- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Hundreds of children of the Beslan schoolhouse terror suffered grievous wounds that only surgeons skilled in dealing with wounds inflicted by urban terror can properly treat. Few Russian surgeons have such experience, so 10 of the most severely injured schoolchildren are being airlifted to Israel, where dealing with the horrific result of Islamist terror is part of everyday life.

“Since terror knows no borders, neither should our solidarity in fighting this evil and helping its victims,” says Michael Cherney, founder of a foundation to help victims of terror in Israel and elsewhere, which has the added benefit of educating the rest of the world about Israel’s fight for survival against the dark forces of terror. The Michael Cherney Foundation was established three years ago when a suicide bomb killed 20 teenagers and wounded more than a hundred others in a disco in Tel Aviv. Most of the dead and wounded were recent immigrants from the old Soviet Union.

Russia’s grateful acceptance of help contrasts sharply with Iran’s refusal of any help from Israel after an earthquake devastated much of Iran last year. Doctors and others wanted to share their skills, believing that medicine should know no boundaries, but the Iranian mullahs showed no mercy to their own people. Better that an Iranian child die a painful death than be saved by a Jew. Once more the mullahs illustrated the difference between rigid Islam and the West.

Israel, like the United States, quickly comes to the aid of those suffering in the wake of natural disaster; religious beliefs of those in need are of no consequence. The credulous and the ignorant on the “Arab street” — and many journalists who know better — nevertheless have the chutzpah to blame the Jews for the Islamist slaughter of the children of Beslan.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which tracks and translates the propaganda of that miserable region of the world, posts a column from the Jordanian government daily Al-Dustour, “revealing” that the Jews were behind the massacre in Beslan: Russian intelligence had information that Chechen factions had “contributions ? from Jewish oligarchs from the fields of finance, communications, and oil.” (These are presumably some of the same Jews who plotted the attacks of September 11.)

In another Jordanian daily, a columnist scolds terrorists who massacre children but only because a massacre damages the Islamist cause and furnishes a moral context for the “forces of evil” who “occupy” Palestine, Chechnya and Iraq.

A columnist in the Qatari daily Al-Sharq indicts the Russian mafia and observes its “ties” to Israel. “It is likely that the downing of the plane in Moscow [sic] and the operation against the school in Beslan,” he writes, “were part of the struggle that the Putin government is waging against the [Russian] mafia, which has ties to Israel.”

We might think this is merely the work of nuts on the fringe, but it’s consistent with the barrage of propaganda painting Israel as the “little Satan,” acting as surrogate for the “big Satan” across the sea. Millions of Muslims echo these newspaper columnists, condemning the Beslan atrocity not because it was evil but because it was self-defeating and counterproductive and provoked the anger of civilized men.

It’s certainly true that violence against Jews can hurt others. Turkey is home to 30,000 Jews, the largest community in any Muslim country. When al Qaeda-trained suicide bombers targeted two synagogues in Istanbul, they killed six Jews — and 54 others who were Muslims, Christians and followers of other religions (or of no faith at all).

There’s a rush in the media — both abroad and here at home — to separate mainstream Islam from the Islamist terrorists, but in the Middle East few Muslims bother to make such a fine-grained distinction. “The painful truth is that the acts of violence and barbarism occurring at present are nothing but the natural consequence of generations of Muslims having been misled and force-fed speeches [filled with] hostility and hatred for others over the course of decades, which deepened the backwardness and the ignorance in the Islamic world,” writes columnist Suleiman Al-Hatlan in the daily Al-Watan in Saudi Arabia, where if we’re lucky we may be watching the beginning of a great awakening.

Jews throughout the world will celebrate their New Year this week, and the sound of the shofar becomes a clarion call to the entire world to hear the message that terrorism against Jews is terrorism against humanity. Ten Russian children, fighting for their lives in a Tel Aviv hospital ward, can testify to that.

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