Meryl Yourish has a powerful and chilling piece on the mechanics of suicide bombings. Her conclusion is a reminder of what we face in this war:

Shrapnel is what killed Phillip Balhasan, who stayed alive long enough to realize his children had survived, and to hug them tightly before he collapsed.

But even this is not enough for the terrorists. They also soak the shrapnel in rat poison, because it causes hemorrhaging — victims may bleed to death before they can get to the hospital.

Remember all of this, when you hear the world tell Israel to “use restraint” in responding to this attack. Remember all of this, when you read about the innocent metal shop owners who insist their shops were only making nails and screws for construction purposes.

Remember all of this, when Israel is the nation that is demonized by the blind, hateful people who wear checked kaffiyehs at anti-war protests, and call Israel an “apartheid state” for building a separation barrier — to keep out the monsters who would use bombs like I have just described.

Remember this, when you look at the pictures of the results of the bombing, and notice the thousands of dents in the metal surrounding the bombing area — the mark of the ball-bearings and other metal shrapnel.

These are the people with whom the world sympathizes: Those who create and set off the bombs. Not the victims. The bombers.

And that’s the worst evil of all.

As far as I’m concerned, the people who commit such acts, and especially the people evil enough to send a 17-year-old kid to blow himself up at a falafel stand have renounced any claim to humanity. There are acts which delineate a sense of absolute evil, acts which are so contrary to the most basic aspects of humanity that society must treat the perpetrators as a cancer upon this world. What human being would strap explosives to a child and send that child off to kill as many innocents as they can?

And these actions deserve a state?

There are days when I think that Israel should unilaterally declare a Palestinian state, announce that any further attacks against Israel will be an act of war. If another attack comes, Israel should engage in total war against the Palestinian state – utterly destroy anything used as a means of warfare – and given that includes mosques, madrassas, and schools, those should be destroyed as well. How do you purge a culture so steeped in barbarism of that evil? If there were an easy answer, we would have found it by now.

Of course, Israel cannot do those things, nor would it. First of all because Israel is the Jew among nations, a figure maligned by the hateful for the crime of merely existing, and secondly because the Israeli people want to be better than their enemies. They came out of a society that had nearly been exterminated, and they have no desire to do the same to anyone else.

When does “restraint” become an act that furthers evil? Is allowing the bomb-makers and the terrorists to lure more children into “martyrdom” an act of compassion or complicity with evil?

Yourish is right – to offer apologia to evil is to become part of it. The lessons of the 20th Century should be simple; those who do not stand up against genocide have the blood of millions on their hands. It’s sad that in the 21st Century, we still have those who would excuse such acts of barbarism.

2 thoughts on “Barbarism

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