Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

26 Av 5761 - August 15, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
Is there a Lower Form of Life than a Suicide Bomber?

There is absolutely nothing like it in the entire world. A creature nurtured on hate and with the support of large portions of his community, is told to search out a large crowd, men, women and children included. A walking bomb, fitted with explosives and amplifying hardware like screws and nails to make the results more gruesome, this creature must walk into the crowd, where he will see before his own eyes the innocent babes whom he will murder in a few moments with a tremendous explosion. This creature will then detonate this horrible bomb, which will certainly kill him and, he and those who sent him hope, as many Jews as possible.

There are many terrorist organizations throughout the world, with all kinds of motives, high and low. There are nonviolent protesters and those who destroy property. There are, unfortunately, many who have no regard for the lives of their enemies. But there are no others who have such a low opinion of the value of human life that even their own means little to them if losing it can destroy other lives.

Everything the Palestinians do these days, including their violence, is calculated for its effect on world opinion. International intervention is their main hope for securing gains. They must believe that they can get some advantage from subhuman acts such as suicide bombing. As long as the international community does not publicly recoil from such low acts, as long as such deeds are condemned only "evenhandedly" -- with criticism of Israeli attempts at defense in the same breath as the crimes of such creatures -- as long as it is not absolutely clear that such behavior will bring upon them the condemnation of the entire civilized world, those who have followed this path up until now will continue. Such revulsion and condemnation is not a tactic or a reward or a punishment for any side, but only a basic human feeling that should be expressed by anyone with a drop of humanity. It should be expressed firmly and loudly with the confidence that only morally just consequences will follow from morally necessary actions.

It is ludicrous for Arafat to accuse Israel of violating the Oslo accords. The most basic premise of the agreements, the key point that brought the late Yitzhak Rabin to shake Arafat's hand after he said that he would not, was the renunciation of violence. It was the commitment to negotiations and political struggle, in contrast to the previous violence, that converted the terrorist Arafat into the "peace partner." Arafat is very obviously committed to violence. The whole world must make it clear to him and to whoever of his people who support it, that violence is not an acceptable tool. This is the basic principle that underlies the prime minister's insistence on no negotiations under fire.

Virtually all of Israel was and remains prepared to make painful sacrifices for peace. This willingness is not impressive to those Palestinians who want nothing less than the dismantling of the State of Israel and possibly the Jewish people as well.

These facts are painful and upsetting, but we must face the facts and not live under illusions.

We remain firm in our conviction that if we embrace the traditional path of Torah, Hashem will work out the solution of this seemingly intractable problem.

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