The Right Opinion

A Vast Moral Difference

By Jeff Jacoby · Nov. 21, 2012

Palestinians have a fierce new song to accompany their intensified conflict with Israel. “Strike a Blow at Tel Aviv,” recorded by Shadi al-Bourini and Qassem al-Najjar, was posted last week on various Palestinian websites, including the Facebook page of the TV show Fenjan Al-Balad, which describes its mission as “trying to influence young Palestinian society for the better.” The video, which features images of wounded Israelis and massed Qassam artillery rockets, opens with these lines:

Strike a blow at Tel Aviv.
Strike a blow at Tel Aviv.

Strike a blow at Tel Aviv and frighten the Zionists.

 The more you build it, the more we will destroy it.

 Strike a blow at Tel Aviv.

Over a driving beat, the lyrics (translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute) grow increasingly bellicose. “We don't want no truce or bargain,” they proclaim. They exhort the missiles to “explode in the Knesset” and “terrorize Tel Aviv,” while mocking the Israelis in bomb shelters who “cower with fear.”

There have been many Israeli war songs over the years. Indeed, the endless conflict with the Arabs has engendered some of Israel's most enduring music. But most of it revolves around a longing for peace and the desire for normality. An Israeli equivalent of “Strike a Blow at Tel Aviv,” ecstatic at the prospect of killing the enemy, is virtually unthinkable.

Other Palestinian videos have also been getting attention this week. Al-Aqsa TV, the official Hamas-run television channel, has been airing messages that extol suicide bombings and advise Israelis to get ready for more of them. “We've missed the suicide attacks,” one video jeers. “Expect us soon at bus stations and in cafés.” A second, along with video of rockets being fired into Israel, warns “the Zionists” not to go to bed: “We may get you in your sleep.” In still another, Hamas reiterates the oft-repeated boast of murderous jihadists everywhere: “[We] love death more than you love life.”

Media coverage of the hostilities in Gaza tends to focus on rockets and casualties and diplomatic maneuvering. Not emphasized nearly enough is the vast moral distance that separates Israel from its terrorist enemy. Israel and Hamas are not at war over territory. What divides them is an unbridgeable cultural abyss. On one side is a Jewish state that seeks peace with its neighbors and has repeatedly offered deep concessions to achieve it; on the other, a fanatic regime of jihadists who glorify death, abominate Jews – and are obsessed with eradicating that solitary Jewish state.

“Our struggle against the Jews is extremely wide-ranging and grave,” avows the hate-drenched Hamas charter. Success will not come, declares Article 7, “until Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them; until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: 'O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him!'”

By now it shouldn't come as news that Hamas means what it says. By now it should be obvious even to the congenitally naïve that so long as Hamas rules Gaza – a de facto Palestinian state, no matter what anyone calls it – it will never end its quest for Israel's annihilation. To Western eyes that may seem an improbable objective, given Israel's enormous military edge. But Hamas understands the value of terror. When it can send hundreds of rockets slamming over the border, when it can force Israelis to listen constantly for the siren that means they have just 15 seconds to find shelter, Hamas inches toward its goal. And when Israel finally retaliates and only then does an international uproar ensue, Hamas inches closer still.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton headed to the Middle East on Tuesday. The UN secretary-general called for a cease-fire. President Obama's spokesman insisted that “the best way to solve this is through diplomacy.” But what can diplomacy achieve with an enemy that rejects the basic norms of international behavior? That is not only indifferent to the suffering of its own people, but welcomes it for its propaganda value? That rejoices in suicide terrorism, and runs TV spots promising more of it?

Any cease-fire now means a win for Hamas, which will go on fomenting violence, hatred, and death. Diplomacy cannot solve the problem of terrorist regimes. Neither can unilateral concessions or UN resolutions. The only solution is to deprive the terrorists of power. So long as Gaza remains a Hamas-ruled tyranny, peace will remain but a dream.

(Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe. His website is www.JeffJacoby.com).

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16 Comments

Brian in Newport News said:

"Strike a blow at Tel Aviv.
Strike a blow at Tel Aviv.

 Strike a blow at Tel Aviv and frighten the Zionists.

 The more you build it, the more we will destroy it.

 Strike a blow at Tel Aviv."

This from the "Religion of Peace™"

Not only do Muslims NOT want peace with Israel, the Koran permits them to lie, and even directs them to do so, if in so doing it will further their cause or allow them time to gain strength. Make no mistake about it, Allah is not another name for the God of Israel; it is another name for Satan! The Christian Anti-christ and the Muslim's long awaited Mahdi are one and the same!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 8:15 AM

rab in jo,mo replied:

Agreed, Islam is Satanic by nature. I contend that the angelic being that visited Mohammed was none other than Satan himself.

