1. A wave of terror attacks
2. "Would it have mattered if Nazi brown shirts also ran food kitchens?"
3. "Annihilate Hamas" (Editorial, Jerusalem Post, August 5, 2002)
[Note by Tom Gross]
Yesterday a wave of terror attacks in Israel left 13 people dead (11 Israelis and 2 Phillipinos).
Nine people were killed and over 60 wounded, some severely, in a suicide bomb attack aboard a crowded bus near Safed.
In Jerusalem, two Israelis were killed by a Palestinian gunman who opened fire on a Bezeq (telephone company repair) truck near the Old City.
In the evening, Palestinian gunmen opened fire on a private car, killing a mother and father and injuring their children – one 3 years old, one six months old.
In the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle and eight grenades was killed as he attempted to kill Jews.
In Nablus, three soldiers were wounded when a bomb exploded.
One Israeli was seriously wounded and three others were lightly wounded near Avnei Hefetz, when Palestinian terrorists fired on a car whose family occupants had just given a ride to a hitchhiker.
On the "Wallerstein Road" a roadside bomb was detonated alongside two passing jeeps wounding four Israelis, one seriously.
Hamas, in a statement issued on Hizbullah's Manar television station in Lebanon, claimed responsibility for the bus attack, and large crowds took to the streets of Gaza and the West Bank in celebration.
“WOULD IT HAVE MATTERED IF NAZI BROWN SHIRTS ALSO RAN FOOD KITCHENS?”
Today's "Jerusalem Post" carries an editorial titled "Annihilate Hamas," which I attach below. The paper says that "Hamas has launched a genocidal campaign against the Jewish people, and that Hamas's leaders are not only openly spouting the modern day equivalent of Mein Kampf and the Final Solution, they are carrying it out on a daily basis. They are murdering Jews as Jews, with the goal of annihilating the Jewish state."
Given its genocidal intentions and actions, distinguishing between the "political," "spiritual," and "military" leaders of Hamas is ludicrous and offensive, says the paper. "Would it have mattered if Nazi brown shirts also ran food kitchens? How does calling Yassin a "spiritual" leader show respect for religion in general and Islam in particular?"
-- Tom Gross
“MURDERING JEWS AS JEWS, WITH THE GOAL OF ANNIHILATING THE JEWISH STATE”
The Jerusalem Post
August 5, 2002
Israel has a habit of complaining that the world does not treat the terrorists who attack us as terrorists. The truth is that Israel does not always do so either. While the leaders of al-Qaida are wanted men, the leaders of Hamas live out in the open, available to be interviewed by one and all.
In one of many interviews from his comfortable home in Gaza City, Hamas "spiritual" leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was asked by the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera why Hamas targets civilians, such as university students, he explained, "They are considered by us to be enemy soldiers." Asked whether bombing at Hebrew University was in response to Israel's killing of its top terrorist mastermind, Salah Shehadeh, Yassin responded, "We don't operate that way. These are not acts of retribution. We do not struggle out of revenge, but rather to liberate our land." Finally, when asked whether Hamas would be satisfied with an Israeli withdrawal to its pre-June 1967 borders, Yassin stated, "Israel was born in violence and it will die in violence. The Jews have no right to the land of Palestine."
Behind the rhetoric of revolution and justice, there is a word for Hamas's stated goal: genocide. As our columnist Caroline Glick pointed out on Friday, Hamas's leaders are not only openly spouting the modern day equivalent of Mein Kampf and the Final Solution, they are carrying it out on a daily basis. They are murdering Jews as Jews, with the goal of annihilating the Jewish state.
Given its genocidal intentions and actions, distinguishing between the "political," "spiritual," and "military" leaders of Hamas is ludicrous and offensive. Would it have mattered if Nazi brown shirts also ran food kitchens? How does calling Yassin a "spiritual" leader show respect for religion in general and Islam in particular?
Earlier this year, Great Britain went farther than the European Union in that it outlawed 21 terrorist groups but even Britain was careful to ban only Hamas's "military" wing. Again, this distinction tends to drive Israelis batty, but it is a distinction that Israel has, at least until now, clearly followed.
Salah Shehadeh's replacement, Muhammad Deif, reportedly lives in hiding with the knowledge that Israel could attempt to eliminate him at any moment. Yassin, and a small steering committee of Hamas leaders, live in their homes surrounded by their families, advisers, and supporters.
On June 25, The New York Times reported on one such a group of "150 young men who gathered outside Sheikh Yassin's house to protect him."
Said, a 20-year-old member of this crowd, explained why they were there: "We want jihad." These terrorists, in other words, are surrounded by ready-made crowds of "civilians" who knowingly risk their lives as part of their fevered support for jihad read genocide against Israel.
Israel should obviously attempt to kill or capture these men as surgically as possible, without unduly risking the lives of our soldiers. But we should not be deterred by their deliberate use of civilians as human shields, contrary to the laws of war and the practice of any besieged democracy.
Some argue that it is a mistake to target "political" leaders, because it would open Israel to attacks against our political leadership. But Israel has already had one minister assassinated, and there is no reason to believe that our leaders are not already targets. More fundamentally, it is wrong for Israel to recognize any parallel between its elected leadership and terrorist chieftains.
Finally, there is the argument that "political leaders" are easily replaced. Perhaps. But anyone who not only calls for, but plays an active, decision-making, role in a genocidal campaign against the Jewish people should fear for their lives. The harsh truth is that, while Israel leads the roster of victims in the global war against terrorism, in fighting back we lag behind.