Palestinian Incitement: From the Second Intifada Female Suicide Bombers to the Present

Israel’s Deputy Minister for Regional Cooperation Ayoob Kara, Former Israel Consul General Yitzchak Ben Gad, Dr. Mordechai Kedar, American counter-terrorism expert Nancy Kobrin, David Bedein of the Israel Resource News Agency and Rachel Avraham, author of Women and Jihad, discuss the increasing number of Palestinian women who have become terrorists from the Second Intifada to the present and how Palestinian incitement has played a role in it.

 Recently, 4 Israeli soldiers were killed in a brutal Jerusalem terror attack. It has been reported that a series of Palestinian leaders have threatened to have a religious war over Jerusalem ahead of the recent terror attack, thus demonstrating a direct link between Palestinian incitement and the recent terror attack.  In order to better understand the connection between Palestinian incitement and the terrorism Israel has experienced in recent years, Gefen Publishing House and the Center for Near East Policy Research are hosting a panel titled: “Palestinian Incitement: From the Second Intifada Palestinian Female Suicide Bombers to the Present.”

This panel will be held in the Menechem Begin Heritage Center on February 5th at 1pm. It is also the book launching event for Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media.  This book was recently published by JerusalemOnline news editor and political analyst Rachel Avraham and discusses how the eight Palestinian female suicide bombers of the Second Intifada were exploited by the media. The book also connects the distorted media coverage of the Palestinian female suicide bombers of the Second Intifada to the present.

Rachel Avraham with Deputy Minister Ayoob Kara Photo Credit: Rachel Avraham

At the event, Avraham will be discussing the publicity objectives of the Palestinian terror groups and how terrorists exploit the Israeli, Arab and American media for their benefit from the Second Intifada to the present. As Avraham wrote in Women and Jihad, “According to Brian Jenkins, ‘Terrorism is theater.’   Each terrorist act is carefully choreographed by terror organizations in order to achieve maximum publicity for the terrorists’ cause. For terror organizations, the goal is not to harm the immediate victims although that is certainly a bi-product of their wanton destruction but rather to solicit the attention of wider spectators whom the suicide bombers and their dispatchers hope to reach via the international press. It has been noted that American journalists seldom alter their coverage because a conflict is asymmetrical. As Joshua Muravchick observes, ‘Journalists seem to follow a canon that says when two sides are fighting, it is their obligation to report equally and with equal credence to what is said by each. But the quality of information provided by the two sides is highly asymmetrical.’”

“To illustrate how this asymmetry applies to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he noted how the Palestinian Journalists Union forbade photographers from taking pictures of Palestinian children engaging in armed conflict or of terror organizations training for suicide bombings and other attacks,” Avraham wrote. “In October 2000, a British photographer who attempted to take a picture of the Ramallah lynching was beaten up by Palestinian mobs and had an Italian crew not managed to escape with a photo, the whole story of the Ramallah lynching might not have gotten out.” Meanwhile, she noted that many articles that are critical of Israel originate in the Israeli press: “This is demonstrated by the fact that Haaretz journalists like Amira Hess, Uri Blau and Gideon Levy are well-known critics of the State of Israel whose writings are influential abroad.” 

Israel’s Deputy Minister for Regional Cooperation Ayoob Kara will discuss the present issue of Palestinian incitement, the increasing number of women becoming terrorists in recent years and how the Israeli government should fight against it: “First of all, the women jihadists over the last few years have become part of the radical Islamist movement. In the past, there were not a lot of extremist women. Now, it is the same like the men and this is a big problem for this did not happen in the past. The problem is that more and more women are becoming jihadists and it is more difficult to fight against women for most of the time, when you think of women, you think they are sensitive and different from men. They are now fighting not only on the Palestinian front but in the Middle East and across the world in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and North Africa. This is something that we have to stop. Of course, we are fighting now against the extremism. Israel is no longer the problem. The West understands more now that the extremism and the jihad is the problem not only in the Middle East but the whole world.”

According to Kara, he is working with the Israeli government in order to find a solution to the problem.  He thinks that the key is to work with partners on the other side who are willing to cooperate with Israel on various economic and humanitarian projects: “We must stop all terrorism and extremism by supporting the majority against the terrorists but who have no benefits. Now, they will get the benefits. We will continue with the Saudi Arabian Coalition by supporting economic projects.   We are bringing water from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea for irrigation and the production of energy. In the Palestinian Authority, we have started two industrial parks near Jericho and Jenin. This is open for Palestinians to work in. We did this in cooperation with Japan and Turkey to bring different factories to the industrial parks.”

