The following is an excerpt of an article called Palestinians Cheer Carnage by Michael Oren that appeared in the Wall Street Journal on August 6, 2002:

In Gaza last week, crowds of children reveled and sang while adults showered them with candies.  The cause for celebration: the cold-blooded murder of at least seven people -- five of them Americans - - and the maiming of 80 more by a terrorist bomb on the campus of Jerusalem's Hebrew University.  The joyful response of so many to the death, suffering, and mutilation of students and university workers raises pointed questions about the health of Palestinian society, both mental and moral.  It makes many Israelis ask whether, even if a cease-fire is reached and negotiations someday resume, peace with the Palestinians is possible.

There is, of course, nothing new about Palestinians applauding terror.  During the Gulf War in 1991, they danced on rooftops in praise of Iraqi Scud missiles raining on Israeli neighborhoods.  Again, in the mid-1990s, after bus bombs in Israel killed dozens -- one of them was my sister-in-law -- an estimated 70,000 Palestinians filled a Gaza stadium to cheer a reenactment of the massacre.  The deaths of over 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11 was another cause for dancing in Palestinian streets, though Arafat's men suppressed foreign coverage of the fete.

The terrorist acts and their gruesome effects are celebrated as inspiration for the next generation.  Most recently, a West Bank university held an exhibition in honor of the suicide bomber who killed 14 Israelis at a Jerusalem pizzeria in 2001; the props included painted puddles of blood and scattered body parts.  Palestinian parades regularly feature columns of masked and hooded youths girded with cardboard explosives, proclaiming their frenzy to kill.  Palestinian babies have also been photographed -- proudly -- in suicide bomber's garb.

   A lone terrorist entered the Armon David Wedding Hall on a main Hadera street towards the end of the Bat Mitzvah celebration (a Jewish milestone marking the girl's accepting legal responsibility for her actions) for 12-year-old Nina Kardashov. Armed with an M-16 automatic rifle, at least one grenade, and possibly a pack of explosives, he shot the guard at the entrance and burst into the building, shooting in all directions. He murdered six people; 30 were wounded by the gunshots and/or went into shock.

    When the killer ran out of bullets, he attempted to insert another magazine into his rifle, but the guests, many of them recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union, then began throwing chairs and bottles at the terrorist and forced him out towards the lobby. Police who arrived within four minutes of the beginning of the attack shot him to death. ... Minutes after news of the fatal attack on the Bat Mitzvah party became known, the PA-controlled city of Tul Karem - some 9 miles southeast of Hadera - erupted in joyous celebration, including gunshots in the air. Arabs in Jenin reacted likewise. Although at least one PA official condemned the attack, observers were reminded of the similar joy expressed by many Palestinians after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

(From Israel National News 1/18/02)



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