Op-Ed: I Don't Dress My Sons With Suicide Belts
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly...
"If you want to destroy everything, do not save their legs", professes Bazarov, the nihilist character of Turgenev. It seems a perfect description of the Palestinian Arab society, which sanctifies death and self immolation.
Palestinian children are not innocent. Their parents are not. Their political leaders are not. Their school teachers are not. Their religious imams are not. Their street friends are not. Their doctors are not.
Of the approximately 4,000 Palestinians currently in Israeli custody, 193 are children. According to a Shabak report, about 292 Palestinian children have been involved in terrorism.
One of these youngsters made global headlines last week when the IDF arrested him in Hevron. Then the IDF's legal adviser found that the Israel Defense Forces' detention of a 5-year-old Palestinian boy in Hevron was a legitimate step in order to “thwart the threat posed by the activities of a minor".
The Palestinian Arab children are not as innocent as the West would like to believe. 29 suicide attacks were carried out by youth under the age of 18 in 2000-2003, the bloody peak of the Second Intifada.
A compelling reason that PA Arab parents encourage their children to get involved is the financial incentive offered to families of terrorists. The PA furnishes a cash payment - $2,000 per child killed and $300 per child wounded. But it is more than money, it is ideology, culture, religion.
Because "there is only one truly serious philosophical problem, suicide", as Albert Camus writes at the beginning of the "Myth of Sisyphus" (1942).
A famous case involved a 12-year-old boy who was captured at a checkpoint near Shechem (Nablus) wearing an explosive belt. Using a police-sapper robot, the IDF removed the explosive belt from him. The boy later explained that the terrorists offered him 100 NIS and sex with virgins if he would perform the task.
IDF soldiers who participated in Operation Defensive Shield reported that children were often left behind to trigger booby-traps that terrorists set for Israeli troops.
You will recall the recent attack on David Be'eri and his 13-year old son as they drove through the streets of Jerusalem. At least two of the main perpetrators of that attack were children under the age of 12.
That so many children have been recruited by terrorists reflects more than anything else the depth of cruelty, madness and lack of humanity implicit in Palestinian project and way of life. The harrowing physical mutilation of these children, the nurturing of the flames of the intifada as the most revolutionary and lasting Palestinian contribution, put the Palestinian Arabs in the same group as the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin, China’s Mao Zedong, Germany’s Adolf Hitler, Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Iran's Khomeini. These have all raised generations of children on a lethal ideology bent on the physical eradication of enemies and their religious symbols.
There is one image that explains better than anything else this ocean of hatred which nurtures the Palestinian Arab society: it shows a teenager gesturing victory, with the ruins of an Israeli bus in the background (a suicide bombing attack on bus no. 14, in which 8 passengers were killed). There is more truth in that horrible, baby face than in all the photo opportunities of Mahmoud Abbas in Washington.
Evil exists. The innocent Cambodian people met it when the young Khmer Rouge entered in Phnom Penh. The Israelis fight it every day. For all of us. Even when it has the face of a frail child.
Peace is not possible with a society that sanctifies death. I don't dress my sons with suicide belts. The Palestinian Arabs hang bombs like garlands above their children.