I don’t often write about the situation in the Middle East because more often than not, the principal concern is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As a man of Jewish faith, I am perceived as a partisan for Israel and thus my opinion is often discounted. My response has always been that my support of Israel comes first as an American and, after the killing of Bin Laden, that distinction has become more significant than ever.
The MSM (mainstream media)has not really focused on the various responses to Bin Laden’s death within the Arab world. They have concentrated principally on America’s reaction to his death, incessantly ruminating on whether it was appropriate to celebrate. While I acknowledge the difference of opinion on this matter, there is an unmistakable lack of moral clarity on one issue – comparing America’s modest celebrations to the unrestrained revelry by Palestinians and others after 9/11. There has always been a distinction between the killing of civilians and soldiers during war. By any civilized standard, celebrating the death of even one civilian is highly inappropriate, and not comparable in any manner to the killing of a soldier – especially one who openly declared war on America.
The diverse reaction in the Middle East is instructive to all Americans. Ghassan Khatib, spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, constructively said "Getting rid of Bin Laden is good for the cause of peace worldwide, but what counts is to overcome the discourse and the methods – the violent methods – that were created and encouraged by Bin Laden and others in the world," but that was just one opinion. Fatah’s military wing countered with ”The Islamic nation awoke to a catastrophe; the reports of the Shahid- (Martyr-) death of the Sheikh, Jihad-fighter Osama bin Laden, in a treacherous manner, by the gangs of the heretics and those who stray.” Of course, this statement was only released in Arabic; they later provided a sanitized version in English for MSM consumption.
Fatah is supposedly the “good guy” in the conflict with Israel. Hamas, on the other hand, has long been recognized as the radical terrorist element, and their reaction was sadly predictable. Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’s overseer of Gaza, declared "We regard this as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood... We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior. We ask God to offer him mercy with the true believers and the martyrs."
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