Given the longevity and intensity of the conflict between ourselves and the Palestinians, I welcome efforts of Arab and Jew working towards peace. Those who have suffered senseless loss are exhausted by the conflict and it is no surprise that these people are often those ready to dialogue with the ‘other.’ Like them, I have also suffered. Like them, I am able to grieve for the loss of innocent blood on both sides. Like them, I indubitably recognise my Palestinian neighbour as an ‘other,’ and like them, I will continue to dialogue with respectable Palestinians. Commendable and courageous, The Parents Circle Families Forum, headed up by the spokesperson Robi Damelin, advocates dialogue. Disturbingly, it is an exponent of reconciliation.
Reconciliation implies that there has been a personal transgression committed against another party and by asking for forgiveness from that particular person – and by accepting appropriate restitution – rapprochement is achieved. I am unaware that anyone in the Parents Circle Families Forum are directly responsible for murderous terrorism or a military response that has caused (in civilian terms) ‘manslaughter’ of a loved one. I therefore fail to see what ‘respect for the dignity of the “other,”’ has to do with reconciliation.
Robi Damelin begs for the cessation of hostilities by citing the en-vogue phrase, ‘cycle of violence.’ It is that same, overused cliché adopted by western media. It directly implies that Israel and the Palestinians are equally and ethically responsible for the current escalation in violence.
By tagging the subsequent military response to the kidnapping as a player in the ‘cycle of violence,’ Damelin sacrifices truth on the altar of political correctness. She implies that Israel is refusing to comply and play by the rules of the game. But this is not a game and it is certainly not a game of toy soldiers; this is a war against Islamist authorities that facilitate the kidnapping of children for political gain. Damelin’s labelling the raison d’être of Israel’s military response as “insanity,” and “vengeance,” is inaccurate, misguided and immoral.
I recoil when I see anyone blameless suffer. I therefore squirm on behalf of the thousands of innocent Palestinians who are experiencing inconvenience, uncertainty and anxiety due to soldiers searching for our teenagers. Rather than blame Israel for the military response and escalation in violence, it would be a more ethical voice to demand the court martial of any individual Israeli soldier who violates the rules of the international conventions of war. Her generic cries of ‘insanity’ and ‘vengeance,’ ‘balance’ and ‘blame,’ stifles the howling of three frantic children who have disappeared into an Islamist political cesspit.
Even that is not enough for Damelin. She further pleads for political leaders to ‘understand-what-these-prisoners-mean-to-the-Palestinians-and-that-without-their release-as-was-the case-in-South-Africa-and-Ireland-there-will-never-be-peace.’
As audacious as she is, ironically she is right.
Prison is no incentive to stop terrorism. Keeping murderers immured only contributes to her ‘cycle of violence.’ Prison is a small price to pay and confinement is a lot to concede. The ‘little-house-in-the-country’ penitentiary conditions plus a monthly murder stipend (and other little execution perks) makes it worth their while to carry on slaughtering Jews.
In calling for the release of the sons of evil Damelin ratifies their crimes, endorses the rabid injustice of an incarceration of leisure and conceitedly assumes the position of a moral High Priestess. In her self-appointed position she announces vicarious (and therefore, meaningless) forgiveness and ethically blackmails those who object by blaming and shaming them for adding to the ‘cycle of violence,’ because they refuse to follow in her hollow footsteps along the path of deluded ‘higher ground.’
Pressurising Israel to ‘kiss-and-make-up’ without denouncing and contesting the hatred within the PA areas (that teaches children that Jews are pigs, monkeys and must be slaughtered) may be well-meaning, but it literally lets people ‘get away with murder.’
Begging for appeasement is pitiful. The devastating side-effects are a synthesis of self-contempt and an increased repulsion in the captors. I know what it is to beg. I have done it. With a machete at my throat I pleaded for my life that day in the forest. Those moments of begging deluded me into a false sense of security and offered me a distorted reality that the sons of evil would change their mind. They didn’t. Thirty minutes later, Kristine Luken Z”L was laying slaughtered among the cyclamens.
I therefore cannot, do not and will not beg because I do not believe in it.
And like the late Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, I also do not believe in ‘vile acquittals, phony appeasements, easy forgiveness. Even less, in the exploitation or the blackmail of the word peace.’