Monday, December 7, 2015

Terrorism, the Litman wedding and Mahmoud Abbas

There is no universally agreed-upon definition for ‘terrorism’. According to some, there’s a reason for this failure. That reason is called, the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) (“UN 101”, humanrightsvoices, no date).

The OIC is made up of 57 Islamic nations. Its mission is to be  “the collective voice of the Muslim world” (OIC homepage—About OIC). Its purpose is to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world” (ibid).

To “protect” those “interests”, the OIC refuses to allow any definition of terrorism to include armed struggle for liberation and self-determination (“UN 101”, above). The OIC wants to make sure that armed actions against ‘foreign occupation’ and ‘alien domination’ (ibid) don’t get classified as ‘terror’.

To an important extent, Islamic countries control UN debate on terrorism. They keep the UN from validating the most common definitions of terror because that definition would make much Islamic aggression, including attacks by the Palestinian Authority (PA) against Jews, ‘terror’.

Still, despite this Islamic-driven impasse over a formal definition of ‘terrorism’, there does exist some informally accepted definitions. One such definition defines  terrorism as “Premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets [both civilian and unarmed/off-duty military personnel] by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience…calculated to terrorise the public or a particular section of it” (Brian Whitaker, “The definition of terrorism”, the guardian, May 7, 2001).

An alternative definition is similar but different: “The use of serious violence against persons or property, or threat to use such violence [emphasis mine], to intimidate or coerce a government, the public or any section of the public, in order to promote political, social or ideological objectives” (Lord Carille of Berriew, QC, The definition of terrorism, March 2007, p. 3).

There is a subtle but important difference between these two definitions. In the first definition, we might infer than only attacks against civilians and non-armed military personnel are called ‘terror’. In the second definition, we might infer that serious attack against any “persons” (including armed soldiers) can also be termed ‘terrorism’ if those attacks are designed “to intimidate or coerce a government”.

Mahmoud Abbas rules the Fatah Party that controls the PA. His Fatah uses terror against Israel. Abbas incites for terror against Israel. He and his Fatah do this to intimidate and coerce the Israeli government.

He uses terror for political and ideological purposes. The so-called political purpose is ‘statehood’. The ideological purpose is to replace the Jewish Israel with an Islamic ‘Palestine’.

Because Abbas uses both violence and the threat of violence for such purposes, he fits the definition of ‘one who promotes terror’. The aim of his terror is to instil fear in Israel’s Jewish population (definition of terrorism, above).

He fails to do that.

For example, on Friday, November 13, 2015, just hours before a massive Islamic terror attack in Paris, France, an Arab terrorist murdered two Israelis near the city of Hevron--Rabbi Yaakov Litman (HYD) 40, and his son, Netanel (HYD), 18 (Bassam Tawil, “The Terrorists Funded by the West”, gatestoneinstitute, November 17, 2015). Five other family members -- Litman's wife, three young daughters and a 16-year-old son -- suffered minor gunshot wounds.

That Jewish family was driving to a Shabbat celebration in advance of a fourth daughter's wedding. The wedding was to take place less than five days later. Their joy turned to tragedy the moment that Arab terrorist opened fire at their vehicle.

That same afternoon, PA President Mahmoud Abbas appeared at a joint press conference in Ramallah together with the president of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades (ibid). At this press conference (in Ramallah), Abbas refused to condemn the attack (ibid).

In response to that attack, this Jewish family did the unimaginable: in the middle of Shiva—the seven days of Jewish mourning—the now-bereaved engaged daughter sent a message to the public. She declared that the marriage would only be delayed nine days. She stated that her wedding venue would be moved to the National Convention Center in Jerusalem. She invited the entire Jewish nation of Israel to her wedding--everyone!

Thousands upon thousands came to the wedding, far more than could fit into the Center. Therefore, there was dancing in the street outside the Center—dancing, singing and joy.

The wedding became a symbol of National Jewish Unity. This wedding turned a day of national mourning to a day of National Joy, said one attendee (Michael Bachner, “Thousands Celebrate Wedding of Terror Victim’s Daughter”, Israelbreakingnews, November 27, 2015).

The Litmans are an important family—as is the Henkin family, whose husband/father and wife/mother were murdered by Arab terrorists in a similar way just weeks before. This was an ‘important’ wedding.

In her own way, the bride, Sarah, is a leader, just as was her father, z”l. At this wedding, she was ‘Israel’, the bride who looks Heavenward in joy and grief.

Watch this video. Watch her face when you see her. Her father and brother have only recently been murdered. This is her wedding day.
Watch her face beginning at 10:10, and most especially at 10:52-12:47: does her face reveal what is in her heart?

(You may not be able to see her face clearly; the screen is small and can't be expanded. When the bride moves her head from side to side, she raises her eyes to the Heavens and speaks words we cannot hear. At those moments, face lifted, she may be crying--or on the verge of tears. One can only imagine what might be in her heart at these moments you see filmed)

Since the current wave of Palestinian terrorism against Jews in Israel began on the eve of the Jewish Rosh Hashannah (the Jewish New Year), Abbas and his PA leadership have refused to condemn the murder of Jews. They repeatedly condemn Israel for killing the terrorists who carried out the attacks.

The Foreign Minister of Sweden joins that condemnation.

Between the day Rabbi Litman and his son were murdered and this wedding, we found out why Abbas and Fatah won’t condemn ‘Palestinian’ murder of Jews: so far as he and his Fatah is concerned, there’s no reason to condemn something that isn’t wrong (Ari Yashar, “Abbas's Fatah: Murdering Israelis is our 'right'”, Arutz Sheva, November 18, 2015).

Such declarations spit upon the core values found in the Charter of the United Nations: respect for human life; the rule of law; rules of war to protect civilians; tolerance among peoples and nations; and the peaceful resolution of conflict (“High level Panel on threats, challenges”, un. Org, no date).

Abbas rejects all of these values. His goal isn’t tolerance or peaceful resolution. His goal is to commit genocide—to cause death or serious bodily harm to Jews, whether they are soldiers or civilians--in order to intimidate Israel’s Jewish population (definitions of terrorism, above). He’s a terrorist.  

There’s a stark contrast here. Mahmoud Abbas brings terror and genocide to the world. The Litman wedding brings joy, happiness and unity, even at a moment of painful grief.

That’s the difference between Abbas and us. Abbas will be forever linked to murder and barbaric savagery. Israel will be forever linked to the national Litman wedding.

Abbas reminds us of death. The Litman wedding reminds us of Am Yisroel Chai, as you heard at 3:41 in the video: the nation of Israel lives on—and will always live.

Perhaps that’s why the bride, Sarah Litman, invited Am Yisroel (the entire Jewish nation) to her wedding. Even in grief, she understands the nature of dancing, singing, joy and unity.

Israel will live on. Abbas can go to hell.

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