“I am doing this now for fighting against the jihad is not just with guns,” he proclaimed. “It is also with humanitarian and economic projects. There is a chance for this policy more and more. We do the same things along the borders with Israel by bringing sick children that have a problem with their heart into the country in order to save their heart. Syrians and others who are injured come to our borders. Thousands of children, sick and injured people are coming and become ambassadors for Israel against the jihadists. This year and next year, we are preparing different connections with the Saudi Arabian coalition regarding the same policy. We have enough technological and other projects that we can mention to the Gulf States, North African countries, etc. This is the process where we can cooperate that can give power to the struggle against the jihadists. If we give support to the citizens of Gaza, they will push more and more for a change and maybe they can push Hamas out of power. In Iran, it can be the same for if you support the majority, everyone who likes freedom and human rights will fight if they have the power. If they are poor, then they are the victims of the jihadists.”

Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a prominent professor at Bar Ilan University, will be discussing the Palestinian feminist movement and how it led to an increasing number of Palestinian women becoming terrorists: “The main point regarding these girls is that there is a revolution taking place that challenges the hegemony of the men who dominated the jihad.  The women are entering very boldly into the men’s space and they are actually doing it by blowing themselves up, a job that was reserved for men. They are now competing with the men on who is more brave and bold in their fight against the Zionists. The men are proud that the weakest among them which are the girls is now more powerful than the Jews for she blows herself up. This is an important incentive for these girls because although they are weakened and marginalized, they are the strongest individuals. They take pride out of the weakness of the other for our heroine girls are much stronger and better than you Jews.   Even our women are stronger and more determined than you are for they are willing to sacrifice themselves on the altar of national bravery. This is a cultural issue that demonstrates how great they are and how great especially their women are for even our women are stronger than you and we are proud at your expense. Rachel Avraham’s book Women and Jihad is eye-opening and a good survey of literature which exists about this highly important issue regarding women’s involvement in the jihad.”

Former Israel Consul General Yitzchak Ben Gad will be discussing the motives of Palestinian female terrorists: “What will prompt a young lady to go, kill other people and commit suicide? One explanation is that her mind was brainwashed. She was convinced that the life in the world to come is better than this world so much so that she is willing to go kill other people. Secondly, this woman may have some problems such as marital problems, affairs with other men, may have been abused, etc. and she knows that sooner or later, she is going to be killed either by her relatives or someone else. She says, why wait to be killed? I should go and be called a martyr rather than to be called a prostitute. The third reason is that to do that is very popular and her name is going to be mentioned. Having a school or street or square named after her name and having her family paid by the Palestinian Authority is indeed another motive.”

“The fourth one is that the Quran says that a shahid will enjoy the afterlife with 72 virgins,” Ben Gad explained. “The question is, what does a shahida receive?  Perhaps there was a mistake there. He will get a virgin who is 72 years old, not 72 virgins. To be an old maiden in the Arabic culture is a major insult.   However, while it is common that men go and commit suicide, thus becoming shahids, It is unusual for women to do it. When a woman goes and says I am going to be one of the few women who did it, it is also an incentive. There is no doubt about it that not everyone can do it. You really need the courage to do that and to cause your family to live without you, and if she is married, to leave her children and her husband. You have to think about the consequences.   No doubt, we live in a very unique era when women go and kill themselves as well as other people. This is the era of radical Islam.”

American counter terror specialist Nancy Kobrin, who is a psychoanalyst and trauma expert that specializes in early childhood development that is the author of The Banality of Suicide Terrorism alongside numerous other books related to counter-terrorism issues, will be discussing the role of women in Palestinian society, the communicative circuit surrounding the image of the female in the Arab world, the various media frames that are utilized when covering Palestinian female terrorists and how Women and Jihad contributes towards understanding these issues.

In order to attend the Women and Jihad book launching event, click here

Rachel Avraham with Former Israel Consul General Yitzchak Ben Gad Photo Credit: Rachel Avraham

David Bedein, who will also be appearing on the panel, entered the world of active news coverage 29 years ago, opening up the Israel Resource News Agency the week before the First Intifada broke out on December 1, 1987. The timing was not a coincidence.  David, who has been in Israel since 1970 and who earned a master's degree in community organization social work, sensed that the other side was getting its act together and knew how to present its case to the world through the vehicle of the foreign press, so David Bedein followed the same strategy as he developed methods of news coverage that would show the Jewish face as well as the Arab face during the confrontations that have taken place ever since. David's new book The PLO and the Genesis of the Palestinian Authority focuses on how a ruthless terrorist operation tried to market itself as a reasonable human rights cause. In one news story after another, which David produced for the foreign media, the exploitation of Arab women was always a recurrent theme which has had little attention paid to it. David's unique TV interviews with Arab women who were convicted of murder and attempted murder show the extent to which Arab women have played a role in the most nefarious acts of crime during the Arab rebellion that sees no end yet in sight.  Excerpts of those interviews will be shown as part of David's role on the panel along with snippet of news reports never before reported.  

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