The news about yesterday's suicide bombing in the Israeli town of Dimona is that it's news. In 2002, at the height of the second intifada, 451 Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks, including 14 suicide bombings. By contrast, yesterday's attack, which killed one and injured 11, was the first of its kind in more than a year.
This didn't happen by accident, or because Palestinian radicals have somehow become less hostile to Israel. Responsibility for yesterday's attack was claimed by the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, which is affiliated with President Mahmoud Abbas's ostensibly moderate Fatah party. Islamist Hamas remains even more ardently dedicated to Israel's destruction, a point it emphasizes with its rocket barrages at southern Israeli cities close to the Gaza Strip.
Instead, the difference has come because of Israel's increasingly successful antiterrorist efforts. Key to that success has been the construction of its ostensibly "illegal" security fence, its equally "illegal" targeted assassinations of key terrorist leaders, its "disproportional" attacks on terrorist enclaves in Jenin and elsewhere, and other actions that saved innocent lives but which much of the international community deplored.
One of the most common arguments against Israel's actions is that it would feed a "cycle of violence." It's fair to say that what happened is closer to the opposite. As Israel put pressure on terrorist leaders, they were forced to spend their time running for their lives rather than planning the next attack. As Israel set up physical obstacles to terrorism, the need for large-scale military incursions declined, allowing a semblance of normal life to return for Israelis as well as Palestinians. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, Israel proved that terrorists can be defeated -- a lesson that applies equally in Iraq.
Denmark's five major daily newspapers republished on Wednesday one of the 12 drawings of the Prophet Mohammed. As opposed to the first 'Mohammed' crisis, now, all the major Danish newspapers have decided to print the drawing of an Arabic-like man with a bomb in his turban. I don't believe this is a provocation to the Muslim world, especially as Muslim's are attempting to represent the issue. Printing this cartoon is in no fashion meant as an insult to anyone. It's a declaration. A declaration from a democratic country - and Denmark in particular - that we refuse to be dominated by religious dogma, psychopathic or repressive attitudes that any person, any religion, or any philosophy is beyond the simple scrutiny and dissection of the public, it's awareness, analysis - and if desired, humour. It's 2007. Porn is readily seen on TV. Naked girls are being exploited in popular magazines. We are subject to bad advertising, lousy movies, and many negative influences that Islam, and many other religions, wisely shun. But, the point is, we are free to chose. We insist that parents prevent their children from running the streets like lawless criminals, and we insist on every child attaining a level of education that allows them to make informed choices - regardless of religious choice. Hopefully, those choices will be, by and large, wise, healthy and pro-life. If not, we'll make mistakes. We're allowed to make mistakes. This is important: we are permitted to make mistakes - and learn from them. We are permitted the freedom of choice, and freedom of expression. These newspapers are declaring that this is not only permissible, it's essential. Firemen in Malmö, Sweden, are being stoned by Arabic immigrants - firemen who attempt to save lives, protect people and private property, at rather low salaries. Firemen in all the larger Danish cities are being stoned by Arabic immigrants, as they are in France, Holland, Germany, and many other European countries. Perhaps, these newspapers are demanding at last, that we establish the rules of engagement with Europe's new Arabic citizen's. European communities have opened their doors, and societies, to what they felt were threatened and desperate people. Now crime rates, especially youth crime rates, soar. Schools, streets, even prisons have seen a raw, violent criminality that has never existed here before. The obvious fact is that it isn't Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese, Koreans, nor Polish, Jewish or American immigrants that are creating violent gangs of 2nd and 3rd generation kids in the streets. Page after page of our newspapers are filled with issues of Muslim crime, violence, and social disturbance. I suspect, if we were to have a quantitative financial analysis of the issue - all in, social benefits, unemployment support, transfer incomes as well as crime and home security components - the 'new Arabic citizenry' of Denmark is probably the most costly item in the Danish public budget. Oddly, Arabic immigrant families seem completely unconcerned. Otherwise they would keep their kids off the streets, and insist on better grades and better behavior. In Denmark, 71% of youth crimes are perpetrated by Arabic immigrants. 