Saturday, February 23, 2008

Palestinian Women and Children in the Throes of Islamikaze Terrorism Part IV

           By Raphael Israeli


           4TH PART OF 4


Sad Conclusions

The centrality of martyrdom in Palestinian life after the outbreak of their September 2000  Al-Aqsa Intifadah is reflected  not only in their writings, broadcasts and the written media, but also in leaflets that are disseminated in the territories under their rule, as well as audio- and video-cassettes that extol acts of Islamikaze, sanctify their perpetrators and cause families who have sacrificed one of their sons to pledge the souls of the rest of them for the sake of Allah. Wasn't it Arafat himself, who in the heat of the battle against Israel coined the  war-cry "We are coming to Jerusalem, as martyrs in the millions!!" ? Here is one of those poems, ominously addressed to the Israelis, that became popular in the Palestinian street:

Because I am a Palestinian

Because I am enamored of fate

And my fate is to have my blood

Turned into songs,

That sketch out the road to freedom,

My fate is to become a human bomb,

Because I am a Palestinian.


Oh, lovers of cruelty, we

Inform you in the name of our hopes

Either I will meet Allah by means

of perfume and musk[1]

or I will live on my land in

Freedom and honor.


Much to your distress,

 we will not forget Haifa and Acre

To your distress,

all of Palestine is ours

Because I am a Palestinian.


We have nothing for you but death

Plant as many Ghargad trees[2] as you like

Build as many shelters and hiding places as you desire,

And, if you want, create your own artificial peace.


Your history is black and covered

Your ancestry is a tree whose

Branches are corrupt,

Because I am a Palestinian.

And the Arab rulers in this homeland

Lie in a perpetual sleep

Eating from the fruit of your tree

And drinking of your humiliation

As if they were not Muslims.


Because I am a Palestinian,

Because I bear the flag

And long for the memory of Hittin[3],

I will place the parts of my body as bombs

In your hatred, in your origin

In your accursed fruit

And in spite of you, they will germinate

The most beautiful of flowers

They will germinate the most beautiful Palestine

Because I am a Palestinian[4].


This petrifying idealization of violence and death that has been expanding to ever wider circles, beyond the radical  Islamic groups which had adopted it in the first place, and under the instigation of the Palestinian leadership, religious  and otherwise, is rooted in the wide-ranging  and all-encompassing theology that lay at its base; in  the embrace that non-radical Muslims groups have given to this ideology in order not to be seen as lagging behind their radical rivals in the national struggle; and the callous modes of behavior adopted by the Palestinians, which lend legitimacy to the application of this ideology and turn it into a horrifying and matter-of-course routine. On the theological level, none other than the Chief Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh  'Akrama Sabri, an Arafat appointee, criticized the Muslim authorities who did not approve of Islamikaze attacks, and stated that the acts are justified and to be encouraged. He meant Sheikh Tantawi of Egypt who had prohibited such attacks in general, and then limited the prohibition to only innocent civilians, and a Saudi Mufti who also banned this kind of operations. According to the Palestinian Mufti, the rulings of those clerics were the result of international pressure, and admonished "those who do not have the courage to speak the truth,  to remain quiet and not say things that create confusion". He added that " resistance is legitimate, and those who give up their lives do not require permission from anyone", and that "we must not stand in the way of the Intifadah and Jihad. Rather, we must stand at their side and encourage them". When asked whether no differentiation should be made between civilians and fighting personnel, he clarified: "Who is civilian and who is military? There have been many more Palestinian civilians than fighters killed in the Intifadah, school children whose bodies were torn to pieces, pregnant women who were prevented from reaching hospitals, and many times both the mother and child died"[5].


If this is the position of the highest cleric of the Muslim establishment of the Palestinian Authority, how much more so for the Hamas, which rebels against that authority and often virulently accuses it of "collaborating" with Israel  against the martyrs?[6].  In fact, the mouthpiece of the  Hamas, Al-Risala, posited the struggle waged by the Jihad martyrs as a veritable clash of civilizations. It is worth citing  that analysis in full:

… The starting point of Islamic civilization is the basic fact that the Umma is guided in all its deeds by the divine Straight Path, which constantly oppresses the natural propensity of humans towards evil… Conversely, their [Western] civilization, was not blessed by that  enlightened aspect, which should have oppressed their desire to control others and to rob their resources….Therefore, violence has come to characterize Western civilization throughout its history…Let us respond to some of their false accusations that they try to market…

They accuse us of violence. For example, they take the rapid Islamic conquest of many countries,  by  the force of the sword in their view, to be the best evidence of violence in Islam. Our response is that the only way to explain the Islamic conquests is  that they were in implementation of Divine Will, which charged the Muslims with the responsibility to disseminate it, in consequence obliging Muslims to transmit that message to those who did not receive it yet. When that message reaches non-Muslims, they only face two choices: either to convert to Islam or pay Jizya[7] to the Muslim government, which today may be interpreted as taking up civil obligations [under the Muslim state].

