Op-Ed: Gaza is Beslan: "They Love Death, We Love Life"
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly...
Hamas MP Fathi Hamed, addressing Israel, said, “We desire death more than you desire life".
That SS Death Heads' cry is the root of the conflict in Gaza and in the Middle East.
"We are going to win, because they love life and we love death," said Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah in the same vein.
Osama bin Laden declared: "We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the big difference between us."
"The Americans love Pepsi-Cola, we love death," explained al Qaeda operative Maulana Inyadullah.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared: "It is the zenith of honor for a man to be prepared to sacrifice his life in order to serve the interests of his nation and his religion."
Hamas’s armed wing reported that it has prepared its forces in Gaza to engage the Israeli army by deploying “suicide units", read women. In Arabic it's the "istishhadiyah", the female version of martyrdom.
When a journalist asked her if she was ready to kill Jewish children too, the [Arab]woman replied: "Yes, all, infants and children".
My fellow journalists prefer not seeing the dormitories, the schools, the streets, the sports arenas and the events named for these messengers of death by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
There are 88 cases of Palestinian women who have so far chosen to die in order to bring death to the Israelis, civilian and military. The Shin Bet, Israel's internal intelligence service, found that 33 percent of them were college graduates. They are called "the purest of bees". Hamas founder Ahmad Yassin issued a fatwa justifying the suicide operations for women.
Kahira Saadi, a mother of four, never expressed regret for the role she played in the attack that killed four Israelis, including Zipi Shemesh, a Jewish mother pregnant with twins, and her husband Gad.
Wafa Biss wanted to become a martyr from childhood: "I believe in death, I wanted to kill fifty Jews". Wafa tried to blow herself up in a hospital with nine kilos of explosives between her legs. When a journalist asked her if she was ready to kill Jewish children too, the woman replied: "Yes, all, infants and children".
Ayat al Akhras was eighteen years old when she blew herself up in a supermarket in Jerusalem.
Female suicide bombers provided Hamas with an element of surprise and an easier way to pass through Israeli checkpoints. In a video recorded in December 2008, Hamas operative Umm Suheib proclaims: "I swear by Allah that I will turn my body parts into a fire that will burn the occupation soldiers".
A 57 years Palestinian grandmother blew herself up in Jabaliya, among a group of Israeli soldiers.
In Gaza today there are women who promote a campaign of immolation as human shields. They are the "matriarchs of Hamas," and some of them even got a seat in Gaza's Parliament. Their leader is Jamila Shanti, the widow of former Hamas leader, Dottor Rantisi.
Gaza is like Chechnya, where women took part in suicide missions against the Russians. On the passenger list of planes blown up in 2004 there were the names of two Chechen women. They are known as "black widows". Another two detonated themselves a few meters from the Kremlin. In the siege of the Dubrovka theater in Moscow, half of the terrorists were women. In Chechnya, women led 43 percent of the suicide attacks since 2000. Female terrorists took part in the Beslan's Apocalypse.
This is also what's at stake today in Gaza: the Jews' enemies are willing to die in order to bring death to as many people as possible, while Israeli soldiers are willing to die so as to guarantee life for others.
In Palestinian society, the most famous disabled person was Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin. In Iraq, terrorists used disabled women for suicide attacks. In Israel, in contrast, Down syndrome youth can be inducted into the army so that they feel part of society.
This is the story of the Middle East conflict: Islamists' death cult vs. Israel’s right to life, epitomized by Professor Reuven Feuerstein, the Israeli pioneer who has dedicated his life to advancing Down's Syndrome people beyond their supposed limits. He has said that “chromosomes will never have the last word”.
On the other side you have those who savor "the vivid and delightfully perverse feeling of the spilled blood", as wrote Varlam Salamov, who spent twenty years in the Gulag.
No Western society lives in greater intimacy with death than Israel, where too many parents buried their children, where too many victims are still in a coma, where too much blood has spilled, where innocent people live their lives wheelchair-bound.
Five major wars and terror attacks since Israel’s founding in 1948 have resulted in thousands of disabled veterans and civilian survivors of suicide attacks. Each morning, these people wake up to the worst nightmares epitomizing Israel’s joy de vivre. They are a microcosm of the unfailing spirit so many of us in the West associate with being Israeli.
I remember a security guard at the Kiryat Hayovel supermarket who lost his legs; an Australian-born policeman who lost a leg in Neveh Ya’acov; a girl with shrapnel lodged in her brain from the double bombing at the Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall; a boy who lost his eyesight at Haifa’s Maxim restaurant, or the pregnant policewoman, Shoshi Attiya, who chased down the terrorist in Netanya.
I think of them when I read the Western press saying that Israel is the stronger side in the conflict, with the military, the technology, the money, the knowledge base, the capacity to use force, the alliance with the United States— and that before it stands a pitifully weak people, claiming its "rights" and ready for martyrdom in order to obtain them. This is the greatest lie ever sold to public opinion.
Israel is fighting the same evil which in Kigali slaughtered those who wear glasses, which in Algeris cut the throats of monks and intellectuals and which in Tokyo used the Nervin gas in the subway.
The line of Israeli mothers and children running for a shelter under the "tzeva adom" alarm remind me of that boy with a hat too big for him, the yellow star on his chest and his hands up in the Warsaw ghetto - and the little human dots who jumped from the Twin Towers. We must not try to escape these pictures.
Richard Wagner offered us the terrorists' final scenario: the twilight of the gods and the burning of the planet. It's our responsibility that those who, from Gaza to Beslan, hang bombs like garlands above their children, who threaten them with death if they cry, who reduce them to drinking their own secretions , will fail in their attempts to accomplish their apocalypse.