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  KD MAGAZINE! 
Posted: Monday, October 31, 2005 - כ"ח בתשרי, תשס"ו
 
 

BREEDING VIOLENCE
Rabbi Shea Hecht
About the Author

News stories in the past several days included, among others - "Arab Terrorist's Wife Used Baby to Hide Grenade," "Bombing in Hadera Kills Five," "Iranian President Calls for the Destruction of Israel and the West." It appears no life is sacred in this Muslim ‘holy' war and that death and destruction are the answers to any and all problems. Don't like someone? Shoot them. They belong to the wrong religion? Bomb them. They live in an ‘atheist' country? Kill their kids. Maim the parents. Destroy their homes. 

Among these articles I found another almost unnoticeable article that didn't seem connected to the others in any way. Though the article was unobtrusive, the title "Internal Violence Plagues Palestinians" caught my eye. This article stated that Palestinian on Palestinian violence is on the rise - in fact there was a dramatic jump in violence perpetrated by one Palestinian on another. How fascinating! 

For years psychologists, psychiatrists, clergy and all those who study human behavior have made a connection between behavior that children view on television and video games and the way the children themselves behave. They have also made a connection between the way people treat animals and the way they treat human beings. These connections show us that what a person sees and the way they live influences their behavior. 

Using the above-mentioned theory known to behaviorists we can understand how a population who lives in a society where killing people is considered a valid and proper solution to problems, will integrate violence into their lifestyles and begin to use that code of law as a way of life. 

The Muslims have always said that a Muslim life is worth more than a non-Muslim one. They have recently regressed by allowing Muslims lives to be forfeited as a result of Muslim-against-infidel violence. 

What message did the Muslim world receive? Much like the people who grew up in communist Russia, they have been indoctrinated by their government and their leaders that there is some ideal that is more important and more worthy than a life. 

In communist Russia, ‘Mother Russia' was the cause. In the Muslim countries, it's the  jihad. And now not only are infidel lives worthless in the fight for the ‘holy' cause, but Muslim lives are dispensable too. I wonder, are the Muslims who die as bystanders to the ‘holy' war, also promised a special life in heaven? 

In the Muslim world, violence has been a way of life and something to be admired. In the Gaza Strip, the departure of Israeli troops and settlers has brought anarchy and murder. Members of Hamas routinely fight gun battles with members of Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas's ruling political party. Sometimes the killings are between clans and sometimes it's collaborators and social outsiders that are killed or used to kill others as a way to ‘fix their sin'.

The Palestinian leaders stand behind the scenes and pull the strings; the leader of them all is the Palestinian president - who refuses to mix into it all because of the fear of Civil War. All were raised in this culture and most have had their uses for violence. Arafat, used violence to become the head of his movement and kept it in check when it suited his political purpose. Among Palestinians, his popularity owed chiefly to the fact that under his leadership all this violence helped his international reputation. 

The violence is so ingrained in Palestinian society that a new survey released by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion poll by Dr. Nabil Kukali that 31 percent of Arabs in the PA think a jailed terrorist and Hamas leader would be a perfect candidate for PA president. 

Be that as it may, the message is clear. Lives are cheap! Any kind of life. Who said that the clerics should be the only ones to decide whose life is dispensable? To me it would seem patently unfair that they should have the exclusive. Obviously the Palestinian masses feel the same. When they have a problem, they seem more and more to be turning to the closest solution at hand - the one that's been ingrained in them from their youth - violence. While it's sad, it's hard to feel bad!

Read more articles by Rabbi Hecht

 

 
     
 
 
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