Israel Report

April 2002         

The Stench of Hypocrisy

By Reuven Koret - April 20, 2002
There could not have been a massacre in Jenin. The residents had already committed suicide.

Teachers and religious leaders encouraged the bombers. Peers glorified their deeds on posters. Parents praised their suicidal children while pocketing $25,000 from Saddam Hussein.

When a society celebrates suicide bombing, not only the bombers commit suicide. Their families and friends and neighbors sign their own death warrants. Innocents die in the crossfire, or as human shields. The Palestinian Authority armed and financed the killers. Arafat called for a million martyrs. War against such a criminal society is inevitable.

To say that Palestinian actions and attitudes condemned their people to death doesn't mean that they should be killed. But they should expect to be killed. When people celebrate death, finance it, and commit it, they should not be surprised when death visits them. You can't incite and reward mass murder and not expect to pay a terrible price.

For nineteen months, Jenin earned the nickname of "suicide city." It produced half of the suicide bombers who have killed hundreds. 25 suicide bombers came from Jenin alone. The UN Relief Works Agency, which administers the refugee camp, allowed it to become a breeding ground for terrorists. The Europeans turned a blind eye to the terror that emerged from it. The camp became a safe haven for suicide bombers.

23 Israelis were killed in the attacks on Jenin terrorist bases, because Israel decided to risk the lives of its citizen-soldiers rather than bomb from the air, as the Americans do in Afghanistan. 13 soldiers were killed as a boy suicide bomber exploded among them, triggering mines that brought down surrounding buildings. Snipers finished the killing.

After days of fighting, most of those left in the area were armed fighters, some wearing suicide belts, refusing Israeli calls to surrender, preferring to fight to the death. Buildings were booby-trapped, as were corpses. Terrorists surrounded themselves with civilians.

Now we hear the UN and the Europeans complaining about the destruction of this terror nest. Terje Larsen Roed-Larsen, facilitator of the Oslo Accords, spoke about smelling the "stench of death" and described the scene as "horrible beyond belief." He blamed Israel.

There was not the same kind of condemnation when the bombers came from Jenin to blow up Israelis. And Mr. Larsen did not discuss his own responsibility, and that of the United Nations he represents, for creating the conditions that allowed suicide bombers to arm themselves to the teeth and operate with total impunity from Palestinian cities.

The days of Palestinians impunity for supporting suicide bombings are over. The bombers now know that attacks will bring ruin on themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods. The next time young men or women think about donning an explosive belt, they should take a long look around their neighborhood and take a deep breath. They should be sure that they will bring the stench of death to all those around them.

After nearly 500 deaths, 120 last month alone, Israelis will no longer be passive victims of suicide bombings and shootings, war crimes committed against innocent civilians.

UN bodies and European countries now justify armed struggle against Israel. They seek to apply sanctions, investigate Israel for non-existent war crimes even as they encourage terrorists to commit more of them. They coddle Arafat, dissuading him from calling off his killers. They show him that terror has a diplomatic and economic payoff.

The UN and the Europeans wants to send an armed force to the West Bank. One wonders how the Norwegians and French and Belgians and Brits will react when their nationals are sniped at and blown to bits. Germany suddenly became sensitive to anti-Semitic attacks when German tourists were killed near a Tunisian synagogue.

To the great credit of the United States, its leadership and citizens now seem to understand what we Israelis are up against. Most Americans understand that "martyrs" (and their leaders) are just murderers. Being on the receiving end of suicide bombing, as America was on 9/11, has a way of focusing one's attention on Islamic fanaticism.

As for the rest of the world, and especially the Europeans, it apparently will take a bit longer. Now the UN has approved, with Israeli consent, the dispatch of a fact-finding mission to Jenin. Israel is not afraid of the facts, as long as the facts are found.

The facts are that Jenin, like other Palestinian cities, had not been occupied by Israel for eight years. The cities served as the source of unrelenting terror against Israeli citizens. The football-field-sized area of Jenin destroyed in fighting had become an armed camp, filled with terrorists who had rigged dozens of buildings, and themselves, with bombs.

The facts are that the world does not seem to care much when Palestinian bombers kill Israelis, but they are horribly upset when Israelis try to stop the killers. They smell the stench of death caused by fighting terrorism, but they don't smell the stench of death caused by the terrorists attacking civilians. They are especially upset when we succeed.

If the diplomats continue to deny the fact that Arafat's Authority is a terror-supporting entity dedicated to the destroying the state of Israel, they will embolden the Palestinians to continue killing Israelis. If they condemn Israel for defending itself, they will encourage more attacks, because the Palestinians will continue to believe that more attacks will bring Israeli reprisals, which will bring international action against Israel.

If Palestinians and the diplomats keep on their present course, they will continue to smell the stench of death, because that is what they are inspiring. If they truly want to find the facts, they should take a deep breath and consider their own responsibility for the stink.

©2002 -

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