For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Blum - Deadly ground
08 May '12..
We’ve got to hand it to radical Muslims for knowing how to push our buttons. Though I hate to rob anyone of credit where it’s due, this is probably more our responsibility than theirs. But at least they know a good thing when they see it, and have learned — the easy way — how to capitalize on that.
The gift the West has been handing radical Muslims on a silver platter since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 — when U.S. President Jimmy Carter abandoned the pro-American Shah of Iran in favor of Ayatollah Khomeini — is our willful blindness (to borrow the title of Andrew C. McCarthy’s brilliant book) to their culture of death.
This form of wishful thinking is not limited to Carter or any of his successors in the White House. Europeans have an even greater capacity to delude themselves about the phenomenon in their midst, responding to it with a mixture of snobbish revulsion to immigrants and politically correct appeasement.
Even Israel got into the act, when its leaders could no longer bear the idea that PLO chief Yasser Arafat — previously recognized by the Jewish state as a mega-mass murderer — could not be reasoned with like a rational human being who had the best interests of his people at heart.
It is understandable and admirable for us not to be able to grasp that much of the world in which we live has a lust for death in its basest forms. Most of us in the West spend a lot of time and money trying to avoid that inevitable passage from life to the unknown beyond. We obsess over health and well-being to prolong our stay on this earth with as much vim and vigor as possible.
What is neither understandable nor admirable is our refusal to accept that not everyone is like us in this respect. On the contrary, our worst enemies have an opposite take on life, as well as a pornographic fascination with its end.
This gives them an advantage on the literal and proverbial battlefield. They know that the West fears for its safety and values individuals. They consider this to be the Achilles' heel they can always count on. They are amazed at how often they can get away with the same stunts. Indeed, doing so has not even required a revision of their material.
It is thus that on Sunday we were treated to a heart-wrenching video, released by al-Qaida, in which 70-year-old Warren Weinstein, an American-Jewish aid worker kidnapped nine months ago in Pakistan, appealed to U.S. President Barack Obama to save him. “If you accept the demands [of my captors], I live; if you don't … I die."
The clearly coerced and rehearsed plea was not only chilling; it was also indicative of the terror group's grasp of America’s soft spots. Weinstein was even forced to try to make Obama feel guilty for being a loving father to his daughters, while being indifferent to the fate of a hostage.
Al-Qaida sure knows its customers.
This story will come to no good end. Either Weinstein will be executed, Daniel Pearl-style, or a deal will be made that is very bad — like the prisoner exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit.
Ditto for what’s going on in Israel right now, with 1,400 Palestinian prisoners on an extended hunger strike. What these paragons of terrorism are demanding — in exchange for their not committing slow suicide — is an end to solitary confinement, greater visitation rights from family members in Gaza, access to newspapers, learning materials (hmmm…), and certain TV channels (double hmmm…).
Two of them — members of Islamic Jihad — are apparently near death. Still, their lawyer, who is fit as a fiddle, appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court to release them from prison altogether. It was not as ridiculous a request as one would suppose, since it had a precedent. Earlier this year, two other hunger-strikers reached a deal that sealed their freedom. But the Supreme Court rejected the current appeal, on the grounds that these two particular guys are still a serious threat to Israel.
In response to the court’s ruling, leaders of Islamic Jihad threatened to launch rocket attacks from Gaza if any of the hunger-strikers die, while Gaza City’s Hamas leader said Israel “can expect both the expected and the unexpected from us.”
Now that’s a hoot: When did Islamic Jihad and Hamas not carry out such threats?
No need to worry, however. Israel Prison Service Commissioner Aharon Franco has the situation under control. As he informed the hunger-strikers last week, he has named a panel to address their demands.
Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces has produced a new film to discourage soldiers from hitchhiking. The idea behind the clip is to hit home to the boys and girls in uniform that they are all potential targets for abduction by terrorists — all of whom, by the way, were buoyed by the ultimate resolution of the Schalit kidnapping.
There is no easy answer to the question of how to deal with, let alone defeat, so many radical groups guided by a shared blood-lust. We cannot fight them on their own terms, nor do we wish to emulate their immoral tactics.
But granting them unfettered access to our heartstrings and legal systems is not merely foolish and counterproductive; it is a sure-fire guarantee of their victory.
Ruthie Blum, a former senior editor at The Jerusalem Post, is the author of “Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the ‘Arab Spring,’” to be released by RVP Press in the summer.
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I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"