A friend of mine just sent me this with the following preface:
- David Applebaum was a close friend of my wife and officiated in March at our wedding. Last night, he and his daughter Nava, who was to be married today, were murdered in the second terror attack of the day in Israel.
I don’t believe any lives are inherently worth more than other lives, but I do believe a culture that glorifies suicide in conjunction with the mass murder of civilians is twisted to the point of evil. I don’t believe all Palestinians condone, let alone glorify, the “martyrdom” of suicide bombers, but enough do that they continue apace and are accepted as a legitimate tactic. The fatalistic worship of death always yields just that.
The War on Terror just became very real again for me today:
- The team of the emergency room at Shaare Zedek Medical Center was already used to many terror attacks, but Tuesday night’s suicide bombing at Cafe Hillel on Emek Refaim Street brought a new, horrific experience.
As the hospital’s doctors and nurses waited to treat the wounded, they received word that the attack had killed the head of their emergency room, Dr. David Appelbaum.
Appelbaum, 50, had taken his daughter, Nava, 20, to the cafe on the eve of her wedding, which was to have taken place Wednesday night. Both were among the seven Israelis killed in the suicide bombing. Both were lain to rest in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
Colleagues said Applebaum, who moved to Israel from Cleveland, Ohio, some 20 years ago, had in the past often been among the first to reach and treat victims of terror attacks.
“He would appear at the site of every attack, volunteer, get in the ambulances to evacuate the injured to the emergency room,” said Dr. Kobi Assaf, director of the emergency room at Hadassah Ein Karem hospital, also in Jerusalem. [Haaretz]
I do not rejoice at the targeted deaths of Hamas leaders in Israel’s retributional campaign, and I especially regret when innocents – including women and children – are harmed and killed in the strikes, but I also know that “targeted” is far more moral than untargeted self-annihilation with the sole purpose of destroying the lives of as many fellow human beings as possible. And I know that, now, finally, Arafat must go, alive or dead.
Why Arafat? Michael Oren writes in today’s WSJ (subscription required):
- But while Israelis may have exploited the [Oslo Accords] treaty’s spirit, the Palestinians flagrantly disregarded its letter. No sooner had Arafat returned from Washington than he began smuggling explosives and weapons into the territories, harboring wanted terrorists, and educating Palestinian children to destroy Israel — all blatant breaches of Oslo. In the mid-’90s, Arafat’s Palestinian Authority failed to stop and in some cases abetted the suicide bombers who killed hundreds of Israelis. Yet, in spite of these gross violations, neither Arafat nor his Authority was ever called to task. Advocates of Oslo equivocated that the Palestinians would comply with the accords but only after they had achieved statehood, and until then, they were too weak to clamp down on terrorism or even to cease incitement. The many Israelis who died in the interim were dubbed, perversely, “victims of peace.”
Another, subtler, reason for Oslo’s collapse was the absence of mutuality. The accords called on both sides to “recognize their mutual legitimate and political rights,” but while Rabin specifically recognized the rights of the Palestinian people, Arafat never acknowledged the rights or even the existence of a Jewish people. Had he done so, he would have accepted the Jews’ claim to a permanent state in their homeland, and signaled his willingness to divide that land with them. Instead, he arrogated all of the land for the Palestinians and sought to transform Israel into a de facto Palestinian state through the mass repatriation of refugees. While “Palestinian people” and “Palestinian state” entered Israel’s political lexicon, the words “Jewish people” and “Jewish state” never passed his lips. Privately, with President Clinton, he even denied that the Jews had historical ties to Jerusalem.