Thursday, March 20, 2008


Hate That Dares Not Speak Its Name (INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY)
The Mideast: When a poll reveals all but a fraction of Palestinians support the murder of eight innocent Jewish seminarians, it shows a people wedded to evil. It's a short trip from this hate to the kind Hitler espoused.

The West Bank-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, a professional and independent polling agency that surveys Palestinians four times a year, has found that no less than 84% of 1,270 Palestinians questioned by the center in personal interviews said they supported the March 6 shooting inside Jerusalem's Mercaz Harav yeshiva.

The slaughter was carried out by East Jerusalem resident Alaa Abu Dheim, who was himself eventually killed during his attack. All but one of the eight he killed were teens, two of them only 15 years old. Another 11 were wounded.

Pollster Khalil Shikaki was understandably shocked at the results, which also found 75% support for scrapping Israeli-Palestinian talks and 64% support for the Hamas terrorist group's thousands of recent rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip on Israeli towns.

Asked for their preferences for president of the Palestinian Authority, 47% chose Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas while 46% chose their current "moderate" president, Mahmoud Abbas.

But the chilling significance of the poll numbers goes beyond media commentaries about them reflecting "increased tensions." Imagine if more than 80% of some sector of the American public supported an Oklahoma City-like terrorist attack carried out on our soil. It would be viewed as a breakdown of civilization.

And consider the fact that such a large proportion of Palestinians approve of slaughtering of victims who not only were civilians and religious students, but minors. A true slaughtering of the innocents.

The message we get from this is very clear: The vast majority of Palestinians advocate such acts of terrorism against young innocents because the victims were Jews.

Their version of the Final Solution may not entail gas chambers and concentration camps, as Germany's National Socialists did in the last century. But it does apparently include murdering, at random, Jews because they are Jews. Not to say that there was not a clear political purpose behind the choice of target. The Mercaz Harav yeshiva is considered the flagship of the religious Zionist movement, the roots of which date back to a century and a half ago.

Religious Zionism holds that Jews have an inalienable and permanent right to the land of Israel because God bestowed the Holy Land upon the ancient Israelites. The resettling of Israel by Jews and the establishment of a Jewish homeland there, according to its rabbinical supporters, can hasten the coming of the messiah.

Founded in 1924, the yeshiva's alumni include leading Israeli armed forces officers and prominent rabbis. One of them, Rabbi David Stav, said the attack struck the heart of religious Zionism.

"The terrorist targeted a place that symbolizes love for the land of Israel, love for the people of Israel and love for the Torah," he told the Jerusalem Post.

"No Jewish soul can remain indifferent to the horrible thought that a despicable terrorist attacked a group of young men who were busy studying the holy Torah," added Stav, who has taken part in inter-religious activities with Muslim clerics. "Followers of Islam claim they respect the people of the book. But this horrific act proves the emptiness of their claims."

It's one thing for a tribe or nationality to oppose its neighbors, even by war. Arabs can fight the Israeli military, oppose its settlement policies, and even question the very existence of the state of Israel as artificial. But what we're seeing here sinks far beneath that.

What's at issue here is the difference between ordered liberty and barbarism, between humanity and savagery.

The Shikaki poll shows that nearly an entire people support the murder of innocent kids because they're religious Jews. The civilized nations once fought a world war to prevent the global dominance of that kind of hate.

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