Thursday, July 31, 2014
Hamas' death wish
Dr. Reuven Berko
The words of Mohammed Deif, the commander of Hamas' military wing, contained a recurring theme that has been echoed by other Hamas terrorist leaders -- that Hamas mujahedeen yearn for death the way the Jews yearn for life. Is that so?
With this mantra, Hamas has dispatched many Palestinians to their deaths as suicide attackers, seeking to kill as many Jewish civilians as possible. Dim-witted and morally sinful Palestinians are promised sex and wine in paradise as a preferable alternative to their current lives of depression and shame.
But Hamas' lust for death does not stand the test of reality. If Hamas leaders actually sought death as much as they claim they do, they would have led their fighters onto the battlefield, rather than sought shelter in deep bunkers, surrounded by a human shield of Palestinian civilians. These civilians seek life, not death, but they cannot escape and are criminally forced to serve as a protective human layer for Hamas leaders, despite IDF warnings.
It turns out that words are one thing, while actions are another. The purpose of these statements by Hamas leaders is to frighten Israelis about murderers at their doorstep who have a crazy and irrational death lust and do not act in accordance with human norms that value life.
A look at Islamic tradition shows that the Prophet Muhammad did not go into battle unless he was sure of victory. He did all the required intelligence and operational preparations to make sure that victory was certain.
Death in battle was not the default option during the early days of Islam. The Prophet Muhammad cried for jihadi fighters who fell in battle, and regretted their loss. The purpose of the Islamic army was to fight, take over, loot and convert or kill conquered peoples. Soldiers did not go into battle with the goal of dying. Only those who had the misfortune of dying, and thereby were denied of the enjoyment of plunder and captured women, were promised the pleasures of paradise.