Joseph D’Hippolito has a devastating op-ed in today’s Orange County Register about suicide bombings, asking “Why do so many downplay suicide bombings that target Israeli civilians?”
“As December began, Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center met with Pope John Paul II in Rome. Rabbi Hier was trying to convince the pope to declare suicide bombing ‘the crime of the 21st century,’ according to reports.
“For a man of the pope’s stature — a man who experienced the Nazis’ brutal occupation of Poland and who lost friends to the Holocaust — even to be reminded along such lines is telling.
“While the world wrings its hands over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and cries platitudes, it fails to acknowledge that the Palestinian campaign of suicide bombing is much more than terrorism.
“Perhaps humanity has been conditioned to think about genocide solely in terms of cattle cars, gas chambers, ovens and shouts of ‘Heil Hitler!’ Perhaps humanity doesn’t want to be roused from fashionable illusions about its innate goodness.
“Yet what other word describes the desire to obliterate a nation by targeting innocent civilians on buses, in restaurants and markets, in cafes and discos? Though the Palestinians take a low-tech approach, their sadism surpasses even the Nazi assembly line of death. Suicide bombers routinely stuff such anti-coagulants as rat poison into their explosive vests — so that those who aren’t killed immediately bleed to death slowly — and nails, bolts, screws and ball bearings as shrapnel to maximize their victims’ injuries.
“During one suicide bombing, a nail pierced the skull of Eran Mizrahi, who was celebrating his 16th birthday in a Jerusalem restaurant. The injury left Mizrahi paralyzed and catatonic. ‘It is common knowledge here that light injury can [mean] losing a limb,’ Immanuel Legomski, a neurotherapist and rabbi, told WorldNetDaily.com. ‘Serious almost always means most of these victims wish they were dead.’
“What kind of a culture would encourage such barbarism? A culture that celebrates death, where not even children are immune.
“Vendors in Gaza sell candy-filled replicas of grenades, which Associated Press photographed. Palestinian TV, monitored by Palestinian Media Watch, shows children hoping for shahada, or ‘martyrdom.’
“‘Shahada is a very, very beautiful thing,’ said Walla, an 11-year-old girl and a panelist on a call-in show.
“‘Every Palestinian child – say, someone aged 12 – says, “Oh Lord, I would like to become a shahid (martyr),”‘ added Yussra, another 11-year-old girl on the show.
“The Palestinian Authority’s education ministry pollutes innocent minds through its textbooks, as a 2001 report by the Committee for Monitoring the Impact of Peace noted. One fifth-grade language text builds a lesson around this sentence: ‘The jihad against the Jew is the religious duty of every man and woman.’
“Suicide bombing, therefore, is not just genocide against Israelis. It’s genocide against an entire generation of Palestinians who unquestioningly accept a cynical government’s manipulation of Islam. However, the West chooses to ignore these facts.
“In April, the World Council of Churches published a letter sent by an ecumenical group to the United Nations’ Security Council. That letter about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict not only downplayed suicide bombing but also blamed Israel for it: ‘Such violence directed against Israeli citizens, while abhorrent, does not justify the occupation which gives rise to such acts, nor the misguided incursions and assaults now under way in response to them.’
“Pope John Paul II, who originated the phrase ‘culture of death’ to condemn Western societies that tolerate abortion, contraception and capital punishment, has failed to so describe the Palestinian Authority. Otherwise, why would Rabbi Hier seek a papal audience?
“If the religious West doesn’t register legitimate outrage, the secular West certainly won’t. It would be pretty hard to stimulate the moral imaginations of Europeans, for example, when a poll shows 60 percent of them think Israel is the world’s greatest threat to peace.
“When Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel was asked what humanity learned from the Holocaust, he cynically replied, ‘That you can get away with it.’
“For the second time in 70 years, humanity is proving Wiesel correct.”