The Unique Cowardice of Palestinian Terrorism

Professor Louis Rene Beres from Purdue University writes a powerful essay on the unique cowardice of Palestinian terrorism:

As of November 20, 2002, there had been a total of 15,298 Palestinian terror attacks against Israel since the start of the "intifada" in September 2000. The number increased by one a day later, on November 21, when a Palestinian bomber blew up a bus filled with elderly women and young children in Jerusalem. Not surprisingly, the world has likely taken more angry notice of Israel's defensive actions to prevent further terror than of the grotesque cowardice of Palestinian terrorism. Murdered Jews, after all, are an old story.

Israelis have endured nearly one terror attack every hour of every day for twenty-five consecutive months. These attacks have had nothing to do with self-determination or freedom-fighting. Rather, they have targeted, almost exclusively, the most vulnerable and defenseless civilians. And while Palestinian propaganda, funded heavily from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, always seeks to suggest equivalence between Arab terror and Israeli counterterror, there is a longstanding and meaningful difference between premeditated murder and unintentional casualties of essential self-defense against murder.

Nonetheless, the world chooses not to notice. At best, public opinion refuses to blame the Palestinians or supporters of Arab/Islamic terror in other countries. At worst, public opinion openly supports such terror as "national liberation."

I copy the full article below.





The Unique Cowardice of Palestinian Terrorism
Louis Rene Beres , Ph.D. Professor, Department of Political Science
Purdue University, 23 November 2002
http://www.tzemach.org/fyi/
docs/beres/november23-02.htm

As of November 20, 2002, there had been a total of 15,298 Palestinian terror attacks against Israel since the start of the "intifada" in September 2000. The number increased by one a day later, on November 21, when a Palestinian bomber blew up a bus filled with elderly women and young children in Jerusalem. Not surprisingly, the world has likely taken more angry notice of Israel's defensive actions to prevent further terror than of the grotesque cowardice of Palestinian terrorism. Murdered Jews, after all, are an old story.
Israelis have endured nearly one terror attack every hour of every day for twenty-five consecutive months. These attacks have had nothing to do with self-determination or freedom-fighting. Rather, they have targeted, almost exclusively, the most vulnerable and defenseless civilians. And while Palestinian propaganda, funded heavily from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, always seeks to suggest equivalence between Arab terror and Israeli counterterror, there is a longstanding and meaningful difference between premeditated murder and unintentional casualties of essential self-defense against murder.

Nonetheless, the world chooses not to notice. At best, public opinion refuses to blame the Palestinians or supporters of Arab/Islamic terror in other countries. At worst, public opinion openly supports such terror as "national liberation."

Universities, at best, are unmindful. The scholars are busy with more weighty matters, especially those that do not pertain to real life in any way. In academe the truly fashionable concern is now for "diversity," "strategic planning" and "multiculturism." Understandably, there is no time for Jewish agony, anguish and suffering.

Who is to blame for cowardly forms of terror? If the Palestinians are to be blamed at all, we hear from almost all educated quarters, responsibility belongs only to Hamas, or to Islamic Jihad, or perhaps to Nobel laureate Arafat's Fatah. But surely it does not belong to the broader Palestinian community. Surely only the Arab "extremists" are blameworthy.

Yet, as we learn from all reliable survey research, an enormously disproportionate share of Palestinians fully supports the bus bombings, the burnings, the lynchings, and the shootings of Jewish noncombatants. Enjoying the now open support of Al Qaeda - support which is often accepted gratefully and without embarrassment - Palestinians in Israel as well as in Judea, Samaria and Gaza revel proudly in shedding the blood of Jewish children. And why not? Most of the "civilized world" argues that they may wage their particular armed struggle "by any means necessary." And the killing of Jews always buys them and their families a secure place in Paradise.

What could be easier to understand? Of course they could earn such a piece of immortality just as confidently by targeting Israeli military personnel, but they avoid such an option wherever possible. That course, after all, would require courage.

The cowardice of the Palestinian terrorist is unparalleled in the history of insurgent warfare. Although there is no shortage of examples of revolutionary fighters who disregard humanitarian boundaries in battle, the record of fighters who purposely and consistently seek utterly innocent and defenseless targets is actually very small. Several weeks ago, when a Palestinian terrorist machine gunned two Jewish infants still sucking on pacifiers (after stabbing the mother), the image of the murdered children was a source of feverish exaltation throughout the Palestinian communities in Jenin, Ramallah and Gaza. When, a year earlier, a newborn Jewish child was shot deliberately by a sniper, Palestinian celebrants hailed the murder as "yet another military victory against the Zionist occupation." When, several years ago, two Russian-Jewish Israelis who had not yet learned to speak Hebrew took a wrong turn into Ramallah, they were torn apart - literally - by howling mobs of frenzied Palestinians. When, after blinding and disemboweling the two Israelis, several young men in a Palestinian "police station" held up the still-dripping eyes and internal organs for all to see, THOUSANDS of ordinary Palestinians began to dance and chant wildly. And when, so very recently, a terrorist from Bethlehem entered the Jerusalem bus on November 21, he waited, patiently, until it was fully loaded with schoolchildren. Only then, only then - did he turn his wretchedly defiled body into a bomb.

What kind of people are these? What boundless levels of cowardice are they willing to undertake and sustain? What manner of fear can occasion such an utter lack of human regard for life? What vision of "Jihad" can transform schools, nurseries and buses into exploding altars of human sacrifice? Are there no limits, no limits at all, to Palestinian terrorism?

