Barbara Sofer writes in the Jerusalem Post:
“In veteran journalist Christine Spolar’s interviews with 8 families of suicide bombers (Chicago Tribune, Feb. 6), none of her interviewees expressed guilt or remorse, neither for their children’s violence nor over their part in it. Not one parent owned up to contributing to a culture in which suicide bombers were teen idols. They wouldn’t admit that photographing their children in studio portraits dressed up as suicide bombers and exposing them to the death chants popular on TV shows and in summer camp had contributed to their children’s decisions.
The Palestinian parents didn’t suffer nightmares over the people their children had murdered or disabled, nor did they lose sleep over the sowing of destructive seeds within the next generation of Palestinian children.
I’m worried that we’re in such a hurry for reconciliation, ready to consign all evil to the category of “bygones,” that we’ll blur the moral issue of the unacceptability of terrorism. If we do, the strategy of suicide bombing won’t be defeated.
The majority of Israelis were willing to go ahead with former prime minister Ehud Barak’s radical peace plan before the intifada. We were not pummeled into making peace because of terror. But we had lost our common ground with the Palestinians. Even the peace camp was shocked by the gleeful frenzy at the lynch in Ramallah and after every bombed bus, and the 100,000 Palestinians dancing at the downing of the Twin Towers.
Palestinian parents weren’t helpless, but they didn’t act against the genocide bombers. Instead, they served their children breakfast in kitchens decorated with murderers’ photos and named babies and school soccer teams after Abdel Bassat Odeh and Muhammad Atta. And yes, they should feel guilty for that.
If there’s to be hope for a long-lasting peace, Palestinian children had better learn quickly from mom and dad that Israelis are indeed human beings. ”