How to stop the suicide bombings
I am very hurt by the death of innocent people caused by today's suicide
bombing in Haifa.
Of course one of the people who died is the suicide bomber. And I am very
hurt by her death
I do not want either to demonise or to glorify the girl who sacrificed her
life for her convictions.
Though I think she has hurt the Palestinian cause, I have to admit that
she possibly thought that,
in so doing, she was helping the Palestinian cause. And that is the
key to the whole situation. Possibly, it was also an act of revenge for
friends or relatives killed by the Israelis.
You are free to think she was motivated by her hatred for the Jews and not
by what the Jews
have done against her people or her friends and relatives. But you are also
free to think she was motivated by her love for the Palestinian people.
I think that the latter is closer to the truth. A parent would give his/her
life for the children he/she adores. A true friend for his friend.
Sometimes one risks one's life donating an organ to a stranger. It is
also an act of love.
It is so much more common in human nature to witness sacrifices motivated
by love than
by hatred. I do not deny that there was hatred in the heart of the suicide
bomber. But I
affirm that love of her people, the belief she was helping her people,
was the determining
factor. A resolve to avenge relatives or friends may have been an additional
factor. But even
if we think that hatred was her motivation, it begs the question as
to the reason for so much
hatred, to the point of sacrificing one's life for it.
I would like to put myself in the shoes of the suicide bomber. Since I am
a Jewish Palestinian
I have to ask myself the question: as a Palestinian, which I am, could I
become a suicide
bomber? Being a Jew, would it immunise me against commiting an act of terrorism
innocent people? Of course not. Sharon himself is a terrorist causing the
death of innocent
people. Jews have blown up a hotel in Jerusalem, killing many innocent people.
been arrested in Egypt for causing explosions, even a fire in a cinema, to
have the US think it
was Egyptians who were doing it. The scandal was called "essek bish" or
the "shameful deal",
and was better known outside Israel as "the Lavon affair". So, being a Jew
immunise me. The list would be too long of the acts of terrorism committed
by Jews, sometimes
It was enough for the Jewish terrorist to be convinced that it was for
the good of his people.
Still there is a difference. The Jewish terrorist that blew the hotel in
Jerusalem did not commit
suicide. He did not, because he did not need to. I have no doubt that, had
he felt that the only
way to blow up the Jerusalem hotel was by becoming a suicide bomber, and
had he been
convinced of how much that attack would help the Jewish people, that Jewish
well have become a suicide bomber, had there been no other way to blow up
Some Israelis may think that, had the "wall" been completed, there could
have been no suicide
bombings. What an illusion. "Where there is a will, there is a way" is an
old wise saying. Stop
the suicide bombings by a wall, and you will get biological warfare, poison
warfare and other
ways to harm the "enemy". Besides, explosives can create openings in the
wall at a place where the Israelis, wrongly feeling safe behind the wall,
would have put no patrol. It is impossible to maintain patrols along the
wall, everywhere and all the time. There is the possibility of tunneling
starting from far away from the wall, and ending far away too.
There is the possibility of mercenaries, or sympathising groups outside
the wall and
believing in the usefulness of suicide bombing.
Involved resistance groups would have more imagination then I do, and
will find still more
ways to overcome the challenge of the wall.
There is no way to stop suicide bombings or other attacks harming innocents,
suppressing the real cause, which is the conviction that it helps the Palestinian
more casualties on the Palestinians, destroying more of their houses only
inducement for more suicide bombings.
One can demonize suicide bombers by saying they are motivated by Islamic
US demonized the Vietnamese by saying that Asians do not care as much about
children as Americans do. We know it is not true. But were it true, it would
not have changed the fact that
the US troops had to get out of there.
To speak of the fanaticism of Islam does not modify the realities. Be it
because of Islamic
fanaticism or because of other reasons, the Israeli authorities, and
the Israeli people, have to
find a solution. The solution is certainly not an antidote to the so-called
The solution lies in realizing that the conviction that suicide bombings
help the Palestinian
cause comes out of despair. The Palestinian people despair of seeing
justice done, despair
of the humiliating and oppressive occupation. Give hope to the Palestinian
they will withdraw their support for the suicide bombings. Go on destroying
the houses of Palestinians, go on increasing the number of Jewish settlements,
and you increase the despair
of Palestinian people and, for many, you seem to close the door to any
There can be no doubt that had the Israeli authorities, after the Oslo accord,
abstained from increasing the number of settlements, started to dismantle
what had already been built, and demonstrated a will to evacuate the territories
conquered in 1967, there would have
been no suicide bombers.
I unambiguously condemn the suicide bombings. But I hold the expansionist
to be ultimately responsible. As to the suicide bombers, they are victims
I mourn, as much as I mourn the innocent Israeli victims. The primary terrorism
is that of the Israeli state oppressing the Palestinian people, while the
secondary terrorism is that of the Palestinian resistance, whether wise
or not, whether helping or harming the Palestinian cause, but definitely
caused by the primary terrorism of the Israeli state.
The Israeli people would become safe from terrorism when they will be
convinced that their real enemy is the Israeli expansionist establishment.
An appropriate Palestinian strategy would be to
help the Israeli people understand that security, peace and prosperity
are common aims of the two peoples, the Israeli and the Palestinian. Those
two peoples must form an alliance against the expansionist Israeli establishment,
their common enemy.