Witness the situation in the mideast, where the Israelis settled, they turned a barren desert into a garden. Where they have ceded territory back to the Arabs, all that was created has been destroyed and returned to a barren desert.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Gregory in Yakima said:

The creation of Israel has been a curse, one of the worst mistakes in modern history. It may have sounded like a good thing in 1948 but history has proven otherwise. Done by Harry Truman, one of my favorite Presidents and the United Nations.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 8:33 AM

wjm in Colorado replied:

You are an abomination Gregory, the creation of you is a curse on humanity, and you are vermin, abberrant filth, and a traitor to your country and God. Enjoy your eternity in hell traitor.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Brian in Newport News replied:

Why do you feel this way Greg? Why has giving the promised land (or at least parts of it) back to Israel been "a curse" and on whom has this curse fallen? Certainly you are entitled to your opinion, and just as certainly you have a reason for thinking the way you do.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

just curious, Greg, What would you have done with all of the Jews left homeless after WWII ended? They weren't really wanted anywhere so why not return them to their ancestral homeland. The first mention of Isreal was in the ancient Egyptian chronicles which means there was an Isreal long before there was a Palestine. Palestine was the name the Romans gave to the area and the British resurrected the name when they were given the protectorate after WWII. The worst mistake in modern history is the rise of Socialism, Marxism, and Communism throughout the world to include the United States.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Army Officer (Ret) in Kansas replied:

Good point Sarge, but you missed something about Greg's perspective. If Greg had his way there would have been no homeless Jews after World War II. In fact, there would have been no Jews at all: HIS side wanted to kill all the Jews. Hitler was a socialist, just like Greg.

But for anti-Semitic socialists like Hitler and Greg the ultimate (or should I say "final"?) solution is simple. They think, "No Jews - No Israel - No Problem!"

I beg to differ.

"Now the LORD had said unto Abram...: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee..." (Genesis 12: 1-3 excerpt).

Forget the fiscal cliff: the day the Unites States truly turns her back on Israel is the day we seal our fate as a nation.

Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 12:00 PM

ArmyofOne in MN replied:

Gregory..you are a fool of the highest order! God gave the land to Israel... from the Nile River to the Euphrates River! (from Mt Hermon on the north, to Mt Sinai on the south) Look at a map Gregory..it will shock you! If only Israel would take back what belongs to them! Israel needs to put their trust in God, not in the U.N., United States, or any other country who does NOT have their best interests in mind! Israel needs to quit being nice to these savages, and eliminate them once and for all! NO MORE CEASE FIRES!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 4:37 PM

richard ryan in Lamar,Missouri replied:

Armyofone; people like Gregory the Queer do not believe in God. That is the answer in it`s entirety.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 7:31 PM

wjm in Colorado said:

There are no civilians in Gaza, only jihadis. They are trained from first comprehension to hate and kill the peaceful Israel. I am amazed at the restraint shown by Israel. Far past time to turn Gaza into total rubble, kill all that reside there, every last stinking islamist savage.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 9:28 AM

MNIce in Minnesota replied:

When the last Christian is driven out of Gaza, that may very well happen. God would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah had there been only ten righteous people in those cities; He may be restraining Israel now for the sake of the Palestinian Christians.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 10:58 AM

READY4ACHANGE in ILLINOIS said:

Israel needs to blow them away - and take the Yak with them!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Torp44 in Ione, Wa. said:

Your comments are exactly accurate, Jeff. What in the world will it take before all peace loving countries join together to rid the planet of all muslims? They are a dangerous, cancerous blight on the world's surface deserving nothing but the death they so proudly proclaim to crave. Although I am not Jewish, if I were 30 or 40 years younger I would be honored to serve with the IDF to be a part of making that happen for as many of them as possible.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Old Desert Rat in Las Vegas, NV said:

Greg is enough to make one believe in retroactive abortion. You, Greg, are one of the biggest mistakes in recent history.
Israel is a symbol to the world of a hopeless situation being made into a viable, successful nation.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 11:41 AM

M Rick Timms MD in Georgia said:

"If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel’ –

Benjamin Netanyahu

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 11:27 PM

Abu Nudnik in Toronto said:

It is an understatement of infinite dimension to say there is a broad gulf between the moral worlds of the Israelis and Palestinians: the difference is one of kind, not of degree.

When the Palestinians weep at funerals but say "We love death more than you love life," it's clear they don't mean they love their own deaths because if that were so, killing them would be a win-win situation and why should the Israelis deny them their hearts' desire? But that's not what they mean. What they mean is they love the deaths of their enemies more than they love their own lives.

Think about that for a while. Think about living such a life. What does it mean? To us, it can only be described as Satanic.

The only reason Israel has not entirely wiped them out is because the Israelis do not love the deaths of their enemies more than they love their own lives and do not want to become the monsters they would inevitably become with that course of action.

It is not a case of differences of morality. It is hard for people to fathom that some people don't "love their children more than they hate us," as Golda Meier said: "When they love their children more than they hate us, we'll have peace."

That day has not come.

Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 8:48 AM