There’s too much to say. But I’m paralysed. Looking at Facebook and Twitter is too painful. I’m sick of today already and we haven’t even buried our dead.
I have a lot to say, but not yet. For now I’ll link to Bret Stephens in the WSJ. It’s pay walled but I’ll quote as much here as I can. To read it all you have to google “Where are the Palestinian Mothers?” and select the link. It’s also being shared on Facebook under the its sub-title: “A culture that celebrates kidnapping is not fit for statehood.”
In March 2004 a Palestinian teenager named Hussam Abdo was spotted by Israeli soldiers behaving suspiciously as he approached the Hawara checkpoint in the West Bank. Ordered at gunpoint to raise his sweater, the startled boy exposed a suicide vest loaded with nearly 20 pounds of explosives and metal scraps, constructed to maximize carnage. A video taken by a journalist at the checkpoint captured the scene as Abdo was given scissors to cut himself free of the vest, which had been strapped tight to his body in the expectation that it wouldn’t have to come off. He’s been in an Israeli prison ever since.
Abdo provided a portrait of a suicide bomber as a young man. He had an intellectual disability. He was bullied by classmates who called him “the ugly dwarf.” He came from a comparatively well-off family. He had been lured into the bombing only the night before, with the promise of sex in the afterlife. His family was outraged that he had been recruited for martyrdom.
Essentially the rest of his piece lays out how widespread the support for terrorists who murder Jewish children is within the whole of Palestinian culture. The dam has burst now: it is impossible to assert supporters for these acts are a few extremists. All of Palestinian society is extreme. What is rare (and a gem when we find it) is a voice of sanity that condemns these actions.
Here’s my question: What kind of society produces such mothers? Whence the women who cheer on their boys to blow themselves up or murder the children of their neighbors?
Well-intentioned Western liberals may prefer not to ask, because at least some of the conceivable answers may upset the comforting cliché that all human beings can relate on some level, whatever the cultural differences. Or they may accuse me of picking a few stray anecdotes and treating them as dispositive, as if I’m the only Western journalist to encounter the unsettling reality of a society sunk into a culture of hate. Or they can claim that I am ignoring the suffering of Palestinian women whose innocent children have died at Israeli hands.
But I’m not ignoring that suffering. To kill innocent people deliberately is odious, to kill them accidentally or “collaterally” is, at a minimum, tragic. I just have yet to meet the Israeli mother who wants to raise her boys to become kidnappers and murderers—and who isn’t afraid of saying as much to visiting journalists.
We are different: we do not set out in the morning to kill their children. Ever. Just look at the incredible care with which we target their terrorists! The smallest amount of explosive we can use to get the job done. If anyone ever does they are drummed out of our society mercilessly. If Jews even draw graffiti on a Palestinian building they are widely condemned!
As for the Palestinians and their inveterate sympathizers in the West, perhaps they should note that a culture that too often openly celebrates martyrdom and murder is not fit for statehood, and that making excuses for that culture only makes it more unfit. Postwar Germany put itself through a process of moral rehabilitation that began with a recognition of what it had done. Palestinians who want a state should do the same, starting with the mothers.
If you support this Palestinian culture of hate having a state (i.e. the two state solution) you are supporting terror.
The two state solution must be considered impossible with the current culture of the entire Palestinian people. That’s not saying it can’t change, but the scale of the change needed would be unprecedented in all of human history.