Tuesday, October 31, 2000

Palestinian Child Sacrifice

Palestinian Child Sacrifice

Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg
October 25, 2000

According to the Palestinians, over 40 children have been killed in the waves of violence and confrontations that began at the end of September. They have been killed in the front lines, providing cover for the armed Palestinian militias with machine guns and other weapons seeking to overwhelm isolated Israeli guard posts. The outnumbered Israeli soldiers, defending the civilians behind these outposts, cannot see the children through the small slits and openings (as was clearly the case at the Netzarim crossing in Gaza). The tragic images of these young victims provide first-rate propaganda to use against Israel.

Interviewed by journalists after these tragedies, some parents of these young victims refer to their children as "shaheeds" (martyrs), whose lives were given willingly and proudly to the Palestinian cause in fighting the hated Zionist enemy. In a scene that was unbelievably shocking, one mother boasted that she bore her son precisely for this purpose, and the father proudly claimed credit for providing the training. (The parents will also receive a sizeable financial "reward" from the Palestinian Authority.)

For a people who count Abraham (or Ibrahim) among their ancestors, this willful child sacrifice violates the fundamental tenets of morality and ethics. The message of Abraham's non-sacrifice of Isaac was and remains first and foremost the absolute rejection of such practices. This prohibition, for the children of Abraham -- Jews, and later Christians, and Moslems -- stands in sharp contrast to the paganism and idolatry that existed at that time, and apparently still exists in some cultures. Child sacrifice was the most fundamental expression of idolatry, and forms the basis for the central Biblical message, prohibiting any contact with or tolerance for such practices. That the Palestinian leadership could encourage such behavior as part of their political and military campaign against Israel, or for any other purpose, is beyond belief or explanation.

After first buying into the Palestinian propaganda, the forces of morality in the world are beginning to confront this horrible reality. Sweden's Queen Silvia was among the first voices of conscience outside of Israel to raise this issue. In a meeting of the World Childhood Foundation that took place at the United Nations, she strongly criticized Palestinian parents for abusing their children in this way. "As a mother I'm very worried about this. I'd like to tell them to quit. This is very dangerous. The children should not take part." While the Palestinian leaders were cynically pursuing their political efforts to isolate Israel in a special meeting of the UN General Assembly, the Swedish Queen placing the responsibility precisely where it belongs, declaring, "The Palestinian leaders are exploiting them and risking their lives in a political fight."

Queen Silvia's is not the only voice to be raised against this practice. A few journalists have begun to ask difficult questions to the Palestinian spokesmen whose presence on interview programs in newspaper reports is so ubiquitous. There are, of course, no good answers, and the questions themselves, as well as the very visible discomfort of the Palestinians, speak for themselves. The dispatch of children to the front lines, in a brutal war that has no purpose or justification, will haunt Palestinian society for generations.

Indeed, there are also an increasing number of Palestinians who are upset by the high price of Arafat's adventures, and, in particular, the cynical exploitation of their children. As these young victims are buried, and the war produces only more suffering, primarily for the Palestinians themselves, the promise of martyrdom seems less appealing. Suddenly, the game of provoking the Israeli soldiers and playing before the news cameras, while Palestinian gunmen fire from behind, has become deadly.

Eventually, enough of these parents, and the children themselves, will bring the sacrifices for Arafat's war to a stop. They will need the support from many other parents and voices of morality around the world. Instead of investigating politically based charges of Israeli human rights violations, Mary Robinson, the commissioner responsible for human rights for the UN can save the lives of Palestinian children by following the lead of Queen Silvia. The committee for the Defense of Children International (DCI), based in Geneva, has an important role to play as well. The Palestinian branch of DCI, which is supported by donations designed for protecting children, uses these funds for propaganda attacks against Israel, while ignoring the abuses of children by the Palestinian leadership. In a recent conference on the dangers of landmines that took place In Geneva, the Palestinian members of DCI were too busy circulating denunciations of Israel to discuss means for cooperation in protecting children from these dangers.

