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Jewish World Review April 5, 2004 / 14 Nissan, 5764

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager
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Why no Christian suicide bombers? — and other thoughts on Islamic terror | Golly gee, Muslim terrorists tried to attack Madrid again. How can that be? Wasn't Muslim terror in Spain supposed to end once Spain appeased the terrorists by voting in the socialists?

Only those who do not understand Muslim terror could fool themselves into believing that.

So, to better understand the subject, I offer three conclusions I drew about terror during my week of broadcasting from Israel last month.

First, Islamic terror is caused by Muslims, not, as Islamic and leftist apologists would have it, by the non-Muslims against whom it is directed. In our morally confused world, Spain, Israel and America are blamed for having their men, women and children blown up: What did these countries do to arouse such enmity among otherwise tolerant Arabs and Muslims?

Palestinian terror provides the answer. About 25 percent of Palestinians are Christian, yet if there are any Palestinian Christian suicide bombers, I am unaware of them. Now why is that? Don't Muslim and leftist apologists incessantly tell us that the reason for Palestinian terror is "Israeli occupation and oppression"? Why, then, are there no Palestinian Christian terrorists? Are Christian Palestinians less occupied?

The answer is obvious. There is Palestinian terror for the same reasons there is Muslim terror elsewhere. A significant part of the Muslim world wishes to destroy those non-Muslims -- Americans, Israelis, Filipinos, Nigerians, Sudanese blacks -- who prevent Islam from violently attaining power.

Palestinian Muslim terror emanates from a desire to destroy Israel, not to end Israel's occupation of the West Bank. Other Muslim terror is aimed at weakening the West, America in particular, so that militant theocratic Islam can dominate Muslim-majority societies and then take over other societies, as it is slowly doing in Western Europe.

Second, despite the Spanish cave-in to terror, in the long run, terror doesn't work. By any rational calculation, to take the Palestinian example, it has become the most self-destructive policy Palestinians could pursue. Palestinian terror has convinced almost all Israelis outside of academia that the moral gulf between them and the Palestinians is so wide that there is presently no hope for peace.

Nor has Palestinian terror terrorized Israelis. In what will surely be recorded as among the most impressive behaviors of a national group, Israelis have decided to live as normally as possible among people who aim to murder and maim as many of them as possible. In fact, I learned, many Israelis are now concerned that they have done this too well, that there is not enough mourning and rage after each atrocity.

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Palestinian terror is self-destructive because it has morally, economically, religiously and politically destroyed Palestinian society and led to its present state of chaos. The mayor of Nablus resigned two months ago, declaring that gangs of thugs now govern Palestinian society. Any society that encourages terror ends up consumed by it. Ask the Saudis.

Third, there is a terrible long-term price that Muslims, Arabs and Palestinians in particular are paying for the minority that engages in terror and for the majority that says nothing about it or supports it.

They may wish to reflect on the fact that with every act of terror they engage in, their people and religion are increasingly identified with cruelty. Can anyone anywhere name any Palestinian contribution to humanity other than innovative forms of terror and cruelty? On my radio show, the spokesman of Zaka, the Israeli rescue squad that attends to terror victims, told me that at various times Palestinian terrorists have laced the screws attached to their bombs with rat poison, and that at least one of the Palestinian terrorists was injected with the AIDS virus in the hope that his blood would transmit AIDS to wounded Israelis.

Just as the German nation, fairly or not, has had to grapple with the moral legacy of Nazism, and the name of Christianity still suffers (unfairly) because of medieval persecutions of non-Christians, so, too, Islam, Arabs and Palestinians will have to struggle for generations to shed their identification with murdering innocents.

While it is Americans, Israelis and other targets of terror who most suffer individually from Palestinian and other Muslim terror, those with the most to lose are Palestinians, Arabs and Islam.

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JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. He the author of, most recently, "Happiness is a Serious Problem". Click here to comment on this column.


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© 2002, Creators Syndicate