Saturday, March 15, 2008

Palestinian Terrorists Do Not Mellow With Age

The headline about aging terrorists says it all: Palestinian Old Guard: Defiance, Regret.

Everything, that is, except the truth:
While the leaders interviewed say they have no regrets, and insist they will ultimately prevail over Israel, some of them wonder aloud whether things might have been different.

"Would you believe me if I tell you that if I had to do it all over, I would?" said Mohammed Oudeh, architect of Black September's 1972 Olympics attack that left 11 Israeli athletes dead.

"But maybe, just maybe, we should have shown some flexibility. Back in our days, it was 'the whole of Palestine or nothing,' but we should have accepted a Palestinian state next to Israel."

However, Oudeh is quick to add that conditions were different then, and the two-state solution might not have ended the conflict. [emphasis added]
The only 'regret' the terrorists have is in their demands, not the measures they took to get those demands met.

Contrast that with an interview with survivors of the Stern Gang ( scroll down to 'We never willingly killed the innocent', Surviving members of the 'Stern Gang' reject comparisons with today's Hamas). The Stern Gang was controversial--and the interview with the surviving members discusses how their claim to have been defending against foreign occupiers sounds similar to the claims of Hamas. But the operations of the Stern Gang were greeted with condemnation, not the handing out of sweets.

There is also a second difference--the attitude of the members toward innocent civilians:
I asked him what he thought of the notion that one man's freedom fighter is another's terrorist. A pensive Amos hesitated and then responded, "I agree there is a subjective element in the way you look at these things." But he added with emphasis, "killing men and women drinking coffee, it is not possible to compare."

Admitting that when he ran LEHI's postwar operation in America, he had sent dynamite from Chicago to a colleague in London who used it in a LEHI letter bomb assassination, he told me: "We didn't blow up cinemas in London. We could have, but we didn't want innocents to die. We never willingly killed the innocent."
Another former member:
"Yes we used terrorism. But our terrorism is far away from nowadays terrorism and we had a moral barrier. We planned an operation so as not to involve the innocent. There are always surprises, but if it happened, it was unplanned. I am lucky I didn't have to kill. I was sent to assassinate a soldier but he was with a friend and I didn't shoot. Unlike the Germans, our orders were that we had the authority not to follow orders if that was right thing to do. There is no comparison, what they do now is not human and it is cruel."
A third member was assigned with the assassination of General Barker, the British Commanding General in Palestine:
And so Yasmine staked out Barker. On a daily basis, she walked back and forth in front of his residence dressed as a nurse pushing a baby carriage containing a blanket covered doll. The plan was to work out the timing so that Yasmine could escape after detonating a bomb, substituted for the doll, that would kill Barker. To Yasmine's disappointment, the plan was abandoned when she could not satisfy her handlers that she could carry out the operation without herself being killed. LEHI, she asserted, would never have engaged in an operation that put their fighters or civilians at risk, and the idea of a suicide mission was beyond their comprehension.
Palestinian terrorists, regardless of their age, have no regrets for the civilians they murder.

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