When Yassir Arafat was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, it was not for sending children to be sacrificed as part of a wider war of terrorism and brutality against Israel. By revoking this award, the Norwegian prize committee would reverse some of the damage it caused in the first place, and send a powerful message in support of basic human morality. It would also help to save Palestinian children

Thursday, October 26, 2000

Details on Gaza suicide bombing -09:40-IST-OCT/26/00

The following comes from a news service which you can subscribe to. (Details near the end). Be warned that if you do, you will receive about 20 emails a day at the moment - and more at times.

The video came in separately from Daniel Epstein just as I was preparing this forward & was so appropriate that I attach it here.

In the current situation where we seem to have handed over the intiative to very a skilled PR machine, the least we can do is stay informed and inform as many people as possible - Jews and non-Jews of the truth.

I know that we all suffer from email overload. If you want to be removed from my "propaganda list", please let me know.

-----Original Message-----
From: BreakingNews-Israel [mailto:YeshBB@netvision.net.il]
Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2000 9:56 AM
To: List Member
Subject: Details on Gaza suicide bombing -09:40-IST-OCT/26/00


More details on Gaza suicide bombing attack (IsraelWire-10/26-09:40-IST) A suicide bomber, presumably a child traveling on a bicycle, detonated an explosive device adjacent to an IDF outpost between Khan Yunis and Kfar Darom. One soldier sustained very light injuries.

According to IDF OC Southern Commander Major-General Yomtov Samiya, it appears almost for certain at this time that the suicide bomber was a child judging by the size of the charred remains of the skeleton. He stated that the findings were preliminary at this stage. Samiya added that this was not the first time that a bicycle was used in such a terror attack, and told Israel Radio that once again we see the “horrific use of children by the PLO Authority (PA)” to continue its campaign of terror. Samiya stated it was difficult to understand how a small school child carrying a schoolbag and riding a bicycle could be used to perpetrate such an attack.

The senior commander added that preliminary information points to the Islamic Jihad organization, but “there is no doubt that the attack was the under the direct orders of the PA,” he added.

Samiya stated that this is not cause for panic, and stressed the military in Gaza is prepared for the worst. He pointed out that the fortified outpost prevented any serious injuries, explaining his forces are well protected and remain on high alert.

IsraelWire will provide additional details as they are made available.


Courtesy of IsraelWire News Service – http://www.israelwire.com

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Details on AM suicide bombing-OCT/26/00

Truth in reporting ....

-----Original Message-----
From: BreakingNews-Israel [mailto:YeshBB@netvision.net.il]
Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2000 3:41 PM
To: List Member
Subject: Details on AM suicide bombing-OCT/26/00


IDF reports that suicide bomber was 24-year-old Islamic Jihad member
(IsraelWire-10/26) The suicide bomber who carried out the attack in Gaza near Kfar Darom on Thursday morning was a 24-year-old terrorist affiliated with the Islamic Jihad, and not a child as was first believed by IDF OC Southern Commander Major-General Yomtov Samiya, Israel Radio reported.

It is also being reported that he arrived on a motorized scooter or moped, not a bicycle as was reported earlier.

IsraelWire will provide additional details as they are made available.

Courtesy of IsraelWire News Service – http://www.israelwire.com

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Wednesday, October 25, 2000

Elie Wiesel speaks out

Elie Wiesel spoke at the NYC Israel rally last week and his words were powerful. His office sent out the following transcript:

"We have gathered here to affirm our solidarity with Israel. We are outraged by the hypocritical vote in the Security Council, which did not condemn Palestinian excessive reactions but condemned Israel's response to them.

We stand by Israel whose present struggle was imposed upon her by the intransigence of the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority.

Those of us who reject hatred and fanaticism as options and who consider peace as the noblest of efforts finally recognize Yasir Arafat for what he
is: ignorant, devious and unworthy of trust.

