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Ponder this over the Weekend

JINSA Report #: 

June 14, 2009

News Item (Jerusalem Post): A Palestinian family has killed its 15-year-old son in the West Bank after accusing him of "collaboration" with Israel...The suspects confessed, saying they decided to kill Sawalha because of his alleged connections with the Israeli authorities... investigation by PA security forces revealed that Sawalha had been brutally tortured before he was hanged... The perpetrators were all members of the boy's family, including his father, uncle and cousin.

The first reader comment posted at The Jerusalem Post site: "Using 15-year-olds to spy and torturing them and killing them, while certainly not equivalent, should both be condemned." Another: "Torturing and killing a 15-year-old boy is inexcusable. The anger and frustration behind it however are perfectly legitimate. I don't know the answer... (but) total resistance to Israeli crucial."

The only way they could understand the depravity was to make it someone else's fault - Israel's fault. The truth is worse.

Societies on all continents, in all times, with all races, tribes and ethnicities up to and including Jews in Europe in the last century, have struggled under various forms of terrible oppression. In most cases, the "human protective gene" - women and children first, shelter the young, retain your essential humanity and try to pass it on to those who will survive and have to build again - has functioned as it should.

There is no reason to believe Israeli occupation, benign compared to Jordanian and Egyptian occupation of the same areas from 1948-67, resulted in the disintegration of history's societal norms. And certainly there are Palestinians who are revolted and shamed by murder conducted by their own people.

Palestinian "leadership" - which seeks the destruction of Israel - has deliberately undermined Palestinian society, however. They, not Israel, are the reason hundreds of thousands of Palestinians live in refugee camps around the Arab world, even in the West Bank and Gaza where they have been under Palestinian rule for more than 15 years. They, not Israel, are the exploiters of their own children. The violence they teach and practice is not the result of occupation or "humiliation." It is deliberate and cynical exploitation of what they see as a weakness of the West, as they pursue their goal.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed by their own people - as so-called "collaborators" or to avenge other "crimes," or as "honor killings," or sent out as suicide bombers. Remember the young woman who was caught as she tried to smuggle a bomb in her undergarments into an Israeli hospital where she was being treated for disfiguring facial burns suffered in a household accident. Her brothers told her she had no future as a Palestinian wife, and so should bring honor on the family - by killing Jews. Another young woman blew herself up along with two Israelis after being accused of adultery by her husband. Her choice was dishonor or death - while killing Jews.

The sad and ugly truth is that all of them - the victims and the perpetrators - are products of Oslo. The Palestinian Authority - including the so-called "moderate" Fatah - has brainwashed its people through speeches, media, schoolbooks and sermons in the illegitimacy of Israel, negation of the Holocaust, the demonization of Jews and the glories of blood spilled - their own and that of other people. Parents of suicide bombers are feted and told their children are heroes. Some of them believe it.

It is hard to imagine how a decent society can arise out of this orgy of self-immolation and pleasure in the destruction of others. It should be clear, however, that the first step is to insist that the poisoning of Palestinians minds by their own leadership be stopped. President Obama should insist on it - not only to honor the memory of Sawalha - but more important, to ensure the reasonable possibility of the future he seeks.

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