Op-Ed: Why the West Loves Anti-Israel Necrophilia
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He is at work on a book about the Vatican and Israel.
Ten years ago, the bus No. 189 to Emmanuel, Samaria, was attacked by Palestinian snipers, who left seven Jews dead. Israelis drowned in their own blood. Yonatan Gamliel, 16, gone. Keren Kashani, 20, gone. Ilana Siton, 35, gone. Galila Ades, 46, gone. Zilpa Kashi, 67, gone. Her son-in-law, Gal Shilon, 35, gone. His daughter, Tiferet Sarah, nine months, gone.
A year earlier, the same bus line No. 189 had already been attacked. It was evening on the feast of Hanukkah and, in observance of tradition, the ritual candles had been lit behind many of the windows in the community of Emmanuel. The Tzarfati family was decimated. That day, David, his brother Hananya, and their father Ya’akov were killed. A rabbi said, “It is as if the Temple had burned right before our eyes”.
To write the book “A New Shoah” I contacted the Tzarfati family through One Family Fund, the organization which helps the Israeli victims of terrorism. One of the family’s member said me that “we don’t want to talk about the losses, we don’t want to even mention them, we prefer not to remember what happened”. This is the black hole of suffering endured by thousands of families in Israel.
A new poll says that Marwan Barghouti, one of the main terrorists responsible for the attacks like the ones in Emmanuel, today would easily defeat PA’s President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas’ leader Ismail Haniyeh in vote for Palestinian president. Until his capture, trial and imprisonment in 2002, Barghouti was one of the world’s most wanted criminals. But what catapulted him to the status of a revered international hero and “a liberator” were not only his deadly orders, but Western worshipping of Arab terrorism.
“The Question of Barghouti: Is he a Mandela or an Arafat?”, shamefully asked Time magazine in a recent issue. Former British Defense Secretary, Michael Portello, likened Barghouti to Che Guevara. Western media built the comparison between Nelson Mandela and the Palestinian terrorist: “il Mandela palestinese” (Italian news agency, 30 May 2005); “Mandela” (The Observer, 29 November 2009); “il Mandela di Ramallah” (Italian daily La Stampa, 13 August 2010); “A Mideast Mandela” (Newsweek, 28 July 2003) and “A Nelson Mandela for the Palestinians” (Herald Tribune, 24 September 2002) are just some newspaper headlines about Barghouti. The Israeli Uri Avnery recently wrote an article comparing Barghouti with “Mandela in apartheid South Africa”.
If he is a Mandela, why Barghouti is serving multiple life sentences? He personally participated in the shooting that killed Elazar Akiva in January 2001. He planned the shooting that killed Sharon and Yaniv Ben-Shalom, which wounded one of their children and killed Doron Sviri in September 2001. He was responsible for the murder of Meir Weisbein in northern Jerusalem, and the murder of Yoela Cohen near a gas station near Givat Ze’ev a month later. He was involved in shootings and mortar attacks on Psagot just outside of Ramallah, shootings at the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem, and shootings at vehicles on the Begin Highway also in the capital. He supplied weapons to Tanzim members who perpetrated shootings on the road between Beit El and Psagot in March 2002. He recruited the terrorist who killed three people at the Sea Food Market restaurant in Tel Aviv. And the list doesn’t stop here.
Why does the West love Barghouti? Because the West dribbles for the view of a Jewish bloodbath.
...when Arafat died, the “civilized” newspapers all mourned him, despite needing a calculator to figure out whether Arafat or Osama Bin Laden have been responsible for the taking of more innocent lives.
When the Palestinian killers assassinated Israeli athletes in Munich in 1972, what could have been more repugnant than the massacre of innocent athletes carried out at the Olympic Games? But the attack became a great media event that stressed the “occupation” of Palestine, and not a terrorist attack against the Jewish people on German soil after the Holocaust. The cowboy hats and the kefiyyehs of the Arab kidnappers, along with their long hair similar to libertarian university students, diverted attention from a simple reality: a band of Islamic terrorists slaughtered, one by one, eleven Jews. That’s why at the London Olympic Games the West refused, again, to commemorate the Israelis.
That’s why when Arafat died, the “civilized” newspapers all mourned him, despite needing a calculator to figure out whether Arafat or Osama Bin Laden have been responsible for the taking of more innocent lives.
That’s why when during the first Intifada Palestinians attacked Israeli civilians and security forces with stones, iron bars, iron projectiles, knives, axes and petrol bombs, the terrorists were described in the international media as “demonstrators” - even “peaceful protesters”.
That’s why when Hamas’ guru Ahmed Yassin died, he was described by the media like an Islamic saint. The Evening Standard deplored “the assassination of an old man in a wheelchair who never attempted to hide himself or disguise where he lived” and many European newspapers called Yassin “the wheelchair-bound cleric” and “the bearded Hamas leader with the frail voice”.
We live in a time when death - of Jews - is celebrated and romanticized. While a teenager opening fire on shoppers in a US supermarket becomes a psychiatric case, an Arab who led the murder of Israeli civilians is daily likened to Mandela.
My fellow journalists based in Israel prefer not seeing the dormitories, the schools, the streets, the sports arenas and the events named by the Palestinian Authority after 50 mass murderers. There is no precedent in the history of humanity for this god of death. Signs on the walls of Palestinian kindergartens currently proclaim their students as “the shaheeds (martyrs) of tomorrow”.
Who really listen in the West the Palestinian cry Idbah al-Yahud! (“Slaughter the Jews!”), which has repeatedly been preached from pulpits and podiums by Arab religious leaders as well as by politicians since the beginning of the XX century? Three generations of Arabs have been educated on this death cult. Thousands were sent out to the streets, incited by leaders like Barghouti, at the slightest sign of possible hostilities with Israel, to shout Idbah al-Yahud.
Before the establishment of Israel, the mob, after the Friday prayer in the mosques, put the slogan into practise. Hundreds of defenseless Jews in Hebron and Safed, in Tiberias and Jerusalem, as well as innocent passengers on the roads, were butchered in 1921, 1929, 1936 and, from time to time, in a less organized form, between these years, until 1948. They used a kitchen knife, which is not a simple act of murder; it is a humiliating killing like slaughtering an animal. It’s a beastly assassination.
The Arabic word “idbah” is taken from the butchers’ vocabulary and brings to the mind the defenseless tied-up animal under the knife of the slaughterer. That’s why the Arabs referred to the Jews as awlad al-miyteh (“the children of the corpse”). The Israelis have seen things that are worse than suicide bombings, like Palestinian gunmen shooting three children in their beds or terrorist chopping off their Jewish victims’ testicles and shoving them in their mouths.
Marwan Barghouti is respected by the Arab street not because he’s a “Nelson Mandela”, but because he’s sitting in an Israeli jail and proudly murdered dozens of Jews. He is like Dalal Mughrabi, who in 1978 directed the hijacking of two buses between Haifa and Tel Aviv which led to the murder of 37 Israelis, including 13 children. He is like Abu Dauod, the mastermind of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. He is like Yahye Ayash, “The Engineer”, the innovative mass murderer.
That’s why the Palestinians love Barghouti. And the West too. “Sometimes”, Blaise Pascal once noted, “we learn more from the sight of evil than from an example of good”.
Evil has found a home in Ramallah, the PA capital. It’s called necrophilia.