Ted Rall’s “At Home” with Terrorists

In our communique on Thursday, we addressed the troubling trend of blaming Israeli policy for the entire Islamist war on Western civilization. Here’s yet another example:

In response to President Bush’s Tuesday speech at Whitehall, syndicated editorial cartoonist Ted Rall had this offering, blaming checkpoints and poverty for Muslim terrorism:

Note that while Bush’s speech addressed the phenomenon of global Islamic terrorism, Rall insists on a) locating the problem in Israel, and b) blaming Israeli policy.

And regarding the “substance” of Rall’s claims…

OCCUPATION: Palestinian terrorism far predates the 1967 war, and terrorist groups make it abundantly clear that their goal is not the elimination of the Israeli presence in their midst, but the elimination of Israel, period (see the Palestinian National Charter, and the Hamas Charter).

CHECKPOINTS: The necessity for checkpoints has been created by the Palestinians. By pursuing a violent campaign of terror against Israel’s citizens, they have forced Israel to set up barriers to make it as difficult as possible for terrorists to enter Israel or travel through the territories to carry out acts of violence. The checkpoints are an inconvenience to innocent Palestinians, but they do in fact prevent terror and save lives.

Commercial goods, food, medicine, ambulances, and medical crews continue to circulate freely, hampered only by continuing attacks. Palestinian workers going to jobs in Israel also may pass through the checkpoints with the proper identification; restrictions are only imposed when necessitated by the security situation.

Barriers are not set up to humiliate Palestinians, but to ensure the safety of Israeli citizens. Unfortunately, every time Israel has relaxed its policy and withdrawn checkpoints, Palestinian terrorists have taken advantage of the opportunity to launch new attacks on innocent Israelis.

And why the thoroughness of the checkpoints (which slows things down)? One recent example: on October 14, a Palestinian woman was arrested at the Hizma checkpoint north of Jerusalem after they found a knife and gun hidden in a baby stroller she was traveling with.

PALESTINIAN POVERTY: While the blaming of Israel for Palestinian poverty was always absurd, it reaches new heights of absurdity at a time when massive PA financial corruption (see this and this) is increasingly exposed. And whoever’s responsible for the poverty, that’s not what causes terror anyway.

But there’s something else here, from the fourth frame of the cartoon:

- Rall’s refusal to accept the idea that freedom (as defined by Bush) really does scare “Joe Terrorist.” It scared Stalin, it scared Hitler, it scared Saddam Hussein, and it scares Hamas and al Qaeda, because democratic reform in the Muslim world means their twisted brand of Islam cannot thrive.

- Rall’s refusal to accept that there really is a culture of glamorizing suicide bombing among Palestinians, telling them that “terror rocks.” Children are encouraged to become shahiddim, leaders regularly call for terrorist jihad, and terrorists become national heroes.

It seems that no matter how many attacks or facts you line up for some media personalities, they simply can’t accept the monstrosity of Muslim fundamentalist terror. There’s always that effort to “understand their grievences,” which inevitably leads to blaming the victims for horrific terror. Wake up folks – we are dealing with a different culture here, with different definitions of values and meaning of life.

Did the Rall cartoon run in your local paper? If so, write a letter that raises the points above.

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