Edna Yaghi’s Column
The only way to stop the suicide bombings is to halt the campaign of injustice against the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine. Whenever any occupation uses force, brutality and disregard for the sanctity of life, then such tactics will backfire against those responsible for suppressing the people. The backlash of this oppression has struck the heart of Israel.
The recent spate of suicide bombings within the state of Israel would very likely not have occurred if the Israeli government did not pursue a policy of indiscriminate killings of Palestinians civilians.
No one can say that two wrongs make a right. But those who care to judge the suicide bombers are not under siege, do not have their cities cut off from each other, are not attacked by helicopters, armored tanks, ships at sea, and ground to ground missiles. From a safe distance where terror does not break out in the middle of the night or at any moment during the day, it is easy to condemn those who blow themselves to pieces.
What makes a suicide bomber? A few days ago, during a funeral procession in the Occupied Territories, Israeli forces shot at mourners who were walking to bury their dead. A twelve-year old boy was hit and killed and at least 11 others were injured. The participants of the funeral procession were not demonstrating, were not throwing stones, were minding their own sorrowful business, yet they came under attack.
It is unfortunate that Israeli civilians become the victims of the people their government is trying to exterminate. But it must be expected that no people will continue to be subjected to inhuman treatment without fighting back. History is our best teacher and throughout the course of human life on earth, man has always fought back against the injustice of his fellow man.
William Wallace died for the principals he believed in and to free the Scots from the suppression and cruelty of the British. His courage became a symbol that led the Scottish people to fight for their freedom at a time when they had been robbed of their inalienable rights as human beings. No one remembers Wallace as a terrorist. No one blames the Scots for fighting for their freedom.
Early Americans fought for their freedom and independence from the British Colonists. No one called George Washington a terrorist. Today, Americans revere the brave people who fought and died on American battlefields so that all Americans could have liberty.
Later, the American Indians rose up against the barbaric oppression of the American settlers. Nearly 90% of the Indian population was wiped out by either massacres or the diseases that the settlers spread. It was only when it was too late that the remnants of Indian tribes united in one last brave battle so that they could remain on the land that they loved.
Israeli Prime Minister Sharon knows that he can get away with the murder of the Palestinian people. He knows that he can cut off their cities, their villages, that he can dig medieval trenches to separate Palestinians from one another and from the world at large. He knows that he can destroy their farmland, uproot their trees and bulldoze their homes while the world watches uncaringly. He knows that his soldiers can shoot little Palestinian children on the way home from school and he knows that when an infant throws a stone at a heavily armed soldier, the retaliation will be either the death of the stone thrower or his permanent injury.
He knows that he can send Israeli mortars into the offices and headquarters of the Palestinian Authority and that he can assassinate any Palestinian he wishes to without a reason. He knows he can get away with murder because he does not fear impotent Arab leaders and because America turns a blind eye to whatever atrocities he commits.
The reasons he gives for his “excessive use of force”, for his crimes against humanity, for the cruel suppression of the Palestinians is that he is quelling the violence when he knows very well that this is not it at all. He is using the Intifada as an excuse to cut up Palestinian enclaves and make them more and more like Nazi concentration camps and ghettos. He is the master exterminator. He pretends to be killing off Palestinians for the security of Israel when in fact, he is the one who, by his brutal practices, has endangered Israelis citizens more than ever before.
Violence begets violence. War begins in the minds of men so it is here that peace must also begin.
There will always be suicide bombers as long as Palestinians are so cruelly treated and ruthlessly butchered. There will always be suicide bombers as long as there is no justice and as long as the Palestinians become more and more impoverished and have less and less hope for their future. The Holocaust is no longer Jewish, it is Palestinian.
And here you have the makings of a suicide bomber. And remember, every Palestinian under the occupation has no hope for tomorrow and every Palestinian has become a potential suicide bomber