[Make sure to read Robert Spencer’s contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
Every day seems to bring fresh evidence of just how savage and demonic Hamas really is. On Friday, video surfaced of IDF soldiers entering the Nova music festival in southern Israel in the aftermath of Hamas’ massacre there. Be warned: the video shows the dead bodies of numerous young Israelis whom the jihadis murdered in their pursuit of another genocide of the Jewish people. As such evidence of Hamas’ inhumanity comes to light, however, their motivations remain obscure to most people. Even now, nearly a quarter-century after 9/11, people in the West have trouble believing that someone could ruthlessly murder people and think he is serving the supreme being. And so studying the testimony of another jihadi can be illuminating.
Back in 2019, a Palestinian Muslim named Arafat Irafaiya raped and murdered a nineteen-year-old Israeli girl named Ori Ansbacher. The murder was so brutal that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu specifically noted its “shocking brutality.” Irafaiya emphasized that he had raped and murdered Ori Ansbacher because she was Jewish; as if to emphasize the ideology that had spurred such bloodlust, Irafaiya was captured in a mosque.
Irafaiya afterward made statements to investigators that are newly relevant as illustrative of the jihadi mindset. In an upbeat mood, Irafaiya exulted: “I did everything an Arab dreams of.” He even said that raping and murdering Ori Ansbacher was “the best and most important thing I did in my life.”
The Western mind reels. How could this blood-curdling act of hatred be the best and most important thing he ever did in his life? This is understandable only from an Islamic perspective. An Islamic tradition depicts a man approaching Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, and asking him: “Instruct me as to such a deed as equals jihad (in reward).” Muhammad replies, “I do not find such a deed.” (Sahih Bukhari 4.56.2785) Arafat Irafaiya no doubt considers his brutalization and killing of Ori Ansbacher to be an act of jihad, and so he regards it with the deep satisfaction of the pious when they know they have done something that pleases their god.
Irafaiya was not just satisfied; he was positively bubbling with joy. The Hebrew-language Kakolhayehudi reported that “during his interrogations, while bursting with laughter, Arpaia described to his investigators the horror he committed while not being afraid for a moment to proudly present his thoughts about the murder.” Bursting with laughter: Irafaiya is now secure in the knowledge that having killed a Jew, one of the people who are “the most vehement of mankind in hostility to those who believe” (Qur’an 5:82), he has done something that is outstanding in Allah’s sight, and will receive his reward.
It is also likely that Irafaiya believes that by killing Jews, he can help to hasten the consummation of all things: “Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: ‘The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.’” (Sahih Muslim 2922)
Irafaiya said happily: “The murder is the best and most important thing I’ve done in my life. If she had stayed alive, it would have meant that I failed in what I planned and failed in my mission. It was the best feeling I’ve felt in my life.” He had planned his murder carefully, although he did short in his goal of killing many Jews, not just one: “I planned to enter Jerusalem and murder Jews. I wanted to kill several Jews and not one, but when I was there I saw that Allah had sent me the Jewish woman and I understood that I had to kill her. This was the fate to which Allah had summoned me.”
Irafaiya also revealed that he had bought a kippah so as to disguise himself as a Jew. According to another hadith, Muhammad said, “War is deceit.” (Bukhari 4.52.268). “I planned to use it to carry out an attack in Jerusalem. I planned to enter some place, put on the kippah so that they would think I was Jewish and stab as many Jews as possible in order to kill them. If I hadn’t met a girl on the way I would have entered Jerusalem to carry out the attack and murder Jews.” Even after he murdered Ori, he hoped to kill more people: “After I murdered her, I stayed near the body for some time. I was waiting for more people, more Jews, to come looking for the murdered woman, in order to surprise them and kill them. If I had died during the attempt to kill more Jews, for me it is a blessed thing because I would have died as a martyr.”
It cannot be emphasized enough that when these people rape and kill, they think they’re doing something glorious that will earn them blessings and rewards from Allah. Non-Muslims generally persist in refusing to understand this, or to deal with it in any adequate way, and keep thinking that Israeli concessions will solve the problem. That path has been tried and failed. It is time now to face reality.