Because the people, they don’t love me

“Why did you want to do it?” the reporter asks 14 year old Husam Abdul from Shechem. The teenager had been sent to explode himself in order to kill Israeli soldiers.

The reporter tries to put words in the Husam’s mouth: “You did it for Paradise right?” but as children often do, Husam blurted out the inconvenient truth: “Because the people, they don’t love me.”

This story is one of millions we see here in Israel. It happened years ago but it will never leave me because it is a vivid example of the problem that is currently overwhelming Israel and the rest of the free world.

No one wants to look at this. It’s too ugly, too horrible to comprehend. We westerners like to believe that everyone is the same; everyone has the same morals and ideals. Everyone loves their children the same etc. Unfortunately that is just not true.

During Operation Protective Edge Israelis tried to explain to the world that Hamas uses women and children as human shields, that teaching children to aspire to martyrdom is child abuse. I don’t think people outside Israel, even those that follow what happens here, truly understand what this means. No one wants to comprehend something so twisted…

14 year old Husam was sent to blow himself up by grown-ups. He didn’t go off on a whim; this is not a childish prank. Grown-ups took a child, strapped a bomb on him (you will see in the video how difficult it is to remove the suicide belt, after all it’s not meant to come off) and then sent him off to die. Someone significant in this boy’s life convinced him that dying would raise his value in the eyes of the people closest to him – his father, brother, cousin, uncle…

Someone that knows that Israelis consider children precious, picked a child to go kill Israelis, coldly calculating that softhearted Israelis would let this boy approach close enough to explode, killing himself and IDF soldiers or, if he had gotten through the checkpoint – Israeli civilians.

This is not a problem created by a single sick person, it permeates the society. Life is not precious and the end justifies the means – even if that means sending your own child to die.

Please watch this video. Notice the details, particularly the contrast between the behavior of the soldiers and that of the boy, considering the mission he was sent to accomplish. At the end of the video you will see that it says there were “four similar attacks attempted at that checkpoint within months and children are no longer a surprise”. The English subtitles are not written professionally but I think the English is clear enough to understand – Husam’s case is one example amongst many. It no longer surprised anyone that a child was sent as suicide bomber because it had happened before. Since then this type of child abuse has become more frequent and even more extreme (for example the terrorist that attacked IDF soldiers in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge with a baby in his arms).

So many people around the world decry Israeli checkpoints. Does watching this video help you understand why checkpoints are necessary?

Golda Meir once said: “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”

She was right.

And it is only when this is understood worldwide that there will ever be any hope for peace.

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