Frightening and Tragic Confirmation


In my previous Cross-Currents post I made reference to the frightening and tragic “culture of death” that has engulfed large parts of the Palestinian population. In the comments section, a number of contributors went back and forth about the accuracy and fairness of this description (starting with #4).

As I read some of these comments I must admit that I found it hard to believe that anyone, regardless of background or affiliation, could deny this reality. One would have to be either willfully blind or dishonest not to acknowledge what is patently obvious.

As I noted in the original piece, the examples of this phenomenon – especially when surveying the broader world of radical Islam – are in fact too numerous to catalogue. But I am particularly struck by the depraved attitude that many Palestinian and Arab parents have taken towards the welfare of their children. This was what I was alluding to in my reference to the story of Mariam Farhat.

Particularly relevant – albeit unsurprising – is the recent transcript from MEMRI of the interview on Al-Aqsa TV (the Hamas channel) of two small children of a suicide bomber. If this is what they preach and what they encourage their children to do, it only follows that when mommy actually kills herself to kill Jews, her children would only be too happy.

And yet, the transcript is still chilling:

INTERVIEWER: What did mama do?
DHOHA: She committed martyrdom.
INTERVIEWER: She killed Jews, right? How many did she kill, Muhammad?
INTERVIEWER: How many Jews did mama kill?
MUHAMMAD: This many . . .
INTERVIEWER: How many is that?
INTERVIEWER: Do you love mama? Do you miss mama? Where is mama, Muhammad?
MUHAMMAD: In Paradise.

As Jay Nordlinger, the consistently eloquent defender of Israel, asks, so ominously, “If a society can do this to children — what can’t it do?”

This, I am sad to say, was exactly my point.

And hearing it articulated by a well respected writer, alas, brings me no comfort.

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Ori Pomerantz
8 years 8 months ago

It’s not just a general culture of fear. It is a very specific fear. Ever since the Intifada started over twenty years ago, the radical Palestinians have been torturing and murdering/executing “collaborators” (= anybody who did not support them wholeheartedly). Israel failed to protect them.

The west used to have such a culture of fear too. Dissent didn’t use to be ridiculed, it used to be a crime. If now we don’t, it’s because of rivers of ink and rivers of blood that were spilled to secure our freedoms, at places like Runnymede (the Magna Carta) and Valley Forge (US independence).

Until… Read more »

One Christian's perspective
8 years 8 months ago

Having read all comments which I believe were written by individuals who have very seriously considered this ‘culture of death’ from many angles, I was wondering if this could really be a culture of ‘fear’ that breeds and promotes evil in the guise of death as a badge of honor and praise. Where people are powerless to protest deeds of violence (their own life and family members would meet violent death) , a culture of fear thrives and in that, evil ones of society rule and reign. Most recently, we have seen the tentative release of this tension… Read more »

8 years 8 months ago

Rabbi Gottlieb,

Thank you for your response. Of course I agree that the celebration of death is deeply disturbing and entirely disgusting. And I also agree that even the most radical fringe of Israeli society does not embrace it as the Palestinians do.

Where I disagree is that the fact that it happens, and that there are interviews about it, demonstrates that there is a genuine culture of death. It suggests to me that there are powerful forces who, for their own revolting political and personal motives are prepared to seduce and manipulate the credulous. And that Palestinian society – being poor,… Read more »

Dovid Gottlieb
8 years 8 months ago

SM –
Thank you for taking the time to read my posts and for your comments.

A number of points of clarification and in response are in order:

First, while I do think that the answers of these children is revealing (see the entire transcript for even more radical Q and A) I agree that the interview itself is part of the problem (as mentioned by DMZ). In fact, that itself is my point.

When a TV station – run by the ruling governmental party no less! – interviews kids in this fashion, that’s a reflection of the societal values. Not only… Read more »

8 years 8 months ago

“I make an effort to understand and look for the best in other people as a direct result of that. And that includes “them” as well as “us”. Don’t knock that approach until you have tried it.”

Are you sure that you’re not looking so hard that, when you don’t find what you’re looking for, you claim you did anyways? Sorry to say it, but willful blindness isn’t a bad term for that, and I completely see where he’s coming from on this. “Benefit of the doubt” goes only so far – when someone’s certainly sinning, for instance, you’re not under… Read more »

Bob Miller
8 years 8 months ago

Numerous actual reported events support the points made in this article. If SM can produce any counterexamples from within the Fatah- and Hamas- administered areas, let’s see them now.

8 years 8 months ago

Bit unrealistic really. What should the interviewer ask the child? “Is your Mama a murderer”? Or “Is your Mama evil”? Or, “Is your Mama in hell forever”?

I agree that the child is being exploited, but the exploitation lies in the interview itself, not in the answers. And the exploitation has a political purpose which may be linked to further martyrdoms or may, equally, be about resistance in a purely political form (we are all united even children) or represent one view only. As the author points out, this was the Hamas channel and the surviving parent was not (so far… Read more »