The Concept of Communal Responsibility
By B. Wiesser
We have been accustomed to hearing and reading about the Israeli/Palestinian problem in the press and media. Generally the story will go something like there is a terrorist attack which kills x amount of Jews which is followed by a reprisal in which several Arabs are killed or injured, and followed by international outcries for restraint and condemnation of Israel for causing the deaths of innocent civilians.
We are so used to these tit for tat news reports that we rarely give it deeper thought. Yet there is something basically wrong here.
Let us just look back over some of the news items in the Internet press:
Israel's army killed 19 Palestinians Tuesday in the heaviest raid inside the Gaza Strip for years as tanks and infantry thrust into Rafah refugee camp, a militant stronghold, despite an international outcry.
The assault drew U.N. and European Union condemnation given Israeli threats to destroy hundreds of Palestinian homes there. Thousands of Palestinian houses have been razed since they began a revolt in occupied territory in 2000, U.N. figures show.
And even from Israel's own Ha'aretz:
The human rights group Amnesty International has charged that Israel is guilty of war crimes and grave breaches of the Geneva Convention in its destruction of large numbers of Palestinian homes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the course of the Palestinian uprising.
The Tuesday release of the report coincided with the IDF operation in the Rafah refugee camp on the Israel-Egypt border, where Israel was poised to knock down more houses to widen the Philadelphi buffer zone in the army's battle against weapons-smuggling tunnels.
The Amnesty report said that Israel has demolished more than 3,000 homes during the current three-year conflict with the Palestinians, most of them in the Gaza Strip.
The report also found that 10 percent of Gaza's agricultural land has been destroyed and more than 226,000 trees uprooted there in 2002 and 2003.
In general we find that after the Israeli's go in searching after the terrorists, there are typical responses like:
The Secretary-General strongly condemns the killing and injury of Palestinian demonstrators in southern Gaza today," he said, reading out a statement by the UN chief.
"The killing of peaceful demonstrators, many of them women and children, has distressed the Secretary-General, who sends his deepest condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims," it said.
Somewhere, somehow, the concept of innocent lives is being presented in a manner contrary to proper thought and universal standards.
Now to be certain, to make an innocent person suffer is improper, perhaps a crime and unjust, and not to be ignored. But is this really the case here? Let us contemplate a bit.
With little difficulty we realize that the Arab terrorist has very little compassion for neither his Jewish enemy, nor any one who sympathizes with him, be it a Christian, Hindu, and this includes even his own fellow Muslim religionist. The Arab terrorist is so dedicated to the "ends justify the means" that not only is he willing to sacrifice his own life, but also that of his own fellow Muslim too. To the militant Muslim mind, it matters not if he, the suicide bomber dies, for he who dies for Allah is holy and will inherit "heaven". The same applies if he causes the death of his fellow co-religionist. This is because in the battle against the Jewish infidel Zionist (etc.) anyone Muslim who is killed gets heaven with the seventy-two virgins. His fellow Muslim who are killed will also receive the promised "heavenly" reward. In reality, it turns out, that this so-called "innocent" fellow Muslim "actually" gained by his untimely death.
If on the other hand, his fellow Muslim does not agree with this terrorist's actions, in the perverted mind of the terrorist this Muslim deserves to be punished or killed. With this thought in mind, try to understand the mentality of the fellow Muslims.
An Arab realizes quickly that his life is not worth much by his own fellow religionists if he opposes terrorism. He learns quickly to either go along with the group or he is going to be in trouble. To actually stand up in the open against a Arab terrorist group is inviting quick death, if not a slow tortuous death. Therefore the "innocent" Arab meaning one who has not believed the early school indoctrination given to him to teach him to hate the Zionist Jews, learns early in life that he must give support, either monetary, vocal or both, if he desires to continue to live.
Let us now proceed to a scenario: Assume a person living in an American or European city sees that a mugger is standing outside of his window waiting for his victim. He recognizes the criminal and knows that he is a dangerous thug who lives in the neighborhood. He is afraid to call the police, because if the police come and arrest the thug, when the thug is released he will take revenge on the informer.
Continuing our scenario, this mugger attacks several people. Our question to you is: Is that person who could have called the police, but did not, innocent? Obviously not! Perhaps he is even an accessory to the crime!
Going further in this analogy, let us say that the people in this city know that there are muggers actively attacking people on the street, but for personal reasons, they elect not to consider this action a crime. Police who are called to arrest attackers are given instructions by their community elected leaders to allow the attackers to be set free.
Would you consider this city innocent? Rather, this city is in cahoots with the muggers and is guilty also. Why? Because a city has an obligation to protect the public and any city that does not do such, is acting in a manner not acceptable to the standards of proper behavior. Such people could hardly be called "innocent" if a federal government cracks down upon them.
Returning to our case of Arab terrorism, we must realize that the overwhelming Arab population is supportive of terrorist acts. The vast majority either actively gives verbal support and/or contributes moneys to fund the terrorist organizations. Those who know about terrorist activities do not voice their objections or inform the authorities. The local police are instructed to look the other way and permit terrorist organizations to continue their path of terror.
Is not the individual who knows of the terrorist plans, workshops, recruitment, and activities and does nothing against them be considered innocent? Is he not likened to the person who knows of a mugger's activities but for personal considerations chooses not to get involved? Is the city that elects not to hinder terrorists not similar to our case above in which a city instructed the police not to arrest robbers and thugs? And is the police force that turns its eyes to the other way and allows crime to prevail; are they not as guilty as the criminal himself is?
With all the above understood, it is difficult to understand the concerns of the European Nations and Amnesty International. Can they be so dense
or prejudiced that they can not understand that there is indeed a communal responsibility for insuring that peace and order? How can members of a religious group be innocent if their group openly declares itself a terrorist organization? How is it that an individual can support terrorism, either actively or passively, and be considered innocent? Even more baffling, how can a city avoid blame when they themselves do nothing to stop terrorism, and in most cases aid and abet terror?
It is obvious to anyone with a thinking mind that, yes, there are very few innocent people involved here. Neither the terrorist who utilizes children as a human shield, to the political and religious leaders, or even the parents of terrorists who pass out sweets after their son is killed blowing himself up on a bus in order to kill some Jews.
The question is really what causes such established institutions such as the UN, the European Union and Amnesty International to persist in such perverted manners? But then again, after the holocaust, nothing surprises us.
from the June 2004 Edition of the Jewish Magazine