68% of rapes are committed by the same group. In Norway, the numbers are quite similar. The same problem wasn't seen during the large immigration waves of Koreans, Vietnamese, Poles, Jews or Chinese. To call this 'societies fault' is just too vague, and a simple, intellectual cop-out. When kids think crime pays, it's the fault of lousy parents. When kids do poorly in school, it's the fault of their parents. If one religion seems to be core to a condemning demographic trend, their community leaders should be embarrassed as hell, shamed, and begin doing something about it. Why don't we hear their leaders condemning violence, ignorance and criminality from the tops of mountains, and on their pulpits? Maybe because their too busy propagating violence, hatred and how the whole world should be Islamic. We have to stop thinking that these criminals and delinquents are victims. At some point we must recognize that we've imported a neo-imperialistic dogma that employs violence and fear as a tool, and is amalgamating more and more youth energy in a clearly asocial fashion - a downright dangerous fashion. And it seems to be gaining more and more momentum as their numbers increase. So, I believe Danish newspapers decided to declare the obvious: 'We don't want your brand of repression, violence and dogma here! We've welcomed you to share our prosperity and freedoms. Respect it. And respect our freedom of choice and expression!' The Danes are not racists or religiously discriminating. They protected Jews against the Germans in WW2 in heroic fashion. Out of all European countries, Denmark is one of 2 nations that have never expelled Jews. Despite being a tiny nation, Denmark stood up to Hitler, the best they could. The Danes have always stood for equality, even to a fault. Unlike France, if you can only speak English, they speak English with you - and probably better than you do. Denmark is highly educated, and of all EU countries, Danes seem to implement changes in EU laws faster than any other nation. Danes are liberal, open, and democratic. Maybe their only fault is being slightly naive. In any case, a cartoon of an Arabic man with a bomb in his turban can not be a drawing of Mohammed. No one knows how he looks. It's just a drawing. The pipe that Renee Magritt painted, was deliberately named, 'This is not a Pipe.' Obviously, it is merely a drawing. Not a pipe. The drawing of an Arabic man with a bomb in his turban is an impression. A cartoonist sitting on the moon with a powerful telescope might draw something similar - and it wouldn't matter if he was looking at Iraq, Sudan, Nigeria, Lebanon, Hamburg, Paris or Malmo. Now, immigrants in Denmark are setting the cities ablaze exactly like they did in France last summer, and the summer before. Danish newspapers are making a statement about a very dangerous trend of violent 'religious' dogma being preached, believed and manipulated in creating an army of 'religious' thugs. Disenfranchised youth who lack parental guidance and a solid education are being targeted by cynically driven, politically motivated clerical, 'neo-fascist, cultural imperialists.' That is the correct jargon, isn't it? I think this kind of thing should be taken seriously. Something like this happened in the 1920-30's, and lead to nearly 100.000.000 people being butchered the world over. So, if the impression that these 'new European citizens' is projecting is being inaccurately defined, and the statement of these 5 Danish newspapers isn't warranted, let the Arabic and Muslim communities prove it. Let them prove their peaceful intent. Let them prove they can win Nobel prizes and improve the per capita income of their communities. Let them prove their children can excel in our schools, and that they can make contributions to our societies that we appreciate. Violent kids are a product of violent homes. Dogma is a result of ignorance. Crime is the result of lacking education, where success and position are achieved through socially acceptable means. These newspapers could just as well ask, 'Why don't you prove you don't want to turn our societies into what you originally fled from: religiously repressive, backward, brutal, chauvinistic and tyrannic places. And, why didn't you leave the baggage of ignorance, hatred and repression behind?' These immigrant Arabic populations seem to share a huge, collective inferiority-complex. The result is, that every major newspaper in Denmark is trying to say to you, worldwide, that we don't have an inferiority complex. We are proud of what we've created here. We enjoy our freedoms. So do you, or you wouldn't have begged to live here with us. You would have gone back from where you came, after taken a good look-see. We don't mind making room for others, new citizens who flee from terror. We just don't want them bringing it here. And, we also like having fun, and making fun of each other. Sometimes that irritates; mostly, we just ignore it. These 5 newspapers are declaring their unassailable right to have fun, and at your expense. Unfortunately, they do that sort of thing here. We believe that 'sticks and stones can break your bones,' but freedom with responsibility, can never harm you! Brian Burr
by Brian on 2008-03-01 19:55:52 GMT