Friday, June 01, 2012

1-Jun-12: Bodies... and souls

Gaza City, Thursday: Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists carry
a coffin with the remains of a dead colleague. The AP  caption accompanying
this picture reads somewhat bizarrely: "Israel transferred the bodies
of Palestinian militants in an effort to induce Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas to renew negotiations". 
A Jerusalem Post editorial, to appear on Friday, looks hard at today's Israeli release of nearly a hundred dead Palestinian Arab terrorist bodies ["Israel turning over terrorists' bodies"]. The surreal scene raises again some very troubling considerations. Are we to believe that peace between the Arabs and the Israelis is now closer?
Israel delivered 91 corpses of Arab terrorists to the Palestinian Authority on Thursday. This was part of a “confidence-building” measure by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, geared to encourage Abbas to return to negotiations.
In fact, however, it was another sequel to the Gilad Schalit swap saga. Abbas was miffed by the uplift Hamas gained as a result of Schalit’s kidnapping, prolonged hostage drama and the subsequent extortion. If Hamas got a prize, Abbas reasoned, why shouldn’t he? If he too isn’t rewarded, then they, the presumed anti-peace forces, win an advantage over him, the presumed pro-peace party...
The JPost editorial notes that, in the unfocused eyes of much of the world's news media,
"Abbas is a genuine peace-seeker, a man of moderation and a sincere advocate of coexistence. But under Abbas’s aegis, terrorists – past and present – are revered and feted. The official media he controls, the educational system he runs and the mosques whose clerics he appoints and subsidizes, all effuse paeans of praise for terrorists. This is intense indoctrination of an anyway volatile population to regard mass murderers as role models." 
The eerie propaganda spectacle mounted by the PA over the killers’ corpses raises some seriously troubling questions.
"Why, for instance, is Israel always the one obliged to make “goodwill gestures?” Why does Abbas need to be bribed to negotiate? ...Why does the PA celebrate and glorify those whose crimes constitute the absolute antithesis to peace? ...It names streets after terrorists, bestows honors upon them, devotes school hours to them, encourages their emulation on TV and agitates for the release of all convicted mass murderers. Delegitimizing terrorism is a prerequisite for coexistence – a symbolic prelude to actually fighting terrorism, the barest minimum we rightfully expect of peace partners. Yet as long as Palestinians are brainwashed, from the cradle, to venerate the slaughter of Israelis, an authentic change of heart will remain a chimera.
We're waiting for some good answers.

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