Jihad and peace: When apples grow on cherry trees - opinion

The idea that there is even the slightest chance of achieving peace, let alone a “two-state solution,” with a society that promotes murder and welcomes martyrdom is laughable.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants attend a military parade in Gaza October 19, 2016. (photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants attend a military parade in Gaza October 19, 2016.
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Operation Breaking Dawn, Israel’s 55-hour war against Islamic Jihad in Gaza that ended on Sunday night, not only aroused the wrath of the world’s usual antisemitic suspects; it also caused the small but vociferous domestic “peace camp” chorus to sing its tired refrain about the desperate need for a political solution to the conflict.

The tired “two-state” mantra is also reiterated by White House and State Department officials at every opportunity, other than when they are busily beseeching Iran to return to the nuclear deal. Naturally, US President Joe Biden repeated it during his visit last month to Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

He went beyond his already foolish even-handedness, however, when touring the Augusta Victoria Hospital on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. On his way to the medical center that treats Palestinian patients from East Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza, his team removed the Israeli flag from his limousine and forbade Israeli reporters from covering the event. He then gave a little speech in which he likened the plight of the Palestinians to that of his Irish forebears.

“[W]e have a long history not fundamentally unlike the Palestinian people with Great Britain and their attitude toward Irish-Catholics over the years, for 400 years,” he said, before quoting an Irish poem about hoping for a “tidal wave of justice.”

 US President Joe Biden meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Presidential Compound, in Bethlehem, in the West Bank July 15, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN) US President Joe Biden meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Presidential Compound, in Bethlehem, in the West Bank July 15, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN)

LITTLE DID he know that a very different sort of “tidal wave of justice” from the one he had in mind would come a mere three weeks later when the IDF pummeled the Islamic Republic-financed IJ by assassinating the bulk of its top brass. One IJ commander who emerged unscathed was Ziyad al-Nakhala, secretary-general of the organization’s West Bank (Judea and Samaria) branch. While the fighting was going on in Gaza, al-Nakhala was off in Tehran chumming it up with Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi.

One thing that can be said about Biden is that at least he’s consistent when it comes to the fantasy that it’s viable to engage in diplomacy with entities bent on the annihilation of the West in general and the Jewish state in particular. The trouble is that while he doesn’t deny Iran’s race to nuclear weapons – and believes that an agreement like a new version of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will prevent the regime in Tehran from acquiring them – he thinks that Palestinian terrorism is an expression of frustration over a lack of independence.

Ironically, the Jew-killers in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the first to acknowledge that, for them, death is preferable to life alongside Israel. Nor is this solely because the families of those who meet their end in the process of murdering Israelis are showered with accolades and lots of cash, courtesy of the Palestinian Authority Martyrs’ Fund – though the fringe benefits certainly add to the allure.

Ibrahim al-Nabulsi

TAKE THE case of Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, for instance, who was eliminated this week by Israeli special forces. The last words of the 19-year-old member of the unaffiliated “Baruka” terrorist cell to his numerous social-media followers were: “I love you all. I am now going to die a martyr’s death. I am asking that you never abandon your weapons. I love my mother. Take care of the homeland for me.”

“I love you all. I am now going to die a martyr’s death. I am asking that you never abandon your weapons. I love my mother. Take care of the homeland for me.”

Ibrahim al-Nabulsi

The TikTok sensation, dubbed by his adoring fans in the PA as the “Lion of Nablus,” was responsible for several attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians, including the shooting of worshipers at Joseph’s Tomb. He had escaped IDF capture on three occasions since the beginning of the year.

One of these resulted in the fall of a fellow terrorist. In the wake of the incident, a video circulated on the Internet showing Nabulsi carrying the body of his comrade-in-arms and hearing him say, “Lucky you; you are now in Allah’s good graces.”

If such a send-off of a cohort sounds chilling to Western ears, it’s nothing compared to the elated eulogy delivered by Nabulsi’s own mother in the wake of her “beloved” son’s death. To grasp the extent of her sick reaction to the loss, one needs a recap of the details of the raid in which he was gunned down.

In a joint operation on Tuesday morning, members of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), the Israel Police’s National Counterterrorism squad and the IDF Commando Brigade’s Duvdevan Unit entered Nablus and surrounded a building where Nabulsi and other terrorists were holed up. Refusing to surrender, he and the other gunmen opened fire on the Israeli forces.

They responded by using the “pressure cooker” method, hitting the building with a shoulder-fired missile. The mission, which ended up including a confrontation with neighboring residents throwing rocks and firebombs at the forces, also turned up a large cache of weapons and explosive devices.

The hours-long battle claimed the lives of Nabulsi and two other terrorists, Islam Soboukh and Hussein Taha, and left more than a dozen Palestinian rioters injured.

THE ONLY Israeli casualty of the terrorists was Zili, a Yamam K-9 dog, referred to by Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai as a “true four-legged warrior.”

In the days since the raid, Zili’s passing and formal burial have been the focus of news and feature stories, with trainers and officers hailing the 9-year-old Belgian Malinois as a loyal friend and genuine hero. Countrywide attention to the mourning of Zili has sparked a number of hostile comments about how similar sympathy supposedly wasn’t extended to the children killed in Gaza days earlier.

Never mind that this isn’t true, or that poor IJ rocket-launch aim was the culprit; any excuse to hurl unwarranted accusations at Israel will do. Rather than pointing fingers in the wrong direction, critics of Israeli morals might want to pause to observe the form that Palestinian grieving often takes.

“Ibrahim, they shot him. But there are 100 more Ibrahims here. Everyone here is Ibrahim. Everyone here is Ibrahim. You’re all my children. You’re all Ibrahim. Ibrahim is now with Abraham; Ibrahim is now with the Prophet Muhammad.”

Ibrahim al-Nabulsi’s mother

This brings us back to Nabulsi’s mom. Standing amid a throng of supporters, the smiling woman declared: “Ibrahim, they shot him. But there are 100 more Ibrahims here. Everyone here is Ibrahim. Everyone here is Ibrahim. You’re all my children. You’re all Ibrahim. Ibrahim is now with Abraham; Ibrahim is now with the Prophet Muhammad.”

Her remarks elicited happy chanting from the crowd.

“Congratulations to the martyr’s mother!” they shouted. At this, she grinned and made a victory sign with each hand.

“I wish my mother would take your place,” they added. “Ibrahim has won. He won. He won.”

Nodding in agreement, she yelled, “Praise be to Allah, praise be to Allah, praise be to Allah!”

No peace with Palestinians

THE IDEA that there is even the slightest chance of achieving peace, let alone a “two-state solution,” with a society that promotes murder and welcomes martyrdom is laughable. This is why fewer and fewer Israelis consider it an option worth considering as part of a political platform.

Indeed, any lip service to it that doesn’t emanate from the far-Left is vague and hypothetical. After all, everyone accepts that when the Palestinians rebel against their leaders, shun their violent religious ideology and stop being backed by the globe’s greatest state sponsor of terrorism – you know, around the time that apples start growing on cherry trees – the possibility of nonbelligerent coexistence could present itself and be taken seriously.

Until then, military preparedness and prowess will remain as imperative to Israel’s well-being as weeping over a cherished dog is illustrative of its character.