Saturday, December 04, 2004

The Violin and The Guitar

In my Weekly Insanity Roundup of last week, I Linked #14 ("The HORROR ") to a story about a poor Palestinian who was asked to take his violin out of its case and play it at a checkpoint to show it did not contain explosives. Human Rights activists were outraged and horrified at this obvious violation of the man's rights and demeaning of his dignity. I thought the entire thing was blown out of proportion. Silly me. The outrage has spread and there have been op-ed pieces and protests and conflicting reports and all the usual hoopla associated with the outraged sensitivities of Liberals all over the globe.

To give some perspective to this madness, I would like to point you to this article in the Israel Insider (hat tip: PowerLine):

The story of the soldier and the violinist has been blown way out of proportion to its significance. I too would like it removed from the media burner. But not before another musical instrument gets its deserved mention. I'm referring to a guitar. One that also grabbed a few headlines on 9th August, 2001.

On that morning, Izzadin Al-Masri, the newly-religious son of a well-to-do Palestinian restaurateur, passed through a machsom -- a checkpoint -- on the edge of West Jerusalem. Accompanied by a Palestinian women dressed as an Israeli to allay suspicions, he strode into the center of the city. A guitar case was slung over his shoulder. At 1:45 pm, he reached the intersection of King George and Jaffa streets. The restaurant was packed with mothers and children. This was lunch time, and the country's schools were closed for summer vacation. Al-Masri entered easily -- there was no security guard. Seconds later, he activated the explosives in his guitar and murdered fifteen Israelis in cold blood. My daughter Malki, 15, was one of them.

Has Machsom Watch forgotten that terror attack? Did Haaretz as well? And what about the apologetic IDF spokesperson? Or does the meddlesome Machsom Watch have them all shivering in their pants? The person who truly ought to make them shiver is Abdullah Barghouti. On Tuesday, this senior Hamas operative was sentenced to 67 life terms in prison for his responsibility in terror attacks that resulted in the deaths, by murder, of 66 Israelis. Barghouti lived in his native Kuwait until five years ago when he moved to Ramallah.

An engineer, he built the bomb that murdered the Sbarro fifteen as well as the victims of two other lethal attacks in Jerusalem and another in Rishon Letzion. I watched him on television confessing that, yes, he did fill a guitar with explosives. "In a guitar? Why in a guitar?" a shocked TV interviewer asked. "This is war," the stone-faced Barghouti answered.

It seems to me that far too many people have forgotten that basic truth. This is war. We are under attack. Machsom Watch volunteers have a problem acknowledging that. It is a dangerous problem.

I just don't get it, I guess. Why the bleeding hearts react with outrage, horror and condemnation over events like the Palestinian violinist; but are strangely silent about videotaped beheadings, suicide bombers, and children utilized as living bombs by terrorist masters? On the heirarchy of evil, where does telling a man at a checkpoint (a checkpoint whose purpose is to prevent suicide bombers from entering Israel) to take out a violin and play it; and where do savage killings, terrorizing, and mutilation of innocents rank? I have no doubt that in some minds the Israeli guard's actions in this case prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Israelis are a bunch of "terrorists"--just as Abu Grhaib "proved" that the U.S. was basically the source of evil in the world. But in making such assertions, all a person proves is that he or she is morally incapable of making a a distinction between inconvenience and murder (in the Israeli guard's case); and between the independent actions of a few which violated military policy versus a stated policy to attack and kill as many innocents as possible (in the Abu Grhaib case).

Remember what the confessed murderer Bhargouti says above (the same Bhargouti who now is running for Palestinian president from his jail cell- where is the outrage about that, I wonder?): "This is war." And we damn well better not forget it.

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