A lot of astonishment mingled with shock was expressed in our midst when it emerged that it was a 16-year-old, from an Arab village near Jenin, who slit the throat of Eden Attias earlier this month. Eden was a rookie soldier, just a couple of years older than the teen who slew him while he napped on the bus that took him back from sick leave to boot camp.
The beautiful people just couldn’t get their sensitive heads around it. The cold-blooded knifer was just a boy, whose soul is assumed to be pure.
While most liberal sorts remained atypically tongue-tied, the few who at all regarded the slaughter as worthy of their didactic attention implied that our sins were what drove a mere youth to such hopeless desperation. There had to be a reason (one that clearly conformed to their logical constructs). Violence doesn’t spring from a psychosocial vacuum, they tell us.
The cover-story wasn’t late in coming. The underage butcher was merely avenging the incarceration of his cousins in Israel. The abiding impression is that the two are victims of the ruthless repression of Israeli occupation – prisoners of conscience, persecuted altruists and political-philosophers unjustly put behind bars.
This indeed was the theme replayed unremittingly in the Palestinian Authority’s controlled official propaganda organs – the press, the schools and the mosques. A new overnight icon and adulated role model was born.
So what if one terrorist cousin was duly convicted of a double-homicide and the other of multiple homicide attempts? Sooner or later they’ll be released – either as part of a lopsided swap or in the framework of goodwill gestures to entice implacable enemies to pose as indignant peace-makers in made-up negotiations. Indeed the16-year-old isn’t likely to grow old in durance vile.
Odds are that, after doing too little time, he too will be liberated to be triumphantly feted in Ramallah and jubilantly accorded a hero’s homecoming in Jenin.
Massacring Jews has long been glorified in Mahmoud Abbas’s fiefdom and no one – least of all Barack Obama, John Kerry and the screeching chorus of sanctimonious EU notables – have mumbled the slighted murmur of objection to the ongoing incitement and indoctrination.
But what resonates in every ear throughout the PA and the entire Arab/Muslim realm beyond is of paramount significance. Foremost it marks the core difference between us and them. It shows how malicious it is to judge Israel and its neighbors by inherently hypocritical double standards.
What tells us apart is our underlying culture of pluralism and tolerance versus their underlying culture of bloodlust and lies. To deny this is to willfully distort history and, no less willfully, to misrepresent the present.
Is it really only in the Israeli context that Arabs spill blood?
To confer credence on the false narrative that this region’s ills all began with Israel’s birth in 1948 or with its so-called occupation in 1967 is to recycle deceit – whether knowingly or stupidly.
Here a gruesome yet grossly underreported story from Syria becomes crucially relevant. A video posted on the Internet on the very day that young Eden was stabbed in his sleep, featured two members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) holding up a bearded man’s head before a cheering ecstatic throng in the Syrian city of Aleppo. It was yet another among numerous beheadings by the purported rebels, whom much of the free world celebrates as defenders of the “Arab Spring.”
Since international opinion has learned to live quite calmly with the Arab/Muslim penchant for decapitation, there was no cause for this clip to kick up undue commotion.
What would eventually be revealed as a case of macabre mistaken identity began at an Aleppo hospital, where a wounded man lay rambling incoherently. Somebody claimed he blurted out the names of Shiite holy men. Since Shiites constitute the military mainstay of despot Bashar Assad and his Alawite loyalists, nothing further was required to seal the fate of the semi-conscious patient.
He was dragged out of bed and it was off-with-his-head – as simple, as speedy and as savage as that.
Shortly later, however, it was realized that the head hoisted to the barbaric amusement of the populace belonged to none other than a comrade-in-arms, Mohammed Marroush – a volunteer-cum-mercenary for the Sunni jihadist Ahrar al-Sham group. Marroush was in a drugged state when he was said to have uttered the forbidden Shiite names. By the stringent criteria of Arab jurisprudence, no further proof of guilt was needed.
But western agenda-setters – the very ones who fume at the mouth when blueprints are commissioned for Jewish homes in Judea – find discussion of Arab bloodlust to be too politically incorrect for polite society. Multicultural refinement demands we all pretend that the denizens of the Middle East are progressive, enlightened and largely pacifist.
If the facts negate the façade, the genteel thing to do is to obligingly look away and make believe that Arab mobs unstintingly uphold humanitarian principles and inhabit the same moral high-ground as do genuine democrats.
By moral relativist criteria, all men don’t have to aspire to be equally good – they are presumed equal no matter how bad they are. Israelis (a.k.a. Jews), of course are excluded from this charitable broadmindedness but that’s a whole other opera, already composed and performed before both 1948 and 1967. A cogent example was served up in 1936 but even that had its precursors.
