Peace Now
Posted Fri, Dec 18, 2009

Canada commemorated (December 6, 2009) the 20th anniversary of the carnage in the Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal

in which 14 female students were murdered. Mark Lépine, 25, walked into the college armed with an automatic gun, took control of a class and after releasing the male students opened fire at the remaining hostages before killing himself. From his behaviour at the scene and conversion with the students it was clear that Mark Lépine was motivated by misogyny. In the main ceremony held in Montreal in Memoriam of his female victims, the speakers emphasized the importance of educating the young generation to take a stand against hatred and violence and expressed their shock and sorrow from the fact that in several websites the murderer is portrayed as a “hero” and a “victim” of the feminist movement.

At its time the Montreal massacre was condemned by all political parties and nowadays the dreadful collective memory unifies the Canadians in fighting the blind hatred toward the stranger. None of the politicians dares to justify the deeds of the murderer. Lépine’s family is not entitled to receive a monthly allowance from the government due to the “bravery behaviour” of her son and his image does not appear in school text books as a role model for students. Lépine was and yet remained remembered as a ruthless murderer.

However, the story of Lépine raises thoughts on totally different reality in the Middle East in which murderers like him enjoy respect in the name of religion from authorities and people alike. Suicide bombers and their dispatchers, responsible for mass killing of civilians, are being rewarded by their society. Pictures of the so called “heroes” decorate streets and school classes and students are educated to admire their sacrifice in the jihad in the path of Allah against the infidels. Their families are not forgotten and entitled to receive a generous onetime grant and later a monthly payment for lifetime from the government. The more horrible the deeds of their son or daughter, the bigger the amounts their families receive. Their future is also guaranteed. Clerics promise them marvellous life in the eternity of the hereafter.

Both the Hamas government in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah are proud of their multimillion support granted annually to the terrorists and their families. A word of regret is not to be heard not even as a lip service. The Palestinian leadership is united in rejecting any kind of soul search. A similar approach prevails in Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and other countries in the troubled area of the Middle East. Rival Islamic sects massacre each other almost on a daily basis and with no remorse. Is it possible to reach a true peace with a society condoning as a divine duty the killing of non believers?

Hamas does not see any need for self examination. Moreover, its leadership is self confident in contending that the Goldstone Report on the last Gaza war (Cast Lead Operation) does not accuse Hamas of war crimes against Israel. Hamas second in command, Mousa Abu Marzouq said to Al-Mashahid Al-Siyasi newspaper (December 5, 2009) the following: “All paragraphs in the Goldstone report convict Israel and totally exonerate Hamas from any misconduct. For instance, the [Goldstone] report exonerates Hamas from the accusation of using civilians as human shields and attributes this accusation to Israeli forces. Likewise, the [Goldstone] report exonerated Hamas from all other accusations mentioned by Israel and even when the [Goldstone] report is dealing with the rockets which were launched from the Gaza Strip it speaks about military groups without naming Hamas.”

Abu Marzouq’s interpretation of the Goldstone Report is not imaginary but a painful truth. Hamas finds the approach of the UN mission supportive. Its members headed by Judge Richard Goldstone speak flowery language on human rights and universal justice, but at the same time they give backing to Hamas and ignoring its terrorist character and genocidal ideology.

In the political arena there is no news except the reluctance of some of Israeli politicians to recognize the fact that the double headed Palestinian leadership is not willing to reach a peaceful settlement with Israel based on a real compromise in which both sides abandon their dreams. Israeli Channel 10 revealed recently that while the Olmert government was in power former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni offered the Palestinian authority 92.7% of the West Bank and territory swap for the remaining land. Olmert was even benevolent while proposing 93.5% of the territories. Both proposals were rejected by the PA chairman Abu Mazen who never publicly waived his demand concerning the “right of return” of the refugees which means the destruction of the state of Israel. When at last, will an organization similar to the Israeli, Peace Now be established in the PA?

Jonathan Dahoh-Halevi
Fellow and senior researcher at the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs , head of research of the Orient Research Group Ltd., investigative journalist and an activist in the Jewish and Israeli communities.

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