Op-Ed: Stevens Video: Dancing With Corpses, Dancing in Blood
Prof. Phyllis CheslerThe writer, a Fellow of the Middle East Forum and recipient of the 2013 National Jewish Book Award, is the author of fifteen books, including Women and Madness, Woman's Inhumanity to Woman, and The New Anti-Semitism. She has published three studies about honor killing and is at work on a fourth. Her new book, An American Bride in Kabul, (Palgrave Macmillan) has just been published to great acclaim. Professor Chesler may be reached at her website www.phyllis-chesler.com
In my day, when we spoke about “two cultures,” we were talking about the unfortunate divide between the hard sciences and the humanities.
Today the phrase “two cultures” means something entirely different.
Here is one among thousands of similar examples. The lead editorial in the New York Times on 9/20/12 was titled: “The United States and the Muslim World” and sub-titled “Despite the attacks, Americans must remain engaged with struggling Arab democracies.”
The editorial goes on to praise President Obama and to condemn “Mitt Romney and the Republicans who have leveled preposterous charges that Mr. Obama has been weak and apologetic.” The editorial believes that Libyans tried to save Ambassador Stevens.
Let’s compare this editorial with an article in the Wall Street Journal which appeared on the exact same day and is titled “U.S.A. Names al- Qaeda in Attack” and is sub-titled “Protests Rage on in Pakistan; Counterterrorism Chief Publicly Links Terror Network to Libya Assault.”
The article says that “U.S. intelligence officials are investigating indications that al-Qaeda’s North African affiliate is connected with militants involved in the attack…intelligence agencies had issued reports about the growing unrest in the area in recent months.” The article goes on to question whether American Embassies are adequately protected.
Things have gone way beyond two cultures. Now, we are talking about two different worlds, perhaps parallel or alternate universes.
It is already 9/20, a full ten days after the Muslim mob tortured and murdered the American Ambassador and three other American personnel in Libya; and still, the loyal and avid NYT’s reader is being told that it was an “anti-Islam video that set off attacks against American embassies and violent protests in the Muslim world.”
That is not true. Here’s what’s happening.
America is now experiencing what Israel has had to live with, unaided, disbelieved, for decades.
Remember the ghoulish lynching of the two Israeli reservists in Ramallah in 2000? And how the Palestinians danced for joy in the streets on 9/11? In 2012, the Arab Street, the Islamist Muslim Street, is again dancing in blood, dancing with corpses.
People have cautioned me not to write about mob mass rape without proper sources. They are right. But today, what constitutes a credible source? Would one turn to the New York Times (or Huffington Post or NPR) or to The Wall Street Journal, National Review, or the Weekly Standard?
What constitutes irrefutable proof—the kind accepted by all?
Remember the Mumbai massacre? Islamist terrorists forced hotel guests to strip naked to humiliate them before they killed them. Remember the Chabad Rabbi and his very pregnant wife in Mumbai? They were both tortured in full sight of each other and their genitals were mutilated.
I know of many instances of Islamist Muslim mobs on a rampage. They have attacked civilians, including women and children, with axes, swords, knives, whips, chains, and rocks and they hacked, stabbed, lashed, and stoned their victims to death. The mob also be-headed their victims and sexually mutilated them, both while they were still alive and after death. They have also been known to gang-rape and gang-grope their victims.
As yet, we have no autopsy reports about our American dead in Libya, nor do we have any eyewitness accounts of the possible sodomizing of Ambassador Stevens.
However, I have been looking at the photos and the brief video of Ambassador Stevens and I have spoken to two different Arabists.
The Arabists both assure me that the mob dragging and photographing Ambassador Steven’s body are chanting a song of victory over one’s enemies and are praising God for that victory.
The photos and video show a mob of men photographing a half-naked, facially battered man as they drag him through the streets. They do not look like Good Samaritans who are rushing him to the hospital for treatment. Ambassador Stevens looks quite dead.
According to one of my Arabists, the Arab language media reported that Ambassador Stevens had been gang-raped before he was mob-murdered. He sent me a link to an Arab media venue. (And no, I am not referring to the Lebanese source which recanted this information).
Thousands of years ago, the first Jewish King, Saul, choose to fall on his sword rather than be captured alive by his enemies, the “Plishtim.” They be-headed his corpse and hung his body (and head) on the city wall of Bet Shean for all to see. Valiant soldiers from Jabesh-Gilead risked death in order to retrieve his corpse which they then burned—after which they buried King Saul’s bones under a tamarisk tree and mourned for him for seven days.
One commentator says that although cremation was and is not a Jewish custom, nevertheless, “the (decomposed) flesh had to be burnt as it was considered an affront to the dead to bury them in that state.” Another source suggests that Kings and their possessions were to be burned.
In my view, the valiant men of Jabesh-Gilead burned his corpse because they did not want the Plishtim to dig it up and display it again or to mutilate King Saul’s corpse any further.
Nothing has changed in the region. Barbarism still reigns. Israel is an island under siege.
Israel is also America’s only stable and militarily ready ally in the Middle East. I am so angry by how President Obama has treated Israel that in the midst of the anti-American uprisings, I clenched my fists and thought the unthinkable: “When the time comes, Israel should not help America. No landing rights, no refueling, no intelligence.
And then I paused and thought: “No. The price for Israel’s help has just gone way up.”