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Yechiel Leiter Photo: Public Relations
Yechiel Leiter Photo: Public Relations
 
 

The logos of terrorism

Op-ed: Like Germans, Palestinians indoctrinated with notion that Jews are not human

Yechiel Leiter
Published: 05.07.11, 14:02 / Israel Opinion

How is the rational mind to understand the targeting of children for murder as instanced in the slaughter of the Fogel family and the firing of an anti-tank missile at a yellow Israeli school bus by Palestinian terrorists?

 

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In his account of the Second Peloponnesian War, the classical historian, Thucydides, tells of the plague that broke out in Athens during the second year of the war. It ravaged the population and debilitated the survivors, of which Thucydides himself was one.

 

“The plague was stronger than logos,” Thucydides wrote, intending two different but closely related concepts. Logos means reason – the plague defied reason, as no one understood how it began or how it would end. And Logos also means language – the plague defied language, there were no words to describe the totality of its devastation.

 

Shall we say that Palestinian terrorism is “stronger than logos?” Does the murder of little children in their sleep or on their way home from school not defy all reason and language? Is there any political grievance that can justify such barbarity or any terminology that can accurately describe such depravity?

 

The answer of course is no, and again, no. But Palestinian terrorism is not absent of logos.

 

Daniel Goldhagen, author of the critically acclaimed book, “Hitler’s Willing Executioners” began his research with a similar question. To implement the final solution, Goldhagen calculated, the Nazis needed many millions of ordinary Germans to participate, as it was a massive undertaking. And participate they did, not because they were ordered to, or had no choice, as there were other orders which they refused to carry out, Goldhagen shows.

 

These ordinary people were instead willing participants in mass murder because they had been conditioned, for years, to believe, that Jews were not humans. Here was the logos, the reasoning, and the language of that reasoning.

 

Logos if illegality

Germans were inculcated with the belief that Jews were subhuman. They were vermin, rodents, lice, all objects of extermination. That was the logic and language of reference. The logos was eliminationist, and it appeared everywhere in society, in the theater, in music, in literature, in books and newspapers, in the sports arena, in schools, and in the workplace.

 

The logos then was clear: Human beings were not being exterminated, vermin were.

 

No less than 33% of the Palestinians questioned in a joint Hebrew University-Palestinian think tank poll, openly support the murder of the Fogel family, because; in mosques throughout the cities and villages of Palestinian residence, Jews are commonly referred to as sons and daughters of pigs and apes, because sport stadiums in Gaza and Ramallah are named after suicide/homicide bombers who tear life from the defenseless, and because Palestinians theater performances celebrate the kidnapping and murder of Israeli teenagers. Because Jews are not human.

 

For international consumption, this logos of eliminationist anti-Semitism is doctored up. What is saturated into the Palestinian mind is not what is broadcast in English, overseas. Instead of Jews being inhuman, they are illegal.

 

Jews living in Judea are illegal. Jewish building in Jerusalem is illegal. Israeli self-defense against Hizbullah in the north is illegal. Israeli self-defense against Hamas in the south is illegal.

 

But the logos of illegality is also the logos of inhumanity. For a country whose territorial integrity and right to self-defense are denied, is a country that has no right to exist.

 

That, it should be remembered as the Palestinians threaten a unilateral declaration of statehood, was precisely the Palestinian logos prior to 1967. And we shouldn’t need an historian of Thucydides’s caliber to teach us that.

 

The writer has served as a senior adviser to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and deputy director-general of the Education Ministry

 

 

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