As to conquest by the sword, Islam does not resort to that means unless it feels impelled to remove obstacles in the way of the Divine Message. If we examine that principle thoroughly, we would find its parallel in modern Western civilization, which regards the freedom of speech a sacred right. Therefore, if no obstacles are put on Islam's road to deliver that Message, it would have no need to use the sword… History proves the peace-loving nature of Islam.  Caliph 'Umar captured Jerusalem peacefully, and the inhabitants of the  conquered countries were acculturated to the Islamic Umma and enjoyed the same rights and duties. In other words, Muslims did not go to those countries as colonialists who oust the native inhabitants and replace them, as America had done with the Indians and Israel with the Palestinians. For example, when the Muslim armies conquered Samarkand, its inhabitants applied to the Muslim judge, claiming that they were not given the choice between conversion, paying the jizya [i.e. dhimmitude]  , or waging war [to the finish] that the Muslim conquerors had customarily accorded to others. Thus, the Muslim judge had no option but to order the Muslim armies to evacuate the city… How can one then say, that Islam is a violent civilization?

Conversely, Western civilization was profoundly influenced by [Roman] civilization which sanctified force and used to throw gladiators to the arena to fight each other or be swallowed by lions, in order to satisfy their own inferior bestial instincts. The characteristics of this civilization consist of oppressing the other and robbing his resources. It is known for its egotism and arrogance towards the weak. Many wars broke out only to enable it to lay its hand over more wealth. The peak of its appetite was evinced in its kindling two world wars within a quarter-century, in the latest of which nuclear bombs were used that annihilated hundreds of thousands of people[8].


This understanding, even sympathy, for the Islamikaze, by intellectuals, professionals and journalists, some of them at the hub of supposedly moderate and pro-Western Arab societies, goes a long way to teach us about those societies, more than about the bestiality of the attacks by those hallowed "martyrs", who blow up indiscriminately innocent people. For the voices of sympathy and support are those of public opinion makers, who have a great impact on their crowds, through the press, talk-shows etc. What is particularly puzzling is that those self-righteous "humanists" and "enlightened" intellectuals, not only have no words of condemnation for those horrendous  acts, that any civilized person should disown, and even no words of condolence for the victims, but by elevating those acts to the level of heavenly missions and national heroism, they thereby contribute to building up their legitimacy,  expectation among the crowds for more, and the motivation among young Muslims to flock to the ranks of the Islamikaze. No wonder then, that those words of encouragement feed the spiral of  senseless Islamikaze attacks, and forces their victims to adopt harsher measures of defense against them. So, in the final analysis, even according to the logic of these machines of death, they are bound to bring more destruction and bereavement, including the loss of young men and women, to their own people and their supportive audiences who now applaud them.



The tragedy inherent in this seemingly across the board all-Arab unqualified lack of concern for human life, without "if"s , "because"s and  "but"s, their inability to sympathize with innocent victims, and their self-centered sentiment of being the victims of the West, have all combined to create this distorted state of mind which enables them to glorify the Islamikaze and to regard them as a "glowing light" that would lead them somewhere. Where exactly, it is not known. It would seem that it is much more important for them to destroy the West whom they demean, because they cannot be like it, than  try to rise to its level. They want to destroy it (and Israel) because they cannot help compare their drab existence and gloomy future  with the more attractive alternative they see in their western neighbors, but are unable to appropriate to themselves. Therefore, they support any violent means likely to destroy that alternative so as not to have to face their own impotence. Because they are incapable of matching the technological superiority of the West, on which they depend much to their chagrin, they despise it culturally and claim to have an edge on it.  And if they  cannot  face the humiliation of technological inferiority, then they would use the ultimate weapon of Islamikaze terrorism to terrify western populations, with their own women and children participating in that chilling national endeavor, be it in New York or in Tel-Aviv. This is the underlying state of mind which not only condones indiscriminate killings of civilians, but sanctifies them and encourages their festering.     


           Raphael Israeli


           Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.


[1] . According to Muslim tradition the bodies of the martyrs do not putrefy but gives off the scent of musk

[2] .According to Muslim tradition, which is incidentally also cited at the end of Article 7 of the Hamas Charter (see R. Israeli, "The Charter of Allah…" op. cit. p. 137), on the Day of Judgment  the Muslims will fight the Jews [and kill them],and the Jews will seek to hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: "Oh, Muslims!  A jew is hiding behind me ! Come on and kill him !!!". This will not apply to the Gharqad,  a sort of raspberry bush which is  considered a "Jewish" tree. As rumor among the Arabs has it, Israel has been planting many of those trees in order to avoid the massacre awaiting her.

[3] . That is the decisive battle in which Saladin routed the Crusader armies in 1187 and evicted them from much of Palestine. In Palestinian and Arab imagery, Israel is often likened to the Crusader Kingdom whose days are numbered.

[4] . By Ayman al-Skafi, an unknown poet, Al-Istiqlal  (The Weekly of Islamic Jihad in Gaza), 13 December, 2001.

[5] . Al-Hayat, 7  December, 2001, cited by Ha'aretz (Israel), 9 December, 2001.

[6] . A leaflet distributed in the streets of the major Palestinian cities on 27 November, 2001,  accused the Palestinian authority of exchanging intelligence with Israel and bringing about the liquidation of many Jihad fighters. Citing a verse from the Quran (17:18), the statement promised that its "truth would smash the Authority's lies", and that the latter would literally be sent to Hell.

[7] .. The  Jizya was limited to the Scriptuaries (Jews and Christians), while pagans were subjected to the sword. The payment of Jizya symbolized  the subjugation of the dhimmis to Muslim rule, and in return for it they received protection from the Muslim state, the assumption being that no other state was legal.

[8] . Al-Risalah,  (Palestinian Authority), 11 October, 2001.

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