For those individuals -- such as nearly all members of the world news media -- who, in light of Israel’s invasion of Gaza -- see moral equivalence between Israel and the Palestinians, here are some clarifying thoughts.
First, it would be difficult nearly to the point of impossibility, to find Israeli or other Jews who celebrate the deaths of Palestinian civilians. Jews both within and outside of Israel cringe when they see pictures of dead Palestinian men, women, and children in Gaza. For thousands of years at their Passover seders, Jews have removed wine from their cups to ceremonially weep for the Egyptians -- their erstwhile slave owners for 400 years -- who died during the Jews’ exodus. Jews have never stopped weeping for enemies.
The opposite is the case with the large majority of Palestinians. It would be quite difficult to find many Palestinians who do not celebrate the deaths of Israeli Jews or non-Israeli Jews. This is not only reflected in Palestinian polls that show majority support for terrorism -- and terrorism means killing innocent Jews -- it is also reflected in Palestinian media, Palestinian schools, and Palestinian mosques that routinely glorify murderers of Jews, and refer to all Jews as “monkeys” and the like.
Take for example, Palestinian reaction to the 2001 Palestinian terror bombing of a Jerusalem Sbarro pizzeria in which 15 Jews, five of whom were two sets of parents and their children, were murdered and an additional 130 people were injured, some permanently maimed.
As reported by the Associated Press, a month later, “Palestinian university students opened an exhibition that included a grisly re-enactment” of that mass murder. The students built a replica of the Sbarro pizzeria, with fake blood, splattered pizza, a plastic hand dangling from the ceiling, and a fake severed leg wearing jeans and a bloody black sneaker.
“The exhibit also includes a large rock in front of a mannequin wearing the black hat, black jacket and black trousers typically worn by ultra-Orthodox Jews. A recording from inside the rock calls out: ‘O believer, there is a Jewish man behind me. Come and kill him,’” paraphrasing a verse in the Koran. It became a popular tourist attraction for Palestinians, to which Palestinian parents took their little children.
Here’s the question: Can anyone even imagine Jews, in Israel or anywhere else on earth -- no matter how right-wing they are politically or religiously -- doing something analogous to celebrate the death of Palestinian civilians? I have spoken to Jewish groups on both U.S. coasts since the Israeli invasion of Gaza, and when the subject of Palestinian civilian deaths is mentioned, all I hear is regret and sadness.
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