In the wake of a martyr’s funeral

May 8, 2014 by  
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Palestinians have celebrated the funeral of al-Masri, the suicide bomber who blew up the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem in 2001. Arnold and Frimet Roth, originally from Melbourne, lost their 15-yr-old daughter Malki in the attack. Arnold Roth expresses his feelings in the wake of al-Masri’s funeral.

From Arnold Roth in Jerusalem:

Malki, Arnold and Frimet Roth....other family members blanked out for privacy

Malki, Arnold and Frimet Roth….other family members blanked out for privacy

Life in the wake of the death of my daughter Malki in 2001 has never been simple. One of the reasons has to do with the treatment demanded by, and to a great extent offered to, the perpetrators. Malki’s death was an act of murder, planned and executed in the hope of killing the greatest possible number of Israelis. We know a lot about who did the planning and how because all the key people were not only put on trial but have – with a few exceptions – subsequently walked free and have used the media to tell more and more of what they did. They are heroes in Palestinian Arab society and the focus of intense admiration and attention.

Last Wednesday, the official Palestinian Authority-controlled news channel, PA Television, broadcast the funeral of a young man called al-Masri. It was he who carried a guitar case full of explosives on his back into central Jerusalem’s now-defunct Sbarro pizza shop. He exploded it inside a restaurant filled with Jews, most of them children, and died a happy young man, perhaps even an ecstatic one. His life, in accordance with the insane religious dogmas that had been pumped into his head, had reached its point of fulfillment.

In PATV’s words, the funeral was an opportunity to honour “the martyr who gave his soul for the struggle of a nation that strives for freedom”.

Arnold Roth

Arnold Roth

In the blog that my wife Frimet and I write daily, “This Ongoing War”, we pointed out [see “5-May-14: The making of a martyr: it takes more than a village”] that the homage paid to al-Masri was made possible, first, by Israel’s incomprehensible handing over a few days earlier of his decomposed remains. He was the human bomb whose explosion caused a massacre in the center of Jerusalem on August 9, 2001. (Calling people like him ‘suicide bombers’ seems misconceived to us. They don’t do it in order to suicide. They want to kill; they are indifferent to the personal price it entails.)

The savagery celebrated by the Palestinian Arab crowd attending Wednesday’s spectacle cost 15 human lives, 8 of them children, all of them Jews. The televised (see brief YouTube extracts here and here) and widely photographed (see our blog post) event helps convey the message that, for those attending, this was a true celebration. Something great had been achieved. Now they are cementing its place in their history and their tradition.

But as well known as the facts are to Palestinian Arab society, they are far less well known outside.

Malki Roth at the restaurant

Malki Roth at the restaurant

It’s worth pointing out that the woman who set up the massacre and selected the site – the Sbarro pizza store at the corner of Jaffa Road and King George Avenue in the commercial heart of Jerusalem – has gone on record proudly asserting that she sought a target where she and the human bomb could murder a large number of (a) religious Jews and (b) religious Jewish children. (A sixteenth victim, a young mother, has been left in a comatose state for more than a dozen years.) She, by the way, was an employee of PA Television at the time of the Sbarro attack. When the explosion was triggered, she was already on her way back to Ramallah, some 15 km away. She presented the evening news some hours later. The main story was the one that she had herself caused to happen.
Wednesday’s funeral celebration took place in the northern Samarian town of Tubas. Personages representing both the Mahmoud Abbas-controlled PA and the Hamas terror organization took part. A PA National Security Forces military vehicle provided transport for the human bomb’s remains. The PA military adorned the funeral procession, and the PA-appointed governor of Tubas, Rabih Al-Khandaqji, took part and eulogized al-Masri and his barbarism. So did the PA-appointed mayor of the human bomb’s town.

Palestinian Media Watch, an indispensable source for anyone wanting to know what the Palestinian Arabs hear from their leaders when they think no one else is listening,  published a summary of the media coverage. Some key statements:

  • “The popular gathering around the blood of Izz Al-Din Al-Masri is an honest and true expression of our people’s yearning for national unity and unity of action.” [Jamal Abu Ara, the mayor of Aqqaba, a village where the human bomb had lived]
  • “The flags of the political parties were raised at this national wedding…” [Government-controlled PATV reporter] [Wedding, according to PMW’s analysts, is a reference to the disintegrated body being united with his 72 heavenly virgins.]
  • The “victorious” “martyr” “has returned to make those who loved him happy, just as he made them happy on the day he carried out his operation 13 years ago… [that] gave the Zionists a taste of humiliation” [Hamas-controlled Al-Aqsa TV News]
  • “The citizens expressed their pride in Izz Al-Din’s heroism, along with the thousands who gathered to accompany him on his final journey, and they did not forget all those who played a role in this operation.” [Hamas-controlled Al-Aqsa TV News]
  • Congratulations, my son, on your Martyrdom, praise Allah. You obtained what you sought, praise Allah…” [Mrs al-Masri, the human bomb’s mother]
  • “I salute Ahlam Tamimi who brought Izz Al-Din to his battlefield (she was released in the Shalit transaction despite having been sentenced to 16 life terms and lives today free as a bird in Jordan); I salute Qais Adwan (responsible for 77 acts of murder); I salute Abdullah Barghouti (maker of the Sbarro bomb apparatus; now serving 67 life sentences); I salute Ahmed Al-Ja’abari (a blood-drenched Hamas chief; his homicidal career ended in explosive circumstances in 2012); I salute Muhammad Deif (another blood-drenched Hamas chief and arch terrorist), and first and foremost, I salute prisonerJamal Abu Al-Hija (now serving 9 life sentences for multiple murders).” [Hamas leader Ahmad Nimr Abu Ara on Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV]
  • “Our Martyrs are not [mere] numbers in the occupation’s cemeteries, but heroes who watered the pure land of Palestine with their blood…” [PA governor of Tubas Rabih Al-Khandaqji]

