Blogs > HNN > OOZING TOWARDS DEPRAVITY

Feb 1, 2004 11:47 pm


OOZING TOWARDS DEPRAVITY



This cry of anguish by Lori Lowenthal Marcus reached my email. I could not have said it better myself.

We are witnessing a new, depraved level of human morality; one in which the actors and the audience abide extreme distortions of ethics and logic.

How can the heart of a mother become so misshapen that she chooses a vicious, violent death rather than nurturing her babies as they experience their first words, their first schooldays, their first crushes? How can parents complain that their child's death didn't result in the death of Israelis, rather than the fact that their child was enticed to kill himself?

In mid-January, Reem Salah al-Reyashi, a middle class Gazan woman, strapped on explosives and self-detonated, shattering herself and the lives of four others.

The death of twenty-two year old Reem Salah al-Reyashi raises profound questions about what it means to be human. The Palestinian leadership used Reyashi as a death bomb. That leadership incited this mother to such vicious hatred that she explained her actions:"It was always my wish to...knock on the doors of heaven with the skulls of Zionists." The impetus for Reyashi's act, as well as the result of her act, reveal only raw hatred and disregard for human, even Palestinian, life.

Feminists, where are you? Didn't you read that Reyashi chose to end her life as a way of clearing her family honor when caught having an adulterous affair? And that the person who supplied Reyashi with the explosives belt and recruited her to become a bomb was none other than the man with whom she had an affair? And that Reyashi was driven to her detonation site by her husband, the father of the two babies who then became motherless? And that the husband and the lover were extolled for creating another bomb for the cause, while Reyashi was erased from the planet for her"sin?"

And those interested in economic and social justice, why didn't you condemn Reyashi and her trainers for having chosen the Erez crossing as the site for the explosion? Entry into Israel from the Gaza strip is tightly regulated because of the acts of terrorism routinely emanating from Gaza. But for those Palestinians who wish to make a decent living, the Erez crossing provided an entrance to a nearby Israeli industrial complex in which Palestinian workers are paid high wages. As a result of the mother bomb, Gazans will be subject to much more intrusive searches, and the number of Gazan worker may well have to be reduced for security reasons.

And where are the religious clerics who demand that the Israelis treat Muslim women with respect and with a hands-off approach to security searches? Reyashi gained access to her destination by faking a wounded leg which she said had a metal implant, in order to explain why the metal detectors went off. A female Israeli guard was called so as not to insult the honor of the female Muslim. In the interim, Reyashi, pretending to cry, lurched forward to maximize her proximity to Israelis, and then detonated.

After this experience, how can the Israeli government require military personnel to honor the Muslim religious demand that Israeli males maintain their custom of non-manual searches of Muslim women?

The Palestinian leadership praised Reyashi for becoming a first in what they hope will be many mother bombs. A Hamas newspaper declared Reyashi acted nobly and that she became"a martyr which is higher than the quality of maternity."

What next? Read on.

The case of 19 year-old Iyad al Masri reveals the Palestinian leadership's continued success in contorting the essence of the human condition.

Iyad al Masri, swaddled with a bomb, was heading towards Jerusalem. He was intent upon achieving martyrdom by killing as many Jews as possible. However, Masri prematurely exploded, killing only himself. His parents complained and demanded an investigation be conducted into the incident.

But the problem, according to Masri's parents, is that, because of the particular time and route of their son's mission, it"had no chance of success and...its outcome was obvious." In other words, they were mourning their son's inability to kill Israelis at the same time that he killed himself, and not that their son was used as a human bomb.

When mothers choose death over life and parents complain that their dead son wasn't able to kill Israelis when he killed himself, we must realize that fundamental human parameters are being altered.

And sadly, we are treating this devolution of humanity as an interesting news story rather than a perversion of basic human instincts. We sit and watch, pretending there is moral equivalence between self-defense and affirmative killing by death.

Are you speaking out against this farce of bad being good, wrong being right, death better than life and martyrdom preferable to motherhood? Write letters, interrupt others, and refuse to passively accept the progression towards depravity. Stop fearing what people will say more than fearing what people are doing.




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