Jewish World Review July 1, 2002 / 21 Tamuz, 5762

Linda Chavez

Linda Chavez
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Consumer Reports

The children equation in the peace formula | President Bush's plan for a provisional Palestinian state will not bring peace to the Middle East. Peace will come only when Palestinians love their children more than they hate Jews.

The formulation isn't mine. It was the late Golda Meir's and my son Rudy overheard it last week while part of the Volunteers for Israel program, which sends American Jews and Christians to volunteer on Israeli army bases.

There is a certain wisdom in the words.

According to a recent survey conducted by a Palestinian polling firm, a majority of Palestinians say their goal is to eliminate Israel, while only 43 percent support a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza. In addition, according to most polls, between 60 percent and more than 70 percent of Palestinians support suicide bombings. Shocking as those statistics are, they don't begin to describe the seething hatred that prompts parents to cheer their own children on to their deaths, so long as they murder Israelis in the process.

There is something horrifically unnatural in this: mothers who rejoice in the blood of their own children if they are willing to slaughter Israeli civilians before they die.

CNN decided this week to stop broadcasting interviews with the families of suicide bombers after criticism that it has given more attention to the murderers than to those they killed. The network has been accused of blatant anti-Israel bias, especially in its CNN International broadcasts that air overseas, but I'm not so sure this decision is the right one. Maybe what we need is to hear more -- not less -- of the perverse venom that infects so many Palestinians.

Let me be clear. The desire for self-determination is natural. That the Palestinians want their own nation is perfectly understandable. But, over the last 50 years, the Palestinians have had several opportunities to secure their own nation, but their leaders have squandered each one. Most recently, just two years ago, President Clinton tried to broker a plan that would have given the Palestinians virtually everything they asked for, including almost all of the land won by Israel in the 1967 war and shared control of Jerusalem, in return for a promise to allow Israel to exist in peace.

Instead of pursuing a negotiated settlement and abiding by past agreements, Palestinian radicals have chosen to use the bodies of young men -- and lately, young women, too -- as weapons to kill Jewish mothers, infants and grandmothers.

But instead of recoiling at the thought of their own children's bodies being ripped apart so that they could kill other mothers' babies, the mothers of suicide murderers have reveled in the carnage.

Umm Nidal, the mother of 19-year-old Palestinian gunman Muhammad Farhat, who killed five Jewish schoolchildren in March, recently told an Arabic-language newspaper in London what it felt like to lose her son:

"I prayed from the depths of my heart that Allah would cause the success of his operation. I asked Allah to give me 10 (Israelis) for Muhammad, and Allah granted my request, and Muhammad made his dream come true, killing 10 Israeli settlers and soldiers," she boasts in the interview, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, which is one of the few sources in the world of accurate information on the vitriolic Arabic-language press.

"I began to cry, 'Allah is the greatest,'" this mother said when she learned of her son's death. "I began to utter cries of joy, and we declared that we were happy. The young people began to fire into the air out of joy over the success of the operation, as this is what we had hoped for him."

The thought of four Jewish schoolchildren shot dead at their desks, while a fifth burned to death in his dorm room gave so much pleasure to this Palestinian mother that she wept for joy, even in the face of the loss of her own flesh and blood. She gladly sacrificed her son to accomplish this butchery.

A "provisional state" won't stop this madness. In the last two years, 71 Palestinians have killed themselves while slaughtering more than 250 Israelis. The killing will not end until Palestinians learn to put the love of their own sons and daughters above their hatred of Israel.

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