Today, another Palestinian suicide bomber died. He killed himself early because he was stopped by soldiers on his way to attack a festivity where there would have been many children in attendance. Jewish children. Israeli children.
He was stopped by a brave soldier who may or may not have had time to realize that he was giving up his life, but he must have known the grave risk he was taking. He used his body to block the blast and prevent the deaths of many who were around. The surprise checkpoint, put in place because the Israelis suspected pending attacks due to the Jewish holiday of Chanukkah, and a couple of brave soldiers, prevented the massacre of the children.
Lieutenant Ori Binamo, 21, of Nesher, is dead. He’s the soldier in the photo above. He was only 21 but was about to become deputy company commander of his combat unit. In Israel some 21 year olds are men with heavy responsibilities and he was one of those who performed exceptionally well and was a proven leader. He leaves behind a girlfriend whom he has known since childhood. He leaves behind grief-stricken parents who must have been exceptionally proud of their outstanding son.
Soldiers die in wars, as do civilians. Israel, for a variety of reasons, has decided not to engage its enemies anywhere near as actively as it could over the past few years. One could say it has not done so since Oslo began except for a couple of moments in 2002. The attacks have diminished, however, because Israel has been effective at gathering intelligence and stopping most of them. Almost 95% – 98% of attempted suicide attacks on Israelis by Palestinians are stopped. So it could be said that Israel’s tactics may not satisfy a desire for revenge, but certainly are effective.
In a couple of weeks, the Palestinians will vote for their government. We will learn whether Fatah or Hamas will lead them. There isn’t much of a difference, as we are seeing. The Palestinians, regardless of their affiliation, are at war with Israel. Suicide bombings; Qassem rockets; ambushes of drivers; weapons manufacturing and stockpiling; coordination with other groups outside of Israel; a leadership that refuses to clamp down on its terrorists; spokesmen who vilify attacks by claiming it is hurting their cause not that there is something inherently and morally reprehensible in sending terrorists to murder civilians.
Israel is at war. When we lose sons like Ori Binamo, as we have lost other very talented young officers and soldiers over the past few years, the price is high and almost unbearable. His death is a reminder that the cost is high. It has always been high. One percent of the Jewish population was killed in 1948. But their lives, their deaths, their bravery and their fighting is what has allowed Israel to exist and to survive as a democracy where Jews may govern themselves.
I saw Spielberg’s Munich the other night. A movie that compares a pig like the Palestinian who was killed today with a soldier like Binamo. It is the politically correct attempt to equate all truths and all violence. It is a viewpoint that we hear all the time these days, from the Left, some churches and many Europeans, not to mention Arabs and Muslims throughout the world. It is a shameful lie, this attempt at moral equivalence.
Today is a reminder that this viewpoint is absent a moral compass.