I am writing in response to Ali Kattan-Wright’s article (“Collective Punishment Affects Us All,” April 27, Daily Nexus) which I found to be a revolting distortion of the Israeli government’s policy of house demolitions and was apologetic toward the murderous perpetrators of terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens. The article only serves as an echo of the Palestinian propaganda machine that has found a comfortable home on the UCSB campus.
Kattan-Wright purposely cheapens the atrocious acts of murder committed by suicide bombers by defining them as the “politics of desperation,” as if the Palestinians have not been given numerous opportunities to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
We must ask why hundreds of millions of impoverished, enslaved and disenfranchised peoples, all far worse off than the Palestinians, choose not to engage in such despicable acts of mass murder. Why is it that blacks in the United States, who were once oppressed by Jim Crow laws, overwhelmingly endorsed acts of civil disobedience rather than suicide bombings? The answer lies in the conspiracy-theory fantasies inculcated into the minds of Palestinian children by anti-Israeli educators and clerics who are unwilling to compromise with any Israeli government, no matter how generous. Instead, they choose to transform innocent children into suicidal holy warriors. Incitement and anti-Semitism account for the emergence of suicide bombings, and nothing else.
Palestinians can only blame themselves and their leaders for the mess they find themselves in. Chairman Yasser Arafat has received hundreds of millions of dollars from Israel, the United States and other Western philanthropic organizations – funds that were designated to build schools, hospitals, infrastructure and airports. However, Arafat instead built the most complex terrorist infrastructure in the world. In a society where widespread illiteracy and poverty run rampant, cunning militants enjoy most favorable conditions for the recruitment of young Palestinian men and women for suicide missions.
As further evidence against house demolitions being the cause of Palestinian hatred, anti-Israeli sentiment existed long before the invention of Caterpillar bulldozers, which Kattan-Wright charges are used for house demolitions. For example, during World War II, Hajj Amin Al-Husseini – the spiritual, political and religious leader of the Palestinian people – met with Adolf Hitler. During this meeting, the two conspired to extend Hitler’s Final Solution to the Middle East, where the extermination of Jews was to be facilitated by Al-Husseini and his cronies. From Berlin he traveled to Bosnia, where he helped organize Muslim Nazi SS units, which murdered thousands of Jews during the 1940s. The history of Jew hatred and incitement does not seem to concern Kattan-Wright one bit.
If this is not enough, Kattan-Wright also claims that house demolitions have not enhanced Israeli security. This is untrue. House demolitions have instilled in Palestinian would-be homicide bombers the understanding that they have something to lose – their decision to bomb innocent Israeli citizens might result in a deserving consequence for the bombers’ families. The policy of house demolitions has dramatically reduced the number of suicide mission recruits and brought upon amazing cases in which parents turned in their mass-murder conspiring children for fear of losing their homes. Sounds effective to me.
It is particularly difficult for me to trace the root of Kattan-Wright’s wrath towards Israel, including his disturbing reluctance to mention Palestinian anti-Semitism and mass murdering tactics. Perhaps Kattan-Wright feels left out by Arafat’s repeated calls for a “million martyrs to Jerusalem” and wishes he could be number 1,000,001. What is for sure, however, is that Israel will continue to flourish as the lone democratic state in a sea of tyrannical anti-Western, Middle Eastern nations, where it will continue to serve as an example to be admired and emulated.
Neer Lerner is a sophomore history and political science major.