We all know that the Palestinian territories -- or whatever expression you prefer -- are divided in two: The extremists, Hamas, control the Gaza Strip; the moderates, Fatah, control the West Bank. But what do you say to moderates’ naming a square in a town outside Ramallah after a terrorist? A mass-murdering terrorist?I thought this was especially interesting in light of what the Obama administration has been doing recently to try and coerce a peace accord in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Maybe you have or haven't heard about it, but VP Joe Biden and SoS Hilary Clinton have been trying to force concessions on the part of the Israelis and in the process it feels like they are villifying our one clear ally in the Middle East. It's shameful.
They have just named the square for Dalal Mughrabi, a woman who led a team committing atrocities in 1978. Their atrocities are summed up in the name “Coastal Road Massacre.” I will quote from a column about this matter:And so on. If you can bear to read this column in full, go here. And can you bear this? It was written by three Israelis whose children were killed by a terrorist in 2003.
On a Saturday in March 1978, the squad of Palestinian terrorists led by Mughrabi entered Israel by boat from Lebanon and made their way to the main road between Haifa and Tel Aviv. . . . By day’s end, they had murdered 38 innocent men, women and children.
The first person Mughrabi and her gang of terrorists encountered was Gale Rubin, an American photojournalist taking photos of birds near the beach. They killed her and continued on their deadly path.
They then hijacked a bus full of happy families returning from a Saturday excursion. On their way to Tel Aviv, the terrorists shot at passing cars and killed more innocent people.
The terrorists tied all the men’s hands to the bus seats. When Israeli security forces stopped the bus, the terrorists ran out while throwing hand grenades into the bus, setting it on fire. The men inside were burned alive.
Question: How can you make peace with people who celebrate those who kill you? How? I am very patient with the Israelis: They are in a difficult position, to put it as mildly as possible.
I think of the Sbarro attack in 2001. Do you remember that one? A terrorist blew up a Sbarro’s restaurant in Jerusalem, killing 15. Okay, you say: Every society has its extremists, its murderers. But what do you do with this? At An-Najah University in Nablus, they created an exhibition celebrating this massacre. It was a diorama of sorts -- a mock-up -- showing the restaurant. The walls were drenched in blood, and body parts were strewn all over, along with pizza slices. Palestinian students -- the best and brightest in that society -- filed by reverently. It was like a religious rite.
How do you make peace with such people? Maybe you do. But can you grant it is hard?
And why are they doing it? Because how can you try and speak reasonably to a society that celebrates mass murder? You're left with no other option but to go to the other side and ask them to abdicate because the ones who should be acquiescing simply won't. Instead they do things like name a parks after Timothy McVeigh and build dioramas of the Columbine school massacre. When you put it in those terms it sounds absolutely insane, doesn't it?