Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dr Ginosar Recalls:The Phenomenon of Islamist National Suicide

The Phenomenon of Islamist National Suicide - Amnon Rubinstein (Jerusalem Post)
• Lt.-Col. (ret.) Ari Bar Yosef writes in the army journal Ma'arachot that cases of Islamist national suicide are not uncommon. He cites three such examples of Arab-Muslim regimes irrationally sacrificing their very existence, overriding their instinct of self-preservation, to fight the perceived enemy to the bitter end.
1. Saddam Hussein could have avoided war and conquest in 2003 by allowing UN inspectors to search for weapons of mass destruction wherever they wanted. Yet Iraq's ruler opted for war, knowing full well that he would have to face the might of the U.S.
2. Yasser Arafat in 2000, after the failure of the Camp David and Taba talks, could have continued talking to Israel. But he chose to resort to violence, with the result that all progress toward Palestinian independence was blocked. 3. Post-9/11, the Taliban had the options of entering into negotiations with the U.S., with a view to extraditing Osama bin Laden, or to risk war and destruction. They chose to die fighting rather than to give up an inch.
• In all three cases, prolonged war, death, destruction and national suicide were preferable to peaceful solutions. Dying is preferable to negotiating with infidels. The same conclusion is applicable to the Palestinians voting for Hamas, and to Iran's decision to confront the Security Council on acquiring nuclear weapons.
• Suicide in the struggle against Israel has acquired a degree of legitimacy the West cannot even fathom. Israel, as well as the West, should be prepared for a long, irrational and costly war, unlike any other fought in the past.
The writer, a professor of law at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, is a former minister of education.

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