western journalists see no evil. They see balance -- two peoples locked in the "deadly dance," equally culpable, equally wronged.

Last week, Newsweek exercised balance on its cover, joining the photo of a 17-year-old Jewish girl with that of the 18-year-old Palestinian woman who murdered her. We are told how the Israeli teen lived a privileged life of shopping malls and cafes, while the Palestinian teen lived with occupation and bullets.

The Newsweek cover's cumulative effect is to legitimize mass murder.

The symmetry of photos and words are no accident. Newsweek is equally apportioning suffering and liability. What the Newsweek cover doesn't tell you is that Palestinians murdered both of these young people. The Palestinian terrorist killed one. The Palestinian terrorist and her recruiter killed the other.

The Newsweek package is well written and well meaning. But it is immoral, because balance in this story is a fiction with consequences. It is not evenhanded. It is not fair-minded. Its cumulative effect is to legitimize mass murder.

When you add the Newsweek cover to the din of diplomats and journalists who indulge the murder of Jews, terror wins.

One of the more despicable examples of balance comes from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, which has begun editing out the word terrorist in wire stories on Palestinian suicide bombings.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal criticized the Star Tribune for whitewashing the word "terror" from a New York Times wire piece, not once, but five times. Thus, the Times sentence " ...the Israelis will not begin political talks until the terrorism ceases," becomes in the Star Tribune " ...the Israelis will not begin political talks until the attacks cease."

Assistant Managing Editor Roger Buoen explained in his newspaper that the Star Tribune avoids "characterizing subjects of news articles" and instead describes their actions.

This is particularly true when subjects of news articles are blowing up Israelis. The newspaper takes "extra care to avoid the term 'terrorist' in articles about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," says Buoen, "because of the emotional and heated nature of that dispute."

The Star Tribune does allow the word in certain circumstances, he said. "For example, al-Qaida is frequently referred to by the Star Tribune and other news organizations as a 'terrorist network,' in part because its members have been convicted of terrorist acts."

When Minnesota's Jews understandably voiced their outrage, a Star Tribune columnist called their protests a "bullying effort."

One wonders how the folks who own the ink are bullied.

In fairness, the Star Tribune has condemned suicide bombing on its editorial pages. But it has also editorialized that, "The Israelis, for their part, focused only on the terror, failing utterly to acknowledge the rich broth for breeding terror they have created in the occupied territories."

If the Palestinians stopped the suicide bombings, the violence would stop.

There's a nifty little lie in this kind of reasoning. It is the so-called "cycle of violence." Everyone knows there is no cycle of violence in the Holy Land. If the Palestinians stopped the suicide bombings, the violence would stop. If Israelis stopped using their military, no one seriously believes suicide bombings would cease.

It is false to suggest Israel is ignoring the problem of the settlements. The country just finished offering the Palestinians all but a fraction of the disputed territories. They were rewarded with waves of suicide bombers. Ignore that fact and you cannot possibly understand or judge the present conflict. Examples in the American press pale compared with what is happening in Europe. Journalists at the BBC and many of the major European dailies long ago sided with the Palestinians in this struggle and have saved their indignation, not for suicide bombers, but for the legitimate defense of Israel.

Last week, the European Parliament called for EU states to impose sanctions on Israel. The German government halted exports of parts to Israel for its Merkava IV tanks.

In Oslo, members of the Nobel Prize selection panel said they regretted giving the 1994 Peace Prize to Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. There were no regrets about awarding the same prize to Yassar Arafat, whose Palestinian Authority has been importing arms from Iran to orchestrate attacks on Israeli civilians.

"What is happening today in Palestine is grotesque and unbelievable," said Hanna Kvanmo, one of five members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. She was not speaking of the serial murder of Jews.

To the EU elite, killing babies is merely the way poor, put-upon people articulate frustration and hopelessness.

Here is the logic of the European elite: Killing babies is merely the way poor, put-upon people articulate frustration and hopelessness. And if they are articulating frustration in such extreme ways, someone must be responsible. And that someone is the Israelis.

So you see, Dani Cohen, you killed your mother.

You and other Jews who occupy the ancestral homeland of today's Palestinians are the authors of their despair and must atone for your transgression. This is all a perversion of truth. If frustration is to blame for Arab terrorism, why is it almost exclusively limited to the young? Why are only young Palestinians in their teens and 20s blowing themselves up and murdering Israeli men, women and children?

Suicide bombing requires no special agility such as that of an infantryman. Presumably Palestinians of all ages could walk into crowded halls and blow everyone up. But only the young do it. Why? Could it be that it takes something more than hopelessness and despair to be a suicide bomber? Could it be that older Palestinians aren't so easily gulled by that something extra that provokes their young to become human bombs? Is it because young minds are easier to bend and brainwash?

Someone is taking young Arabs, inculcating them with a searing hatred for Jews and glorifying the act of mass murder. They're dressing up 6-year-old Palestinian boys as martyr warriors and letting them caress AK-47s. Suicide bombers are not impulse driven. They are carefully cultivated. In the Palestinian territories, hopelessness and despair need a little push.

But the international community pretends there is something ennobling in Palestinians winning their freedom with the blood of children. Or that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are the practical equivalents of the Israeli Defense Forces.

With this kind of thinking rampant in Europe, it is no wonder the synagogues are burning and Jewish school buses are being stoned. Continental Europe hasn't realized it, but it is at war. Harvard Professor Samuel P. Huntington foresaw this as the "Clash of Civilizations," but it is something more specific than that. It is the clash of civilization and barbarism.

This isn't just the West against radical Islam, it is the civilized world against those who would destroy it. The Americans, the British, the French and Germans have a stake in saving that world, but so too do the Muslims, and specifically the Palestinians.

One day Palestinians will get their own state. And if they have not crushed the murderous subculture that now thrives in their communities, their state will be the Republic of Hell. People who use murder to produce political change will employ it as easily against Arabs as they will against Jews.

During the recent conflict, the Palestinians have killed many of their own -- so-called "collaborators," who purportedly aided Israelis. No rules of evidence, judges or juries preceded these spontaneous executions.

"Collaborator" may have merely been the fate of Palestinians caught being moderate. The tyranny practiced by radical Muslims is old vintage. The Nazis served it with Zyklon B. The radical Muslims serve it with C-4 plastique. Both need scapegoats for their pathologies, and both blame the Jews. But it's not enough to blame the Jews, you must also kill them.

In the mid-20th century the major European powers shrank from Nazi tyranny. They apologized and appeased until Hitler gobbled up Austria, the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia. Of the shrinking European powers, Winston Churchill wrote, "Each one hopes that if it feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last."

And so goes modern Europe. With 15 million or more Muslims living in Europe, the French and Germans do not want to stir the passions of Islamic radicals in their midst. So they defend the Palestinians, damn the Israelis, and turn themselves into tomorrow's targets.

As Churchill said of the great appeasing powers of World War II, "Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonor. They chose dishonor. They will have war."

To read the U.N.'s legitimization of terror and suicide bombings, go to:"The U.N.'s Refugees"