Gargantuan lies had triggered all the major Jewish-Arab turning-points here for over a century. Infamous Jerusalem mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini (later Hitler’s avid collaborator, who resided in Berlin during WWII as the Third Reich’s honored guest as the pan-Arab prime minister) meticulously orchestrated the incensed spontaneity of all the great anti-Jewish pogroms in this country in the first half of the 20th century.
The 1929 countrywide carnage (remembered foremost for the destruction of Hebron’s ancient Jewish community) was in the making for a full eleven months prior to its actual August outbreak. Husseini even prepared postcards with photomontages of Herzl (then dead for 25 years) on the Temple Mount to inflame passions about a Jewish plot to demolish al-Aksa. Sounds familiar?
On April 19, 1936 al-Husseini’s provocateurs spread rumors simultaneously in different quarters of Jaffa about three Arab men and one woman who were hacked to death in Jewish Tel-Aviv and whose bloodied remains were brought to the government hospital. Within minutes, as if by a prearranged signal, thousands descended menacingly on the British Mandatory headquarters.
Officials escorted a delegation through Jaffa’s hospitals to prove that there were no bodies. But as in the Aleppo decapitation episode, real proof wasn’t in demand. Facts were immaterial and downright undesirable. Nobody was going to allow them to get in the way of a good pretext for bloodshed.
The agitators swore they saw corpses and the riled crowds needed no corpus delicti. Ferocious shrieks of itbach el-yahud – slaughter the Jews – reverberated all through Jaffa. The roused rabble was on the warpath to wreak vengeance on Tel-Aviv.
Thus started the Nazi-financed, three-year Arab revolt – an uprising that was every bit as deformed as the misnamed Arab Spring. Haj-Amin’s ambitious undertaking cost thousands of lives, but paradoxically it fortified the emergent Jewish state, which would achieve independence 12 years later.
Haj-Amin wasn’t the odd-man-out. He gave expression to his people’s overwhelming vehemence. Already in 1937 Josef Goebbels praised Arab “national and racial awareness,” noting that “in Palestine they hoist Nazi flags and deck their homes with swastikas and portraits of Hitler.”
Arabs were among the first to latch onto Nazi ideology. Undisguised fascist parties proliferated – from Syria’s Nationalist-Socialists headed by Anton Saada to Ahmed Hussein’s Young Egypt. Haj-Amin was the kingpin.
During WWII his adherents in this country hoarded arms and trained to assist Rommel’s invading Afrika Korps. They harbored German paratroopers, engaged in espionage, disseminated Third Reich propaganda and greeted each other with Nazi salutes, accompanied by Heil Hitlers.
Holocaust-denier Abbas’s Fatah directly descends from Husseini’s forces and its ongoing ties to neo-Nazis are amply documented. Suffice it to say that Hitler’s Mein Kampf stars on PA best-seller lists, rivaled only by the infamous counterfeit, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
The Arab aggression against the Jews was based on an outright lie, but nobody sought the truth. The lie, if believed becomes reality. Fraudulent reality then takes on a life of its own. If nurtured, it grows, multiplies and becomes an axiomatic premise for a searing sense of injustice.
The lie binds. Spurious grievances confine and scourge those they ensnare.
The Arabs (who before Israeli independence fanatically spurned the Palestinian moniker as a British imperialist import – which it indeed was) were victims of their own belligerence. They murdered their own brethren and sabotaged their own economy. In 1936 Haj-Amin instigated a self-inflicted disaster, a harbinger of the 1948 one which would follow the onslaught by seven Arab armies on day-old Israel.
The Jewish state would be blamed for surviving and would fill its thwarted would-be annihilators with yet more frustration and festering rage. Instead of abating, genocidal hate would only intensify and magnify.
Those belatedly calling themselves Palestinians portray themselves as innocents struck by a monumental calamity and continuously oppressed for no fault of their own. They clamor for another chance, for a return to Square-One, presumably to recoup their losses and continue from where they left off.
No peace is possible until Arab leaders tell their people they were brainwashed for decades, victimized by lies rather than Jewish injustice. As long as Arabs feel wronged, they won’t rest till they kill the last Jew in this land.
Unwittingly they cast themselves in the role of the Jaffan mufti-disciple who provided conclusive “proof” of the Jewish crime in 1936. He dipped his hands in the blood of two slain and mutilated Jews and ran shouting: “Here is the blood the Jews spilled.” Furious frenzy ensued.
Nothing inhibits youngsters reared in this culture of bloodlust and lies from slitting the throat of a sleeping bus passenger. Herein reside the very glaring differences between our societies.