Significantly, the photos we reproduced on our blog and those  from various Palestinian Arab online publications, show that the dominant visual theme of the daywas the color green. Green Hamas flags were everywhere. Bear in mind that this is the heartland of the PA-controlled West Bank.
Wednesday’s funeral of al-Masri received significant coverage in the Arabic media. But it got virtually none in the mainstream news channels of the non-Arabic-speaking world. The fact that most Westerners don’t know about it does not mean it has negligible significance.

Quite the contrary: if you look at depressing reports like one from two days ago about official Hamas TV running programs that persuade little children to become gunmen and killers [“Hamas to kids: Shoot all the Jews“], you see that making al-Masri a martyr and a figure to emulate is part of what we regard as an ongoing satanic strategy. It’s a process that continues to drag Palestinian Arab society – along with those who give such pathological forms of education their passive or active support – down into the gutter of human society and history.

Strong words? What else to call a process in which the leadership of an entire society – Abbas and his PA; Hamas; the Palestinian Islamic Jihad – seeks to turn its pre-teen children into human bombs?

As an aside: Back in August 2001, starting just a day or two after the Sbarro massacre, al-Masri’s father was ‘marketed’ to both the BBC and the Australian Broadcasting Corp as a lover of peace and as a worthy interview subject. We know this because both the ABC and the BBC approached us, asking that we take part in double-headed interviews: the newly-bereaved father of a child blown up just a few days earlier by a human bomb, matched with the parent of the human bomb himself. We declined both invitations, and then had cause (as we wrote here) to wonder what kind of soul-less reporter thinks that sort of proposal is moral and professional. Are you reading this, Tim Palmer?

Little media attention has been given to the fact that representatives of the major segments of Palestinian Arab society took part in the funeral. If you were looking for moderates – for instance the so-called moderates of the Mahmoud Abbas regime – they were indeed there. But they were not moderating anything. Nor were they expressing viewpoints that came close to moderate. When it comes to murder and incitement to murder of Israelis and of Jews, they are not moderate; they are enthusiastic.

In Wednesday’s funeral procession in Tubas, they participated, heart and soul, to ensure the strongest possible message of support, encouragement, adulation for acts of calculated murder like the one in which the dead human bomb had engaged – and that stole the life of our daughter Malki.

They amplified this message of hatred and jihad via the official Palestinian Arab state media, as did the Hamas regime in Gaza through theirs. They wanted everyone to know – at least, everyone who speaks Arabic – how united they all are in their passion for jihad, death, mayhem, destruction.

As for publishing reports of the funeral and its speeches in languages other than Arabic, they were considerably less interested. Try (just as one random example) finding any mention of it on the English-language, Bethlehem-based, high profile European-funded Maan News Agency website. But go to Maan’s Arabic side [here] and you find all the death-cult worship an Arabic reader with an interest in such things could want.

Interesting, no?

We received some comments from readers of our blog suggesting this characterization was unfair. They said there are voices in the Palestinian Arab world that are as sickened as people like us are by the unconcealed blood-lustof Hamas, of Islamic Jihad, of Fatah, of the Palestinian Authority and of Mahmoud Abbas.

We’re doubtful. But we’re willing to investigate. We issued a public invitation yesterday via Twitter and our blog [6-May-14: In search of appalled, sickened Palestinian Arabs] for anyone who has such evidence to send us public, published statements in Arabic – statements in which Palestinian Arab voices condemn what sickens the rest of the world: the process of turning psychopaths like the human bomb who murdered our daughter into martyrs, heroes, figures to be emulated.

We asked that these be sent to or added to the comments on our blog site where we undertake to publish what we receive. (Remember – in Arabic. We’ll take care of the translating into English.)
It’s been more than 24 hours; no evidence has yet turned up. Meanwhile we’re waiting.


One Response to “In the wake of a martyr’s funeral”
  1. What this poor family has had to endure should make us all angry and more determined than ever to support Israels struggle. Haven’t the Islamists the brains to realize that the murder of children doesn’t deter us, it makes us fight harder against such evil. The Palestinians have lost all moral right to have ‘their’ own nation, it’s a rat’s nest that’s best just cleaned out.

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