Tuesday, April 02, 2002
The Organization of the Islamic Conference is meeting this week in Malaysia for a summit on terrorism. But delegates are still squabbling over definitions, and many are torturing several different languages in a bid to excuse the suicide bombers who attack "Zionist targets" -- such as, say, families at a Passover seder. Israel, which is waging a military campaign against terrorists, will likely be smeared as a "terrorist state."
The conference will no doubt be a farce -- the predictable fate of any and all such dialogues about terrorism. Thankfully, weak Canadian foreign policy won't be on embarrassing display yet again -- Canada doesn't officially attend OIC gatherings.
Why can't some Muslims agree that killing innocent non-Muslims is unacceptable?
Part of the problem lies with Muslim civilization itself. As Samuel P. Huntington writes in The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order: "Wherever one looks along the perimeter of Islam, Muslims have problems living peaceably with their neighbours ... The conflicts within Islam (have also been) more numerous than those in any other civilization, including tribal conflicts in Africa."
But even by the barbaric standards of the Arab Middle East, Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian terrorist organizations that operate freely under his writ have hit new lows. Eighteen months ago, Arafat nursed the conceit that he could package the current conflict as a popular uprising. He put schools on holiday and sent thousands of children to throw rocks at Israeli soldiers. To ensure those soldiers were armed with live ammo, he deployed snipers in the background. The result: a steady supply of blood for Al Jazeera.
Remember Muhammad al-Dura, the 12-year-old Palestinian boy who died in his father's arms? He has become the centrepiece of a Palestinian Authority propaganda campaign urging children to emulate the "beauty of the martyr." But an in-depth documentary prepared for German television may explain why there was no autopsy on him: he was likely killed by Palestinians, perhaps deliberately.
Meanwhile, Israel reports that Palestinians are using ambulances to shuttle terrorists. In one incident, soldiers stopped an ambulance containing three small children -- plus an explosive belt hidden near the gurney. The sanctity of the ambulance is a fundamental precept of the laws of war. Yet for Palestinian terrorists, the Red Crescent is just another façade to hide behind on the way to driving the Jews into the sea.
The argument that suicide bombers are organic products of Israeli "aggression" is revolting nonsense. The plan to smuggle 50 tons of weapons from Iran on board the Karine A, a Palestinian Authority-commanded ship captured by Israeli commandos last year, was organized in 2000 -- before the current incursions, and just after Israel offered Arafat his own country.
The weapons on the Karine A included enough explosives to bring down an office building. And in their recent sweeps through Palestinian areas, Israeli soldiers have found caches of other terrorist tools banned by the Oslo accord. They include sniper rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars in the possession of Palestinian Authority "policemen." Yet Arafat continues to live in a fantasy propaganda world in which he is still a great champion of peace. Over the weekend, he told Arab television Israel's invasion was "a response to all the peace attempts because they do not want peace. They do not want peace! ... These extremist elements murdered my partner Yitzhak Rabin. Why did they murder him? Because they do not want peace."
It is disgusting to hear Arafat mention Rabin, a man killed for his peaceful convictions, in the same breath as himself. Like his terrorist underlings, Arafat sees the lives of children -- Palestinian and Israeli both -- as fodder for the Arab ambition to ignite a regional war that will destroy Israel. He and his supporters must be isolated internationally, beaten down militarily and made to understand that Palestinians can never hope to have a country so long as they embrace the apocalyptic creed under which suicide bombers -- and Palestinians who cheer them on - explode themselves.
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The same editorial was published in Montreal, Saskatoon, Calgary and Victoria under the name listed below. Please circulate this to anyone you know in these cities.
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"Word games won't do" in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix
"Isolate Arafat and his terrorists" in the Times Colonist (Victoria)
"No compromise possible with terrorism's manifest evil" in the
"Arafat hits new lows" in The Montreal Gazette