We had hoped for a genuine peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors, including the Palestinians. We had dreams of Israeli and Palestinian children playing together, studying together, laughing together, and discovering each other's worlds. The pain, the agony, the death of any child, Palestinian or Jewish, is a torment to us. But why does Chairman Arafat not protect the children instead of using them them as shields for adults throwing stones and worse?

Yes, it is with a heavy heart that we say that our dreams of peace have gone up in the smoke of ransacked synagogues, in the lynching of Israeli prisoners and of blood-thirsty mobs shouting their version of a Jerusalem without Jews and a Middle East without Israel. And I blame the supreme leader of the Palestinians, Yasir Arafat.

By rejecting Israel's unprecedented generous territorial concessions, he is burying the peace process; in so doing, he has betrayed the confidence not only of his negotiating partners but of President Clinton and other western leaders, just as he has betrayed the highest honor society can bestow upon a person. How can a leader, any leader in Israel renew discussions with him before all the kidnapped soldiers are returned to their families?

By unleashing mob violence and bloodshed in the streets rather than guiding his frustrated people toward coexistence and peace, he renounced their legitimate aspirations for a future free of suffering and hatred.

I hold him responsible for the murder of Rabbi Hillel Lieberman and the lynching of two young reservists. All his promises were lies; all his commitments were false. Indeed many peace activists here and in Israel are now reassessing the Oslo accords.

Under Israel sovereignty, Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike could pray without fear in Jerusalem, our capital, which is at the center of Jewish history. A Jew may be Jewish far from Jerusalem; but not without Jerusalem.
Though a Jew may not live in Jerusalem, Jerusalem lives inside him.

No other nation's memory is as identified with its memory as ours. No people have been as faithful to its name, or have celebrated its past with as much fervor. None of our prayers are as passionate as those that speak of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is the dream of our dreams, the light that illuminates our hopeless moments. Its legitimacy lies in its sovereignty. To oppose one is to deny the other. Israel will never give up either. I accuse him of being morally weak, politically shortsighted and an obstacle to peace.

I accuse him of murdering the hopes of an entire generation. His and ours.

Elie Wiesel, NYC, 10/12/00

Some essential facts

As the Jerusalem suburb of Gilo is fired upon by the Palestinians for the third night and gun battles rage on in Psagot, Hebron and other locations, there is also a PR war occuring and no one I know believes that Israel is even close to winning it.

It's time for us to stop lamenting this fact and start doing something about turning this around - wherever we live. We all have Jewish and non-Jewish e-mail contacts. Please forward this e-mail to your list. It is incumbent on each and every one of us to counter the rampant false information that is streaming out of the PA and Arab capitals.

HERE SOME BRIEF FACTS ON THE ISRAELI CONFLICT TODAY...(this takes about a minute and a half to read.)

Nationhood and Jerusalem
* Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., two thousand years before the rise of Islam.

* Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.

* Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C.E. the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 C.E.
lasted no more than 22 years.

* For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.

* Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.

* King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.

* Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.

Arab and Jewish Refugees
* In 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.

* The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.

* Arab refugees were intentionally not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own peoples'
lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.

The Arab - Israeli Conflict
* The Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation.

* The Arab nations initiated all five wars against Israel and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.

* The P.L.O.'s Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them with weapons.

* Under Jordanian rule and Palestinian Authority, Jewish holy sites were and are being desecrated and the Jews were and are being denied access to places of worship.

* Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.

The U.N. Record on Israel and the Arabs
* Of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.

* Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.

* The U.N was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.

* The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.

* The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

These are incredible times. We have to ask what our role should be. What will we tell our grandchildren we did when there was a turning point in Jewish destiny, an opportunity to make a difference. Start now. Send this email on to 20 or 30 other people you know and ask them to send it on. To Jews and non-Jews. The truth and the cause of peace are universal values that we all share and these values will ultimately prevail.