On Monday afternoon, March 15th 2004ce an attrocity of immense
magnitude was perpetrated. The world's press, innured to death on
a grand scale, and murder on a grand scale and embezzlement on a
grand scale took little notice of the event. The world's press was
still rocking form the deaths of over two hundred Spaniards and
the subsequent hijacking of the Spanish election by al qeda.
The press thought that an abberant man in California who killed
his wives and children and his grandchildren whom he had fathered
was a newsworthy event. The press likes to dwell on a single person
who does something spectacularly out of the realm of acceptability.
Two people who do one wierd act can make the headlines for a while.
Serial murderers are the wheat for the mills of the daily news teams,
scouring the world for the extraordinary, and especially to meet
our habit of consumption of the obscene, the extraordinarilly evil.
The press and the reading/listening/watching public that consumes
the press' output all thrive on the modern morality play of good
versus evil, but only in small doses of evil. We have learned that
there is another side to every fight and every argument and every
story. We no longer remember that the existence of another point
of view does not give any legitimacy to the "other side."
If you were to drive down the "wrong" side of the street,
you could argue till you are blue in the face, your argument has
no legitimacy. You will be ticketed.
In this WORLD WAR, there is a "Right Side" and
a "Wrong Side." As surely as there was a "Right
Side" in the conflict we now refer to as WWII. Despite
this, the world's press, in general, tends to believe that there
is reason to see the "other side." We can yell from the
rooftops that this is not a culture war and that this is not a "religious
war," but that doesn't change the truth. As a matter of fact,
it tends to disarm us against the enemy who is waging a religious
war against us. I will not argue that all Muslims are fighting
the rest of the world. I will assure you, though, that all Muslims
who are fighting this war view it as a Religious War. If
we choose to believe that this is not a Religious War, we are "bringing
a knife to a gunfight."
If you got this far, you are probably wondering what it was that
set me off. What attrocity is it that happened on Monday that I
am asserting you didn't hear about? Monday afternoon a 12 year
old child was arrested at a border crossing into Israel from
"the territories." The child who had been employed regularly
as a day laborer, carrying wheelbarrows of material through the
crossing. This time the boy was carrying three backpacks. The soldier
who stopped him for inspection at the crossing found eight kilograms
of high explosive (17.6 Lbs.) in one of the backpacks, and a cellular
telephone which was wired to the charge and set to detonate when
the phone rang. Luckily for all, the device failed to detonate.
What made this special was that the little boy didn't know
that he was going to be the next Shakeed in a long
line of Shaheedeen. He was not told that if the mission
succeeded, he would become a "martyr" and be listed as
a "suicide bomber" in the official reports of the incident.
This child was told that if he carried this extra package, he would
receive a special large monetary bonus when he delivered
it. After his interrogation in Israel Defense Forces custody, the
boy revealed that he had absolutely no idea about what was in the
A part of the problem is that the so-called "Palestinian Authority"
(which, repeatedly claims that it is incapable of enforcing its
authority), runs the media, radio and television, and the schools
in the Palestinian areas. These schools, radio and television programs
spew hatred and teach songs with lyrics like "I will strap
explosives to my body and kill as many of the Jewish pigs as I can,"
and "I will bring glory to my family and to my people by dieing
as a Shaheed." There is no "glory"
in Palestinian culture associated with building a new nation or
building infrastructure. The only path to glory offered to
the children of the Palestinian community is death as a Shaheed
to join the long list of Shaheedeen.
The world press doesn't know how to deal with evil incarnate on
such a scale. We wouldn't know how to read a story which told us
of a society so wrong that they teach a cult of suicide and death
to their most precious posession -- by our way of viewing things.
The world press won't do this work. I urge you to tell everyone
about this attorcity, and its perpetrators.
To contact Rabbi Haim Cassorla, please send emails to: Rabbi