December 12, 2017

When terror is a relative term

I was rather appalled by Friday’s article in the New York Times, Palestinians Honor a Figure Reviled in Israel as a Terrorist:

The woman being honored, Dalal Mughrabi, was the 19-year-old leader of a Palestinian squad that sailed from Lebanon and landed on a beach between Haifa and Tel Aviv. They killed an American photojournalist, hijacked a bus and commandeered another, embarking on a bloody rampage that left 38 Israeli civilians dead, 13 of them children, according to official Israeli figures. Ms. Mughrabi and several other attackers were killed.

To Israelis, hailing Ms. Mughrabi as a heroine and a martyr is an act that glorifies terrorism.

But, underscoring the chasm between Israeli and Palestinian perceptions, the Fatah representatives described Ms. Mughrabi as a courageous fighter who held a proud place in Palestinian history. Defiant, they insisted that they would not let Israel dictate the names of Palestinian streets and squares.

Judith Apter Klinghoffer minced no words in response:

At no point does the reporter point out the sophistry of the position. There is nothing mysterious in the notion. It is an action designed to frighten a population. Hijacking a random public bus and murdering the passengers can have no other motivation but spreading fear, i.e., terror.

A judicious reporter would have asked the Palestinians she interviews to provide their definition of terrorism. She did not. Nor did she point out that after 9/11 the Palestinian leadership understood that continued US support mandates ending their terrorist advocacy, if not practice. So, they stopped arguing that their terrorist acts are justified. Instead, they renamed those acts. She simply cooperated with them by accepting that renaming as legitimate.

It’s amazing that 16 1/2 years after the Oslo Accords were signed that terror against Israel is still considered legitimate by Palestinians. In part it’s due to the acquiesence of diplomats, politicians and journalists of the West as demonstrated in this article.