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Israel owes no apologies for taking out a killer

Chicago Sun-Times, USA
Mar. 23, 2004 Editorial • Tuesday March 23, 2004

Fueled by implacable hatred and thirst for blood, Hamas has massacred hundreds of Israeli men, women and children and wounded thousands more. In the last 3-1/2 years alone, according to the Jerusalem Post, 425 Hamas attacks killed 377 Israelis, 288 in suicide bombings, and wounded 2,076. The question perhaps shouldn’t be why the Israelis killed the vile Ahmed Yassin on Monday, but why it took them so long to get rid of this mass murderer whose sole goal in life was slaughtering Jews and exterminating the state of Israel.

Islam / Islamism

Islamism is a totalitarian ideology adhered to by Muslim extremists (e.g. the Taliban, Hamas and Osama bin Laden). It is considered to be a distortion of Islam. Many Islamists engage in terrorism in pursuit of their goals.

Adherents of Islam are called “Muslims.” The term “Arab” describes an ethnic or cultural identity. Not all Arabs are Muslims, and not all Muslims are Arabs. The terms are not interchangeable.

Among Hamas’ mass homicides were the bombing of a Tel Aviv dance club, killing 21, mostly teenage girls, and wounding 120; the explosion at a Passover seder, murdering 30 and injuring 140, and the bombing of a bus taking kids to school, slaying 19 and hurting 74. There’s not enough space in these columns to recount the horrors Yassin inspired and planned. He was often called the “spiritual leader” of Hamas. He worshipped only a cult of death, one that’s brought grief and funerals to thousands of Palestinian homes as well as harming Israelis. And now he is dead. Good riddance.

Of all the reactions to the killing of Yassin, the one that amazes us is this: Now Israel should be preparing for the next terror attack. As if the Israelis don’t do that every day. As if Hamas and the other murderous gangs weren’t already spending every waking hour plotting ways to kill Israelis. Last week they tried to turn an 11-year-old boy into a human bomb, failing only because their device didn’t detonate on command. A few days earlier a couple of suicide bombers attacking the port of Ashdod tried, but fortunately failed, to get close enough to chemical facilities in hopes of blowing them up to kill hundreds, maybe thousands, of people. As it was they murdered 10.

The Bush administration, like most Americans, knows a terrorist monster when it sees one, so there was no condemnation of Israel from the White House. Much handwringing was evident in Europe over the detrimental impact of killing Yassin on the “road map to peace.” Of course, no such map exists because Yasser Arafat, the instigator of the 3-1/2-year terror war, still harbors dreams of driving the Israelis into the sea. He, naturally, called Yassin “a martyr.”

The White House had no advance knowledge of Israel’s plans. Israel doesn’t need to consult with anyone in defending its people. Nor do we. And just as Israel killed Yassin, if we get Osama bin Laden in our gunsights, we’ll take him down. Now Hamas warns of attacks against America as well as Israel. We never doubted that Hamas and many Palestinians made common cause with al-Qaida. Recall the street celebrations in the Gaza Strip on 9/11.

The Israelis killed Yassin with a missile fired from a helicopter. That serves as a warning that, as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon implements his plan for a unilateral separation from Gaza, the long arm of the Israeli military still will be able to reach into the strip to retaliate for any terrorist outrages.

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