After each homicide outrage against Israel, the following question hurriedly and desperately makes the rounds throughout the media, Israel and the world: Who is responsible?
Was it Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Hamas?
Here¹s my question: Who cares?! Lean closer and let me whisper a secret: They are all the same people!
A murderer is a murderer is a murderer. Does anybody care which faction Jack the Ripper or the Boston Strangler or Son of Sam belonged to?
Does it matter that Arafat’s first name is sometimes spelled Yasser, sometimes Yasir, and sometimes even Yassir?
No matter how you spell it, Arafat is still a thug, a mass murderer, the father of modern terrorism.
Do we really need to search the phone book from A to Z to find and efface this pestilence that regularly visits Israel? Shouldn’t it be enough to Dial M For Murder?
What’s in a name? Nothing! Not in this case. Is it Mahmoud Abbas? Or is it Abu Mazen? Who gives a damn…except that he’s a Holocaust denier and prime-time terrorist.
Oh, I’m wrong. There’s plenty to a name. Let’s see if I’ve got this straight. Abu Mazen is Prime Minister. Yasser Arafat is President. The Palestinian Arabs have a Parliament.
How is it possible for one country to have two prime ministers, two presidents, two parliaments?
Only for Israel.
Who did this? Who allowed this to happen? Did it start with Rabin’s handshake on the White House Lawn? I think so. He shook the hand of Yasir, Yasser and Yassir.
I think that’s where Israel began to systematically and voluntarily make itself into a tenant in its own home. That’s where Israel gave up its sovereignty.
No wonder the nations scoff and don’t take Israel seriously. No wonder a shallow showboat prankster like Geraldo Rivera can say: “The Jews need me.”
In tempo with this song of disrespect, Bush offers routine greeting-card condolences to the victims, but quickly reminds Prime Minister Sharon that Abu Mazen, Israel’s “other” prime minister, needs a hug.
Not that Israel is singularly responsible for such derision. Balaam himself prophesied that Israel will “dwell alone and not be reckoned among the nations.” So it’s no surprise that when the New York Times (yes, nothing’s changed) and other newspapers, and television networks, list terrorists and their victims, Israel is not mentioned.
This can only mean one thing. Israel is not reckoned. Jewish deaths don’t count.
No wonder Reuters — immediately after the latest have yet to be buried — explains to its worldwide readership that murdering Jews is not right, but it’s not wrong, either. Root Cause, don’t you know, or as The Philadelphia Inquirer ran the story: “Bombers’ Appeal Driven by Despair.”
You have to wonder what despair appealed to the terrorists of 9/11, and more recently in Saudi Arabia, and Morocco, and the Philippines. Can Israel be blamed for this? Why not?
Some people climb a mountain because it’s there. Most people blame Israel “because it’s there.”
Would I be changing the subject if I mention an email I got the other day? This came from a non-fan responding to my column “Bush’s Road Map To Bitburg,” in which I warned of terrible consequences if Bush persists down that treacherous Road. My emailer writes: “Your analysis is overwrought and dangerous to the extent that people take it seriously.”
I answered that a stronger voice than mine was even more “overwrought and dangerous.” That was Zeev Jabotinsky. A generation ago he warned: “Vacate Europe before Europe vacates you.”
Too many people thought him dangerous to the extent that they did not take him seriously. We know the rest.
Actually I didn’t change the subject, which is that Israel better wise up and respond forcefully to the fact that, call him Yasser or Yasir, Mahmoud or Abu, call it Hamas or Islamic Jihad — a murderer by any other name is still a murderer.
Jack Engelhard is completing his latest novel, “The Uriah Deadline,” a life and death moral dilemma involving a New York City newspaper and its reporters’ manipulation of Mideast news.
Jack is the author of the international bestseller “Indecent Proposal” (ComteQ Publishing) and his columns can be read online at http://www.comteqcom.com/jackcolumn.php.
He can be reached at [email protected]