Monday, February 10, 2014

10-Feb-14: Man's body, 'withheld' and now 'retrieved', and what it reveals about the society that buries it

The yeshiva in Otniel
If a person were incredibly naive, the report below might sound like a kind of lost-and-found happy ending space filler. It's not, and we're not.

The story comes from the so-called "independent" Palestinian Arab news channel, Ma'an News Agency (principally funded by official Danish and Netherlands sources) which published it on its website late last night, Sunday, under the header "Israel returns body of man killed 12 years earlier". The full text of the report follows:
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israel on Sunday evening delivered the remains of Ahmad Ayid Faqih after years of withholding them from Faqih's family. A committee to retrieve remains of Palestinians held by Israel said Israeli authorities delivered the body after popular and legal pressure in the last few hours after it was announced that the delivery of the body was delayed. The campaign called for Palestinians to participate in Faqih’s funeral in his hometown of Dura, which will start with a military march in Hebron at 10 a.m. 
That's all they want us to know.

But this Ahmad Ayid Faqih, the one whose body was "withheld" for a dozen years for undisclosed reasons and then "retrieved", is an individual whose name we know. He was one of two heavily-armed, blood-lusting thugs who burst into a post-high school Yeshiva academy in the small community of Otniel, south of Hevron, on the night of December 27, 2002, intending to carry out a massacre of young Jews and partly succeeding.

Noam Apter, of
blessed memory
It was a winter Friday night, the Jewish sabbath - Shabbat as we call it. Faqih was an armed terrorist in the service of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization, an Islamist jihad group taking its inspiration and budget from Iranian sources and dedicated to "the destruction of Israel through violent means" according to CFR.

A second jihadist, along with Faqih, dressed in Israeli military uniforms, including battle vests, and clutching M-16 rifles and hand grenades, cut the rickety fence erected around the building of the Yeshiva. Around 7:45 pm, they managed to sneak unnoticed into the building via the kitchen. The boys on kitchen duty there were in the midst of bring laden serving plates out into the dining hall. One of them, Noam Apter, instantly perceiving the reality of what was happening in front of him, managed to hurl himself at the door leading to the dining room in the last act of his life, and bolted it before they killed him. Many were saved by Noam's selfless and instinctive action.

Three other boys, all of them of course unarmed, were killed that night: Gabriel Hoter, 17; Zvi Ziemen, 18; and Yehuda Bamberger, 20. Their names appear almost nowhere in the general press - not now, and not back then in 2002. In most parts of the news-reporting media, they were assigned the generic name "four Israelis". In Jewish circles, however, their lives were and are remembered and mourned, as they should, as victims of a war of unbridled hatred directed at them for their Jewishness and their dedication to living in and defending the land that has been the Jewish national home for more than two millennia.

And this Faqih?

All the Palestinian news media, exemplified by Ma'an's shabby report - echoed in the dark corners of the pseudo-liberal news-reporting world that take their lead from what appears in Ma'an - can bring themselves to say about him is that he is "a man killed 12 years earlier".

It would be comforting to think this choice of laconic, take-no-position language reflects a perfectly understandable embarrassment at the systematic glorification by the Palestinian Arabs of acts of savagery directed at unarmed victims. But that would be hopelessly optimistic as Elder of Ziyon points out by referring to the series of ceremonious funerals this week and last being provided by the PA for the bodies of these savages they term 'martyrs'.

Sometimes we imagine how, in years to come, generations of young Arabs are going to look into the eyes of their parents and grandparents and ask how it happened that they stood silently by while their leadership dragged them down to moral and ethical depths without parallel in modern times. For while it's one thing to have a nation infested with individuals driven by the passion to murder defenseless others, it's another to celebrate the savagery of their terrorism as exemplifications of heroism and national greatness.

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