Yet again, the Palestinians have just held, in both Gaza and the West Bank, ghoulish celebrations of the murder of Israeli civilians, including a six-year-old child. More on these celebrations can be found here: “Palestinians Celebrate Murder of Israelis in Terrorist Attack, Media Headlines Call Victims ‘Settlers,’” by Dion J. Pierre, Algemeiner, February 10, 2023:
Images on social media circulated Friday of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza celebrating a terrorist attack in Jerusalem that left two Israelis dead on Friday morning, just hours before the beginning of Shabbat.
In a video posted to Twitter, a man instructs children in Gaza to hand out pastries to passerby in honor of 31-year-old Hussein Qaraqe, who rammed his car into a bus stop in the East Jerusalem in an attack that killed six-year-old Yaakov Pelli and twenty-year-old newly-wed Alter Shlomo Lederman while injuring five others. Images also purported to show members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in Khan Yunis, Gaza, distributing sweets.
These sweets — pastries and candies — are always distributed by Palestinians after an especially satisfying terror attack on Israelis. Sometimes it’s more than just sweets, when a large number of Israelis have been murdered. When seven Israeli civilians, coming out of a synagogue, were murdered in Neve Yaakov in early February, Palestinians handed out pastries, honked car horns in frenetic glee, set off firecrackers, and engaged in a great deal of Allahu-akbaring. Much mafficking. And a good time was had by all.
“The heroic action in Jerusalem is a natural response to all the crimes of the occupation against the Palestinian people, the last of which is the massacre in the Aqabat Jaber camp,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Kassem said on Friday, citing an IDF operation to neutralize roughly half a dozen terrorists who conspired to commit an attack on an Israeli restaurant in January.
The “heroic action” consisted of Palestinian Hussein Qaraqe crashing his car into a group of Israelis, mostly mothers and children, standing at a bus stop. Among them were a six-year-old boy and his eight-year-old brother. The six-year-old died, and the eight-year-old is now fighting for his life. A 20-year-old young man returning home for Shabbat was also killed. Several others were seriously wounded. A “heroic action” indeed.
In another celebratory statement, the Islamic Jihad Movement (PIJ) said, “We affirm that this blessed operation, which healed the hearts of our people, came as a natural and legitimate response to the crimes of the occupation.”
Of course. Nothing heals the hearts of the Palestinians like seeing dead Israelis. Murder is a “natural and legitimate response” to the crimes of the Zionists, who stubbornly refuse to give the Palestinians what they want, and deserve – a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea.”
After the attack, which occurred amid escalating Palestinian violence against Israelis, Qaraqe’s uncle told Palestine Post Network that Qaraqe “loved Palestine all his life, and he was suffering from a severe injury in his back.”
I don’t know why his aching back is significant. Perhaps it is meant to suggest that even though Qaraqe had an aching back, he was still determined to go through with his heroic deed. A determined martyr for Palestine.
Qaraqe, who lived in a rented house in Issawiya — a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem — was a “mentally disturbed” person only several days removed from being an in-patient at a psychiatric hospital, according to Gili Cohen, a correspondent for Israeli public broadcaster KAN. He also, Hebrew outlet N12 reported, had a history of lauding terrorists on social media, posting “Glory to the pure souls” in reference to those who committed previous atrocities.”
Where is the evidence that Qaraqe’s murders were the product of a “mentally disturbed” individual, rather than the natural expression of the jihad ideology that has inspired so many of millions of Muslims? He lauded terrorists on social media, but in this he was no different from hundreds of thousands of other Palestinians, all of whom wished “glory to the pure souls” of their “martyrs,” that is, those who died while murdering Israelis. The outward evidence suggests not mental disorder, but an understandable desire to make his own mark as a “martyr” and, what’s more, to ensure that his family would, as a result of his “heroic action,” receive generous lifetime support from the Palestinian Authority, as part of its “Pay-for-Slay” program.
Meanwhile, various Arab-language media outlets described the Israeli victims as “settlers.”
Roya News, a Jordanian outlet, ran an article about the incident with a headline saying, “Two settlers killed in car-ramming operation in occupied in Jerusalem,” while a Palestinian outlet said, “Martyrdom of the executor. Two settlers were killed and others injured in a run-over operation in Jerusalem.” The Palestinian Chronicle, an outfit based in Mountlake Terrace, Washington, reported that Qaraqe “rammed his vehicle into a group of illegal Jewish settlers” after saying that Israel “claimed” that he had done it.
“Settlers.” “Illegal settlers.” Is a six-year-old child a “settler”? That’s what various Arabic-language media called him. They never revealed his age. Was someone still little enough to have a teddy bear a “settler” who deserved to be killed? And his eight-year-old brother, now in critical condition, was also described as a “settler.” Remember: this was a “heroic action.” No need to provide the ages of those “settlers.” Not everyone would be impressed.
In the United States, a headline by CNN said “Two dead including child as car rams people at Jerusalem bus stop,” prompting criticism from the Israel Foreign Ministry.
“This wasn’t a self driving car @CNN,” the Ministry said on Twitter. “The driver a Palestinian terrorist *intentionally* rammed into a bus stop packed with children and families traveling before Shabbat.”
What explains – for nothing excuses — CNN’s headline that endows the car with agency and denies that of the driver bent on murder? “Two dead…as car rams people”? That will never do. Here’s what will do: “Palestinian rams car into Israelis, killing two, including a six-year-old.”
Think, CNN. Just think before you headline.
And while we have you on the line, how about doing a story on how the Palestinians pull out all the stops when they celebrate the murders of Israelis? For many in your audience, that will prove most instructive.