Jewish World Review June 25, 2002 / 15 Tamuz, 5762
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | A new study tells American mothers that the safest way to get the kids to school is to put them on the bus. Not so in Israel, where suicide bombers have made Israeli cities and towns limb-littered killing fields. After another Palestinian terrorist incinerated another Israeli bus, a Netanya mother said this to BBC News: "If my kids end up having to get a bus, I will give them a loving speech before they go, in case they never come back."
And Palestinian mothers? They, too, give a loving speech before their children go, sometimes videotaping it, but all too many of them actually hope their youngsters never come back. The sickening fact is, the strongest desire of certain Palestinian parents is for their children to die, killing as many Jews -- infants to aged -- as possible.
Take Mariam Farhat. When she got word her 19-year-old son Mohammed had been shot dead after murdering five Israeli teens and wounding 23 others, she told the Saudi-owned London daily newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: "I began to cry, 'Allah is the greatest,' and prayed and thanked Allah for the success of the operation. I began to utter cries of joy and we declared that we were happy. ... I encouraged all my sons to die a martyr's death." (Translation by Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI))
The maternal death wish may seem freakish, but Farhat is not alone. "May every bullet hit its target and may God give you martyrdom," Naima el Abed tells her son, Mahmoud, on a video released by Hamas that records the 23-year-old college student's preparations for a rampage against Israel. "This," she says, "is the best day of my life."
Almost as good, no doubt, as the day of her son's funeral. This came after Naima el Abed's little terrorist was shot dead attempting to infiltrate a Jewish community, killing two Israeli soldiers. Consider the Palestinian scene of bereavement that followed: "All around her were women, clapping and celebrating his death, while his father Hassan quietly received congratulations," the Associated Press reported. "Several of their nine other children handed out candy to visitors. 'I wish all my children would be like him and carry out operations like that,' Naima el Abed said."
Chances are excellent that they will -- and not just to please mom. The Palestinian Authority may blindly blame Israel for creating a generation of suicidal maniacs, but it is the PA itself that has helped nurture -- if such a word applies -- this taboo-breaking evil through its relentless propaganda machine.
With sub-titled clips from Palestinian-controlled television MSNBC's Alan Keyes this week gave American viewers an eye-popping look at the pernicious role the PA plays in teaching young people to kill and be killed. It starts with state-sponsored sing-alongs for the romper-room set -- ditties about blood-drenched soil and warriors of jihad.
It continues with shows featuring girls in party dresses delivering bloodthirsty harangues: "When I wander into the entrance of Jerusalem, I'll turn into a suicide warrior! I'll turn into a suicide warrior! In battle-dress! In battle-dress! In battle-dress!" And it goes on through the seemingly continuous loop of government-broadcast sermons. One imam (religious leader) preaches, "Bless those who wired themselves, putting the belt around his waist or his sons, and who enter deeply in the Jewish community and say, 'Allah is great.'" Or: "Wherever you are, kill these Jews and these Americans who are like them and support them."
Mr. Keyes pointed out a young boy in one congregation, asking, Can a child thus indoctrinated ever make peace? This same boy is probably now caught up in the latest Palestinian craze -- trading charms, Pokemon-style, that feature the faces of suicide bombers. Maybe he'll go on to Al-Najah University in Nablus, alma mater of this week's bus bomber, Mohammed "How beautiful it is to kill and be killed" al-Ghoul. Al-Najah, it must be noted, was the scene of last fall's commemoration of the Sbarro pizza-parlor attack, complete with fake pizza slices, plastic body parts and play explosions.
That PA sure teaches its children well -- to create what Ghazi Al-Qusaibi, the Saudi Ambassador to London (infamous for his verses on suicide-bombing), calls "the culture of martyrdom." As he recently told Al Sharq Al Awsat, according to MEMRI, in one of the most chilling statements I have ever read, "When the culture of martyrdom spreads among the Palestinians and the Arabs, the myth of Israel will come to an end." (Not, alas, at the ambassador's own poetry-writing hands. He regrets to say that age and weight disqualify him from personal "martyrdom.")
We hear of the need to reform the PA from its terror-abetting "security" forces, to its corrupt apparatchiks, but the subject of dismantling its poisonous propaganda machine isn't mentioned. As de-Nazification was once required, "de-martyrfication" is one of today's most urgent challenges.
Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Diana West is a columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.
06/21/02: Up front and personal with Atta