I don't know the complete answers to these questions. I do know, however, that it is not despair. There are many, many other peoples on this planet whose conditions of daily life are much, much worse - indescribably worse - and these people never resort to pure barbarism. I know, also, that Palestinian schools and mosques systematically demonize "The Jew" and emphasize his or her alleged subhumanity. It is far easier to kill "the sons of pigs and monkeys" than it is to kill a fellow human being.

But this still does not explain the incomparable cowardice of the Palestinian terrorist. I suspect the truest answer has something to do with this murderer's overwhelming fears of death. Let us not forget that the suicide/homicide bomber does not really feel he is giving up his own life in his terrible deed. Rather, he murders Jews to ensure his absolute freedom from death - and also, according to the latest authoritative rulings of Arab clerics, the immortality of his closest relatives - by "dying" for the sake of Allah. "Do not consider those who are slain in the cause of Allah as dead," says the Koran. "They are living by their Lord."

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Louis Rene Beres (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971), Professor, Department of Political Science, Purdue University, lectures and publishes widely on Israeli strategic matters. His work is well-known to Israel's military and academic communities. He is also the academic adviser at the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies, a Houston-based research facility and political action group.

Posted by David Melle
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Comments

Yes, this is all well and good. Preaching to the converted wont do anything. Some people realise this, however, the intelligensia and MEDIA in Australia, Asia and I suspect, elsewhere, side with "the underdog"-The Palestinian cause. They see terrorism as a heroic backlash against the "Zionist Occupied Government". The media love to portray the Iraelis as the bad guys, in fact most people I know call Israel- Palestine, not out of political defiance, because that's what they think the country is called!!! I am Australian and also lived in Japan for a while, and despite most people never having met a Jew in their life, they seem to have many strange old theories regarding their apparent lack of probity. Arab propaganda works! There are Japanese who believe the jews orchestrated september 11!
So regarding the Palestinians-
I say kill the fucking lot. If they acted up like that in China or Syria, they'd all be dead within 24 hours. If people/refugees did that in Australia, the authorities would beat the crap out of them and put them on a boat for elsewhere. The fact that Palestinians have been allowed to wage a propaganda and misinformation war, and a terrorist war, demonstrates how imprudent the Israelis really are. Writing and debating in the end does nothing. Very few governments would be so stupid/generous. Imagine if the Indiginous American Indians walked into New York restaurants with nail bombs.... What do you think the outcome would be??
I hope there is a war. Because if Israel is bombed from elsewhere and there is a terrorist attack from the PLO, the Israelis will have in the eyes of the world a legitimate window of opportunity to eliminate the problem once and for all. Because this problem will never go away through diplomacy- one side has to win and one has to lose, completely. The Palestinians have set this as the rule. I want everyone to be happy, but it will never happen, so many people have to die and it might as well be the Palestinians, because they DONT want everyone to be happy. Every Arab I have debated this issue with argues that they have the right to use any means necessary to "fight back." Which means they will murder innocent Jews until Jerusalem and the whole country is theirs. I used to feel compassion for the palestinians because their lot is hard, but there is only so much pity and compassion you can have for poison.
Losers should be forced to accept their position or they must be wiped out. It is why Israel is breaking an important code of historical conduct. Why are they failing in their obligations to politics and historical precedent? History is written by the victors, and it is imprudent to let your enemies piss on you, especially when they are weaker. Israel is in the heart of the Arab world and are terified of creating a war, but in reality they are always at war. Israel should take the initiative and bring this situation to its natural conclusion, whatever the outcome, because the present situation is ridiculous.

Posted by: Tal (no surname) at January 24, 2003 02:42 PM


Hey Tal, its people like you that need to be wiped out.

Posted by: jadore at March 22, 2003 04:17 PM


Most people ignored the truth - that so called "palestine" never was an arab islamic country, gaza, west bank are actually arab occupied Jewish land, where were those "palestinians" during 1948 to 1967 when east Jerusalem, west bank and gaza were under egyptian and jordanian occupation? And when you talk about "palestinian" - well their "head of state" "arafat" is an egyptian, "arafat" is not even his real name; "yassin" was a syrian; most of their supporters are indeed jordanians, they are mercenaries - UN, EU, egypt, syria, saudi arabia etc etc hired them, trained them, armed them and sent them to kill Jews, that's why the UN never held an emergency meeting when Israelis suffer waves after waves of terror attacks but they held such meeting for "yassin" the hamas leader and they CONDEMNED Israel for self defense! In my opinion, the mosque on Temple Mount is nothing other than a symbol of conquer and oppression, just like those arabs left in black Africa. I talked with a Moslem the other day, he said Jerusalem and the history of palestine as an arab islamic state were in the Koran, but in fact he never read Koran, other Moslems, people around him told him then he believed. UBL said he attacked because Israel "invaded" lebanon in 1982 but does anyone care how many Christian arabs were murdered by "arafat" and co? And why "arafat" was in lebanon in the first place?
Are Jewish lives worthless? Have "freedom fighters" busy killing Jews so you can be safe? But what about after Jews? Who will be next? Terrorists are one, doesn't matter where they are, what languege they speak and who they are killing, they are the same. What's the difference between "arafat", UBL and basher? They are telling the same lies, they are doing the same things. Two long term major supporters of islamic terror, china and russia are both suffering from the same terrorists they vote for at the UN. OK now let's guess who's next? I say france. today is Nov 1 2004, within 2 years france will be attacked.

Posted by: Tal is right at November 1, 2004 09:58 AM


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