Saturday, December 26, 2009

If life were good, most people wouldn't want to be a part of the jihad.

On Christmas Eve, the murder of a Jew in the West Bank by three Arab terrorists garnered almost no press. This Reuters' story was the only one I saw covering it:
Islamic Jihad and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an offshoot of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement, said their operatives had killed an Israeli settler in the West Bank.

The Israeli military said Meir Avshalom Hai, a 40-year-old father of seven, died when his car came under fire in the occupied West Bank on Thursday night, either from a passing car or a roadside ambush, near the city of Nablus.

Imagine how much attention our media would pay to the unprovoked murder of a father of seven by three armed terrorists if the victim had been an American in say, Vermont. But a Jew killed in Nablus by vicious Arabs goes without mention. The lack of concern is almost a sanction for this sort of cowardice.

I knew instinctively that this killing at this time was particularly bad news, because the so-called president of the Palestinians, the ever timid Mahmoud Abbas, pretends he is impotent. He acts as if his power is in his name alone. He should, of course, respond to a murder like this by striking at the terrorist groups, one of which is tied to his political party.

But what he should do and what he would do are two different things. One of his lackeys probably told Abbas he would be murdered by those terrorists if he went after them. So to preserve his own life, he acted as if nothing happened.
Colonel Avi Gil, an Israeli commander in the area said the military has been removing checkpoints from West Bank roads to ease travel restrictions on Palestinians but it would consider placing new ones if it would prevent future attacks.

I imagine one reason the terrorists carried out this murder was because life was getting better -- without the road blocks -- for ordinary Arabs. The blood-thirsty fanatics want life to be Hell for their fellows. If life were good, the people wouldn't want to be a part of their jihad. They would want to make peace.

Seeing that Abbas would not move, I expected Israel to bring justice to the killers of one of its innocent citizens. Today they did. This story is getting one hundred times as much attention as the murder of Mr. Hai:
Israeli troops blasted their way into the homes of three wanted Palestinians on Saturday, killing each in a hail of bullets and straining an uneasy security arrangement with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Notice the slant in that opening sentence? It was, according to this AP story, Israel's response to the murder of its citizen which has strained relations with Abbas. It was not Abbas's non-response to the terrorist act under his nose causing that strain.
The violent Nablus raids, after months of relative quiet, embarrassed Western-backed Abbas, whose security forces have been coordinating some of their moves with their Israeli counterparts and share a common foe, Hamas.

Again, no mention that it was Abbas's decision to sit on his hands which compelled Israel to respond in his place.
The target of Saturday's predawn raids were three longtime members of Fatah's violent offshoot, the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. The army said the three — Anan Subeh, 36; Ghassan Abu Sharah, 40; and Raed Suragji, 40 — were involved in Thursday's deadly roadside shooting of an Israeli settler, and that Israeli forces entered Nablus to try to arrest them.

No one seems to doubt Israel got the right guys.

The AP story sympathetically portrays the widow of one of the terrorists:
She said her husband opened the bedroom door. "Suddenly, shots were fired at us," she said. "He fell down. I started shouting. I held his head in my lap and sat on the ground."

Yet the AP did not even bother to report on the murder of Mr. Hai, who was an innocent man, unlike this woman's dead husband. Further, the AP did not interview Mr. Hai's wife or his children or his neighbors.

One of the dead terrorists was working directly under President Abbas, after Israel granted him amnesty for his past crimes:
Subeh had recently been accepted in Israel's amnesty program for Fatah gunmen, according to Nablus' deputy governor, Anan Attireh. Subeh's family said he had also joined the Preventive Security Service, a branch of the Palestinian security forces.

The other two dead murderers had a history of attacking Jews:
Suragji was released from an Israeli prison in January, after a seven-year term for involvement in shooting attacks. Abu Sharah was also held by Israel in the past, the military said.

Israel is condemned the world over for having its roadblocks in the West Bank. Yet if they had those roadblocks in place, it's possible the murder of Mr. Hai could have been avoided. And now pressure will build in Israel to reconstitute them, harming the quality of life of all West Bankers:
In Israel, right-wing critics of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his policy of easing travel restrictions in the West Bank was to blame for the shooting attack. Lerner said Israel did not plan to set up new roadblocks.

I hope Israel does not succumb to its right-wing, here. I applaud them for responding to the terrorist attacks. However, it is not in Israel's interest to make life Hell for innocent Palestinians, and that is what the roadblocks help do.


EDIT: Haaretz is reporting today (Sunday) another attack against a Jew in the West Bank:
A young Israeli woman was moderately wounded on Sunday when Palestinian militants hurled a firebomb at the bus in which she was riding south of the West Bank city of Hebron. This was the second attack in less than a week against Israelis traveling on West Bank roads. The 18-year-old woman suffered second degree burns after the flaming bottle made contact with her bus on the main road leading to the isolated settlement of Nagahot, near South Mount Hebron.

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