Dina Grossman
Pro-Free world. Pro-Respect. Anti-Appeasement.

The new improved martyrdom

In a discussion group a few days ago, one of my fellow pro-Israel activists in Denmark shared an insight worth pondering and elaborating on.

Suicide bombers are so 00s. You might kill a lot of peope all at once, but you get really bad press.

There must be a better way … and indeed there is! Dear aspiring martyr: Just adopt the new, improved path towards martyrdom. It makes a brilliant trade-off. Stab, shoot, run down, or throw molotov cocktails or mini-boulders – and see what happens. You won’t get a large death toll, maybe not even a single death, perhaps only injuries. But it will always be: you win, Israelis and/or Jews lose. And not just because you look much more pathetic, desperate and spontaneous than an old-fashiniond suicide bomber does. Read on …


Get killed by an Israeli law-enforcer? Rewards: You get your full martyrdom – no waiting. Your cause is promoted by condemnation of Israel by the oh-so-concerned world leaders, like the honorable Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations.

Get wounded by an Israeli law-enforcer? Rewards: You get a martyrdom that isn’t quite as sublime, but you do get to hear praise from Palestinian leaders with your very own ears. You also get treatment in an Israeli hospital and probably a salary from the PA while in prison – and you enjoy all kinds of opportunities to make a ruckus. Your cause is promoted by condemnation of Israel for hurting you and for “mistreating” you in prison.

If it’s a Jewish citizen instead of a law-enforcer who injures or kills you, there is an extra reward: The so-called peace movement in Israel and the oh-so-concerned world leaders can warn about Jewish extremism – and promote your cause.

Get away without being injured or killed? Rewards: You get to brag about your deeds and hear praise for your “brave resistance”. With any luck, the Israelis will start a vigorous search for you, gravely inconveniencing many innocent people as well as possible supporters or accomplices. The oh-so-concerned international community will rage about “collective punishment” – and promote your cause.

And, of course, just like the old-style martyrdom, the new-style martyrdom will be “explained” by how hopeless the Palestinian situation is – and how the whole thing must be Israel’s fault.


Notes about UN reactions to Palestinian attacks and Israeli responses

To be fair, Mr. Ban did condemn the Henkin murders. “US, UN condemn Palestinian terror attack on family of six”  Danielle Ziri, Tovah Lazaroff. 2 October 2015.

However, his statements about the incident reflect his belief that that Palestinian violence is caused by Israeli settlements and economic activity in the disputed territories along with “bad” treatment of Palestinians.

A few days later he expressed being “”deeply troubled” by statements from Palestinian militants, including Hamas praise for the attacks.”  AFP and TOI staff, 4 October 2015. But not to worry, dear aspiring martyr: only four days after, he was back to blaming it all on Israel:

8 October 2015: “UN chief Ban Ki-moon called on Israel to investigate the killing of Palestinian terrorists by Israeli security forces, but made no mention of Palestinian violence against Jews.”

Notes about Palestinian incitement to violence 

7 October 2015: “Abbas calls for Murder, Palestinians Attack”. Khaled Abu Toameh.

8 October 2015: “As Abbas claims not to want escalation, his media says otherwise” (based among other things on an article in the not-usually-Israel-friendly Guardian).

9 October 2015: Reuters

Notes about rewards for violence

6 October 2015:  “Documents reveal Palestinian Authority paying convicted Hamas terrorists” … PA shown to pay each convicted terrorist serving time in Israeli prisons hundreds of thousands of shekels, Israel Radio reports. …Newly-revealed documents showed Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority has been paying Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails hundreds of thousands of shekels over the past several years.  … According to the documents obtained by Israel Radio on Tuesday, most of those receiving Palestinian Authority money are members of Hamas who were behind some of the worst and bloodiest terror attacks in Israeli history and especially in the past decade.

Excerpts from “No taxes for terror” – updated on a running basis

Then PA Finance Minister Mahmoud Abbas announced in 2004 that only prisoners who “resist the occupation” qualify for benefits. Other criminals—convicted of lighter crimes like theft, burglary or others—do not. Then PA Finance Minister Mahmoud Abbas assured Palestinians in 2004 that these two institutions would always have top budgetary priority. In 2004, even when funding for other services had to be slashed by 66 percent, the prisoners’ salaries were paid in full, and the budget for the Prisoners’ Club was cut by only 50 percent. In 2011, the PA spent an estimated 6% of its budget on payments to prisoners and their families: 18 million shekels ($4.5 million) per month on prisoners and 26 million shekels ($6.5 million) per month on payments to families of suicide bombers–$132 million/year. In 2012, funding for the Ministry of Prisoners was ten times greater than that for the Ministry of Labor, and half that of the Ministry of Social Affairs. In 2013, the PA spent an estimated 5% of its budget on payments to terrorists, and spent approximately $100 million for prisoners’ salaries. In 2014, the PA announced that it was budgeting an additional 160 million shekels ($46 million) to give to released prisoners.

About the Author
I am an American who has lived and worked in Denmark since 1978. On retiring from "gainful employment" in 2013 I noticed - really noticed - how much bashing Israel is getting from within and without, and found it not only grossly unfair but dangerous. Since then I have worked full time as a volunteer to try to open Danish minds and hearts, to stimulate curiosity about Israel to replace or prevent the development of indifference or actively negative feelings. Sometimes I write in English and use my ToI blog to share.