June 29, 2004

Combating the Threat of Preschooler Oppression

Do any of you recall how you felt after the Oklahoma City bombing? Specifically, do you recall how you felt realizing the day care center had been:

". . . blown out of the building. It was gone[.]"
Do you recall how you felt when Timothy McVeigh referred to the 19 dead children as "collateral damage?" When he showed no remorse at all?

What if no one--or very few--had shown any remorse? What if the outpouring of sympathy, blood, and donations hadn't occurred? What if the news coverage had implied that what happened to the children in that day care had been . . . oh, perhaps not quite deserved . . . but understandable?

What if? What would you think of the world, of its values, of its ideology, of its core? What would you say had gone wrong? And where? And how? Wouldn't you eventually conclude that the world had turned, somewhere along the line, from loving life to loving death?

To me, it comes down to this:

One thing that is absent from the funeral: The cries of revenge on Afik's killers. Complaints that the government isn't protecting the townspeople, yes. Prayers for peace and protection, yes. And statements of determination.

But no cries of revenge. There is no cult of death in Israel. Jews are taught to revere life. Islamists think that's a weakness. I think it's one of our strengths.

Palestinian terrorists can fire a rocket into a nursery, but that's okay--they only kill Jews. Only occupiers. Only settlers. Only oppressors (and don't you wish Gere would just stick to the Dalai Lama?). So no worries, right?

I mean, one four year-old, big whoop. What about the hundreds of Palestinian children, etc., etc. Well, for starters, the Palestinian children should not be brought up like this; nothing could be more abusive than instilling in children a love of hatred, violence, nihilism, and death. But this is not being perpetrated against them by Israel.

Sderot is not a settlement and a nursery is not a military installation; even Al-Jazeera has managed to correct its earlier labeling of Sderot as a settlement--at least in some places, though not others. I expect the Palestinian Media Center to follow suit about half past . . . never.

Even if you could wave a wand and abolish Jew hatred in the world, I am not certain it would prevent atrocities like this. The Palestinians demonstrate little ability to cherish their own children; thus I am not convinced they could ever be made to care about Israeli ones.

But they can start proving me wrong about this any day now. It's an issue about which I'd be delighted to be proven wrong.

Posted by Ilyka at June 29, 2004 10:22 PM in hell is other people

all i can say is extremely well said.

Posted by: Simon at July 2, 2004 06:08 AM