There is perhaps nothing as shocking and horrible as the murder of young children at school.
The United States has seen and mourned the tragedy too often, most recently at Uvalde, TX where an 18-year old killed 19 students and two teachers. Ten people were killed and 13 wounded in 2018 when a 17-year old shot people in a high school in Santa Fe, TX. In February of that year, a 19-year old killed 17 and injured the same number at a high school in Parkland, FL, and a month earlier, a 15-year old killed two students and injured 18 others in Marshall County, KY.
Not all of the shooters in the school attacks are teenagers. Almost all are male and every attack was committed by “lone wolves” acting out of hatred or mental distress.
Society has uniformly mourned the innocent victims, even while debating how to deal with the terrible violence. The loss of young lives is a shocking amputation for the families, a scar on society.
Civil society is appalled at the senseless violence. It ponders how to treat mental sickness and retard the hatred of killers and would-be murderers, methods to keep armaments out of those hands, and ways to better protect vulnerable schools. The media and public officials even consider not mentioning killers’ names or publishing any ‘manifestos’, in the hopes that it will dissuade other killers.
At least in the United States. That’s not the tactic the world applies to slaughtered children in Israel.
Palestinian Arab terrorists have long targeted Jewish children for murder. Palestinian society celebrates the slaughter and the world excuses those murderers.
Consider the May 1974 attack in Ma’alot, in northern Israel. Several Palestinian men coordinated an attack (not a lone person with mental illness) which took 115 people, including 105 children, hostage at the Netiv Meir Elementary School. The two-day rampage left 31 Israelis dead (including 22 children) and 70 injured.
The three armed Palestinian terrorists were members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). The leader of the DFLP, Nayef Hawatmeh, was awarded the “Star of Honor” for his contribution to Palestinian society by Mahmoud Abbas, the acting president of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
The PA’s official news channel described the award to Hawatmeh as follows:
“By the authority vested in us, and for the public good, we have decreed the following: ‘Brother Nayef Hawatmeh is decorated with the highest order of the Star of Honor in recognition of his important national role in service of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people, and in recognition of his efforts to raise the flag of Palestine since the launch of the Palestinian revolution, through the stages of the ongoing struggle. [Signed by] Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine.“
Another Palestinian terrorist group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) also attacked a school in northern Israel in April 1974. The Kiryat Shmona massacre killed 18 Israelis, including 8 children. The three Palestinian Arab murderers were killed at that time.
Marking the 42nd anniversary of the massacre, the official PA newspaper celebrated the attack and called out the terrorists heroes: “The heroes [of the operation] were the Martyrs Munir Mughrabi ‘Abu Shaker’, a Palestinian born in 1954, Ahmad Mahmoud ‘Abu Shaker’, a Syrian born in Halab in 1954, and Yassin Al-Hourani ‘Abu Hadi’, who was born in southern Iraq in 1954.“
Palestinian Arabs have also targeted school buses carrying Jewish children. In May 1970, Arabs fired rocket-propelled grenades at a bus which killed twelve people, including nine schoolchildren. In April 2011, the political-terrorist group Hamas fired a laser-guided anti-tank missile at a school bus, killing a young child.
Hamas has killed hundreds of Israeli civilians, including bombing the Hebrew University cafeteria in 2002, killing nine people, including 5 Americans. The attack was celebrated with hundreds of Palestinians pouring into the streets of Gaza City, vowing more attacks. The Palestinians love and support Hamas, with over half supporting the terrorist group and likely to elect the Hamas leader president of the PA, should elections ever be held.
In 2015, a United States court found the PA liable for supporting the terrorist attacks and ordered to pay $218 million to the victims, which was tripled due to its being related to terrorism. The courts ultimately threw out the ruling because Americans weren’t specifically targeted and the attacks did not happen on US soil.
While the fines were deemed inappropriate to enforce, the judgment which concluded that the PA was behind attacks on schools and civilians remains valid. Yet President Biden plans on meeting with PA President Abbas next month in any event. A representative of the European Union said yesterday that Israelis are to blame for Palestinian terrorism, as young Palestinians see homes being demolished, as he ignored the glorification of murderers at Palestinian schools.
How can the world mourn the killing of young American children at school by lone gunmen, while simultaneously excusing the slaughter of Jewish children by organized Palestinian political and terrorist groups?