- The Washington Times - Friday, August 10, 2001

George W. Bush should call in his wise men (and women) this morning for a special showing of the news footage from the Palestinian massacre at the Jerusalem pizza parlor.

He should reserve a few rows up front for the Arabist weenies from the State Department, who never let slip an opportunity to tilt against the Jewish state.

The president might slow down the film to let it linger over the ghastly footage of the dead children on the sidewalk: the screaming mother discovering her baby dead in its carriage, the little girl sprawled in death with her ponytail covered with blood and shards of glass, the 4-year-old boy in a passer-by's arms, his small dead eyes frozen in disbelief that a world that seemed so innocent and nurturing of childhood should suddenly mean him such deadly harm.

This is the work of a man Islamic Jihad calls a "hero," a man Hamas claims as one of its own. These two Palestinian organizations, which useful idiots in the West would negotiate with, fought verbal war yesterday over who should get the "credit" for the massacre of women and children. Only in the world of the terrorist — and in the culture that tolerates and venerates the terrorist — does a man prove his manly courage by murdering women and mutilating children. Perhaps this explains why Israel wins all its wars.

The carnage was what the telegraph agencies called with antiseptic accuracy "the second deadliest attack in the 10 months of Mideast violence," second only to the bombing of a Tel Aviv disco two months ago. That bomb killed 21 men and women. Perhaps it was the sight of uncovered female flesh that unhinged the zealot. Painted female toes are said to inflame the libidos even of mullahs. But how could little children, happily chattering over their pepperoni and soda pop, have so offended even the zealotry of the fanatics of the mosque? To call such evil the work of animals is to demean the natural nobility of the forest. Wild pigs do not kill for sport.

The Israelis knew something was coming. That was why Israeli military forces sent rockets into a Hamas strategy session on July 31 in the West Bank town of Nablus, killing six Palestinian plotters and two children who, unbeknownst to the Israelis, were waiting on the sidewalk for their parents when the rockets shattered the building. A State Department spokesman quickly drew a false parallel of moral equivalence, remarking that the killing and wounding of innocent civilians on both sides is reprehensible and cannot be justified. The Israelis, aghast, did no boasting — but apologized at once and suffered the rebuke of Christian and Jew alike.

Jamal Mansour, one of the top Hamas leaders, was the main target in that strike, and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office said the Hamas office was hit because Mansour and others were there "in the process of planning further terrorist attacks." The bomb at the pizzeria yesterday confirmed in blood the Israeli suspicions.

President Bush, his press agent, and others leaped to join the din of condemnation of the Israelis, condemnation to be read in the context of a world of fakery and fraudulence where everyone assumes that half of everything a diplomat says is a lie. But when Vice President Dick Cheney had the temerity to state the obvious — that the Israelis had "some justification" for defending themselves — he, too, was rebuked. Secretary of State Colin Powell, an old soldier who ought to know about cutting off a poisonous snake at the head, called the Israelis "too aggressive."

Terrorists need no encouragement, and it would be too facile by half to accuse the apologists for the Palestinians of creating the atmosphere for retaliation. Nevertheless, Yasser Arafat and his men know they can count on certain voices to be raised in the chanceries of the West, if not exactly in their behalf, at least in the cause of timidity when confronted with evil.

The world held its breath nine weeks ago, waiting to see what Israel would do to answer the suicide bombing at the Tel Aviv disco. Ariel Sharon held back, not so much to give peace a chance because the Israelis know that men cry peace, peace when there is no peace, but against the hope, however slender, that the Palestinians meant it when they said they wanted to slow the mayhem. Israel got its answer yesterday.

This time the Israelis are unlikely to play the saps their "friends" in the West urge them to be. "There will be a proper and adequate response," a senior Israeli official said yesterday. He added, with a chilling economy of words, "Proportionate to the event." When it happens, and when someone at the White House or at the State Department feels the urge to draw moral equivalence, George W. should call him in, darken the room, and run film.

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