Think about this. Suppose in Gaza or the West Bank there was an extremist Islamic school operating openly in a Mosque. A school where they taught their pupils (many of them armed members of paramilitary groups) that only the lives of Muslims were valuable, and that non-Muslims were less than human. Where it was gospel that the entire holy land belongs to Muslims and that any means, including violence, is acceptable to acheive this end. A school whose heroes had murdered Jews while they worshipped.
Then think about this. How would people react if an Israeli sneaked into this school and opened fire with an M-16, killing a number of “students?” How would this event be be portrayed in the western media? Would anyone in Israel, or elsewhere, celebrate this attack and view the attacker as a hero? Just curious. I’m pretty sure there would be many who would view such an attack as perfectly justified. Even I would have to wonder if the school’s teachings and students qualified it as a military academy, not a civilian target.
I’ve changed the sides around, but this is what just happened in Israel, the MercazHarav yeshiva attack in Jerusalem. It is being touted as the worst terrorist attack inside Israel in 3 years. While I don’t approve of this sort of thing, the fact of the matter is that the people attacked were not exactly innocent peaceful religious students. Many of the students were armed members of paramilitary groups who actively harras and attack Palestinians in the occupied territories. These are the extreme wing of the Israeli settler’s movement, people who want the Muslims out of all of Palestine and actively work to make it so through fair means and foul. Heck, the Israeli who assassinated Rabin, Israel’s leader, studied at this school. Hardly a peaceful religious children’s seminary as so many western news reports implied.
The western media treated it with great outrage and umbrage of course, and there is little doubt that Israel will retaliate in some way. In fact an international propaganda campaign using bloody pictures from the scene has already been announced. And we don’t even know who ordered the attack! Some reports are saying the attacker was a Hezbollah man, though Hamas supporters no doubt celebrated news of the attack. And both have denied involvement. It was only one attacker so almost anything is possible. One attacker…yet this will be touted far and wide as “proof” that Muslims are child-killers and the Palestinians don’t want peace. And it’s an interesting coincidence that this attack happened just as Israel was getting criticism for the number of innocents they had killed in Gaza recently. Especially since an Israeli politician had just called for a “holocaust” in the occupied territories.
Summing it up, this attack is just more tit-for-tat violence, both sides thinking they are the victims. And of course both sides are the victims, since militants and hard liners on both sides will have their hand strengthened by this attack. Innocents die because old men give young men orders that they knew will result in the deaths of innocents. Such is the way of the world, and the sheep on both sides continue to believe God is on their side, when they need to be wondering if they are on God’s side.
Nothing has changed since 1967 when Israel chose to seize Gaza and the West bank by force. Well, other than Israel has grown larger and stronger since then, as it effectively annexed large parts of the occupied territories and forced the Palestinians into isolated enclaves. And of course some Palestinians will always chose to respond with violence, as would many people forced to live in stateless limbo for decades. It didn’t have to be this way, but bad decisions made all around have led us into the maze of death. If Rabin hadn’t been gunned down by one of his own, just for starters, things would be different today.
Nothing in history is immutable, it all happens because of decisions people made. And most stories have two sides, in this case the nature of the target makes the attack far more understandable. Even Hitler didn’t pop into existence out of in air, he was a product of his times…and the terrible decisions European leaders made before, during, and after the First World War. And if there was ever a good example of people paying a price in blood today for bad decisions made decades ago, Palestine is it.
Oh well, maybe I’ll write some about the history of Palestine. While I don’t have all the answers, Palestine is possibly the premier example in the world of a place where propaganda has replaced history, and repeating nonsense and propaganda has taken the place of debate and discussion. Wunderbar. God rest the souls of every innocent who has died in this troubled land.
Have a great week everyone.
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit. Credit: © Copyright 1998-2004 Keys To Safer Schools.com It’s a school bus burning in Texas and has nothing to do with the topic on hand except to me that it seemed like a perfect image to represent our times, an age where knowledge and reason is under attack, if not the actual schools themselves.)