Surprise, surprise: another affluent Palestinian terrorist
Surprise, surprise: another affluent Palestinian terrorist

William Booth is shocked. Last week's Palestinian Arab suicide bomber in Jerusalem was affluent and educated--he "doesn't fit the profile of a desperate Hamas operative," according to Booth, the Israel bureau chief for the Washington Post. Actually, the stereotype of Arab terrorists as impoverished and "desperate" is a fantasy concocted by journalists such as Booth, who are then surprised when their fantasy collides with reality.

Suicide bomber Abdel Hamid Abu Srour was no welfare case. His uncles "are prosperous merchants," Booth writes. "He did not grow up in a refugee camp. He went on shopping trips to Jordan." He was an industrious student, too: when his grades in high school lagged, "he wanted to retake subjects and redo his exams." He told relatives that he wanted to become a veterinarian.

It is only in William Booth's imagination--and that of the Abu Srour Fan Club--that the non-existent "Israeli occupation" causes terrorism.
Relatives described Abu Srour as "a Palestinian preppy, the scion of a well-to-do and well-known clan of eight prosperous brothers, who own and operate a string of furniture outlets and are rich enough to take their young sons for holidays in Jordan and set them up with their own shop selling clothes."

One uncle, Mahmoud Abu Srour, told Booth: "We are financially comfortable, you could say very comfortable." At a family gathering to mourn Abu Srour's death, his teenage cousins "wore pricey watches, skinny jeans and fancy sneakers."

The terrorist's relatives adamantly denied that he had any connection to Hamas. Perhaps they never looked at his Facebook page, which featured a photo of the most famous Hamas bomb-maker, Yahya Ayyash. There was also a photo of Abu Srour with a Hamas flag. 

The Israeli news media reported that before boarding that Jerusalem bus with a bomb packed with screws and bolts (to inflict as much suffering as possible upon the women and children sitting near him), Abu Srour gave his mother a photo of himself wearing a Hamas scarf.

According to the Israeli media, members of the Abu Srour family celebrated his suicide-massacre as Palestinian Arabs frequently commemorate such atrocities, by distributing candies on the streets of their Bethlehem neighborhood.

Confounded by his inability to blame the suicide bombing on poverty, the Post's Booth trotted out a different "explanation": it turns out that one of Abu Srour's cousins was killed "while confronting Israeli soldiers" four months ago. "Confronting Israeli soldiers" is one of those euphemisms that some reporters use to mask Palestinian violence. In plain English, it almost certainly means that the cousin was throwing deadly rocks or firebombs at Israeli soldiers, who shot him in self-defense.

It did not seem to occur to Booth that the cousin's death, like Abu Srour's, was more proof that poverty does not cause terrorism. The cousin, after all, came from the same "affluent" and "prosperous" clan where the children are taken on shopping sprees in Amman. Perhaps if Booth had paid closer attention to the cousin's death, he wouldn't be so surprised about Abu Srour turning out to be affluent and educated.

Booth was not done. He also quoted an uncle who "blamed [Abu Srour's suicide bombing on] Israel's 49 year-military occupation." Perhaps Booth should have looked around Bethlehem a little more during his visit with the Abu Srour clan. He would have noticed that there are no Israeli soldiers "occupying" the city. The Palestinian Authority has been ruling the city (and all the cities where 98% of the Palestinians live) since 1995. It is only in William Booth's imagination--and that of the Abu Srour Fan Club--that the non-existent "Israeli occupation" causes terrorism.

Last September, I wrote about the arrest of Mrs. Ayman Kanjou another stereotype-busting terrorist. For all those who think that Palestinian terrorists must be young, unmarried men who have little to lose, meet Mrs. Kanjou: a middle-aged Israeli Arab woman with five small children, who was caught crossing through Turkey on her way to join the ISIS terrorists in Syria.

Mrs. Kanjou comes from a "respected" family (according to Israeli prosecutor Shunit Nimtzan). She is a college graduate (Al-Azhar University in Cairo), which cannot be said about many Muslim women. And not just a B.A.--she has a Ph.D.!  She had $11,000 in cash with her on her way to join ISIS (doesn't sound like poverty to me). Surely she was alienated from her family, a rootless malcontent in search of belonging? Not quite: her father, age 74, actually accompanied her on the trip.

It's no mystery why Palestinian-sympathizing journalists have perpetuated the myth that poverty causes terrorism. The entire premise of U.S. aid to the Palestinians is the assumption that poverty breeds terrorism. That's the main rationale for the $500-million that the Obama administration gives the Palestinian Authority each year.

Every well-to-do suicide bomber and middle-aged mother trying to join ISIS exposes that rationale as a sham.

(Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in a Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.)