Friday, September 17, 2004

Epikorsit log: The perspective of the terrorist
Hadn’t had time to translate this, but I held on to it, because I think other people should get to read it. It’s from Yediot Aharonot 10th September, just a little corner frame at the end of an article in the weekend magazine, about a new book (Hebrew link) discussing the current war with the Palestinians. While the article puts an emphasis on the implications of the targeted killing of Raed Karmi in 2002, this little passage gives us an insight into what is going on in the heads of our enemies:

The Head of the Hamas Prisoners: The Israeli Peace Camp pushed us to continue terrorist attacks.
“Your debate about the future of the settlements and their necessity in the territories just served to strengthen our resolve to continue with the terrorist attacks”, So says Sheikh Hassan Yussuf, head of the Hamas prisoners held in Israel, in a rare interview. Yussuf is regarded the head of the Hamas leadership in the West Bank and head of that organization’s West Bank political bureau. He was convicted of belonging to a terrorist organization.

The things that Yussuf said to the authors of “The Seventh War” (Hebrew link) will undoubtedly inflame many in Israel, but they expose something of the state of mind in Hamas. “The people of the Peace Camp in Israel”, he says, “those who spoke of ending the occupation and retreating, pushed us forward in our decision to continue with the suicide terrorist attacks. Ariel Sharon’s Gaza disengagement plan is also a great accomplishment that is a result of our activities. The refusenik phenomenon was the best evidence of the breakdown in Israeli society as a result of the suicide terrorist attacks. We thought that we should further deepen this breakdown and the use of the weapon of suicide became a matter of consensus in the organization”.

Another Hamas leader imprisoned in Israel, Jamal Abu Il-Hijra, who was the head of Hamas in Jenin and was arrested in August 2002 under suspicion of involvement in the suicide terrorist attacks in Meron junction, Matza restaurant in Haifa, and Sbarro Pizzeria in Jerusalem, also explains that the choice of suicide attacks was a combination of vengeful feelings with the wish “to change the perception of Israelis, who thought they could continue with the occupation indefinitely. The political negotiations didn’t bring forth any change. On the other hand, the terrorist attacks caused the Israelis to feel the pain we felt. We wanted them to pressure their government to stop its actions – and as far as we’re concerned the disengagement is proof that we have succeeded in changing the Israeli consciousness. More proof is to be found in statements of Israeli public figures, such as that if writer Batya Gur, who said that she understands the perpetrators of suicide terrorist attacks.”