The following editorial was published by the Jerusalem Post, and I absolutely agree.
After sentencing al-Qaida shoe-bomber Richard Reid last January, US District Court Judge William Young turned to Reid and said, “You are not an enemy
combatant. You are a terrorist. We do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.”
Abdel Aziz Rantisi is a terrorist. As one of the senior leaders of Hamas, he is a senior terrorist. He has for years been involved in all aspects of Hamas’s terrorist infrastructure. Rantisi incites Muslims to become suicide bombers. He raises funds for weapons. He mobilizes operatives to strike. And after each successful bombing he acts as a terrorist spokesman and apologist.
According to a statement released yesterday by the Defense Ministry, Rantisi has personally overseen Hamas terror operations for the past several months — stepping in after Salah Shehada was killed and Muhammad Deif was taken out of action by IDF strikes. We have no reason to doubt the veracity of this statement.
We also do not doubt the Defense Ministry’s statement that Rantisi shares the criminal responsibility for the murder of 227 Israelis and the wounding of 1,393 others since the beginning of the Palestinian terrorist war three years ago.
As one of the heads of Hamas, Rantisi, like Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, is culpable for the actions of their organization regardless of whether they personally issued every specific kill order. Rantisi and Yassin are the brains of Hamas. At their direction, the organization murders. With their guidance, the organization grows and increases its public support. They, together with other terrorists like Yasser Arafat, are responsible for the indoctrination of large swathes of Palestinian society
to believe that the murder of Jews is moral and just.
Following the air force’s unsuccessful attempt to kill Rantisi yesterday, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer was quick to say that US President George W. Bush is “deeply troubled” by the IDF’s action. The president apparently believes that, by taking out Rantisi, the government is somehow harming the chances for peace.
To this we can only comment that we were unaware the US believes that Hamas is an organization worthy of protecting. We would also point out that Rantisi is an enemy of the US. Ahead of the US operation to destroy Saddam Hussein’s regime, Rantisi called on the Iraqis to carry out suicide bombings against US forces in Iraq.
In an article published on Hamas’s Web site in late December, translated by MEMRI, Rantisi wrote: “In order to defend the homeland from the terrorist Crusader [i.e. US] attack, there is a need for people who yearn for Paradise, and the shortest way to Paradise is death for [the sake of] Allah. Some of us should see the joyful and satisfied faces of the mothers in Iraq when they part from the fruit of their loins, who go off to the realms of honor, the realms of martyrdom. This is so that the enemy of the nation
knows that safeguarding honor and the homeland is dearer than life, and that our mothers in Iraq, like our mothers in Palestine, [are willing] to sacrifice the fruit of their loins but not their honor.”
Then, too, in a debate among Islamic scholars in 2001 on the question of whether Islam permits suicide bombers, Rantisi cited a 1996 fatwa by one Sheikh Qardawi who extolled the Islamic virtue of suicide bombers. Qardawi is one of the heads of the Muslim Brotherhood the Egyptian jihadist movement that spawned Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and al-Gama’at al-Islamiya a sister organization of al-Qaida. So Rantisi and Osama bin Laden share the same preacher.
All of this of course brings us to the blatant hypocrisy of the US when considering Palestinian terrorists. While it is clear that anyone in any way related to al-Qaida is a terrorist, we are told that there is a distinction between “political” and “military” wings of the terrorist organizations that are mainly dedicated to killing Israelis. The only thing “political” about a killer like Rantisi is that he orders others to do the dirty work for him.
While the US can take out anyone related to al-Qaida, it expects Israel to protect bin Laden’s Palestinian counterparts in the terrorism business. We must by this logic allow them to freely congregate to plan attacks, appear on television to incite attacks in Arabic and justify them in English, and watch quietly as they conduct “negotiations” with Egypt and the EU.
Like Bush, we too are deeply troubled by yesterday’s attempt to take out a mass murderer of our fellow citizens. We are troubled because Rantisi has lived to murder another day. We wish the air force better luck in the future in carrying out its mission of safeguarding the lives of Israeli citizens from the murderous likes of Rantisi.
It is about time the world faces the obvious: the Hamas is a terrorist organization that will not submit to negotiations. While Abu Mazen remains powerless, Israel must act.