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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Palestinian blood really is cheaper

The value of a human life is infinite, but any objective analysis would show that Palestinians regard the lives of their own people as quite cheap.

Dozens of examples are easy to find, but just in today's news:

A gunman celebrating the release of prisoners in the Jenin area accidentally shot and killed one person. Omar Saleh, 34, from Ejja village near Jenin, was killed when a local man fired into the air to celebrate the release of a prisoner from Israeli jail.

According to a preliminary investigation conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, the incident occurred when Eyad Tawfiq, 30, arrived at his house in the village after he had been released from jail.

His brother-in-law, 28-year-old Haibat Taha, welcomed him by firing into the air from his M16 rifle. When he put the rifle back on his shoulder, a number of live bullets hit four men standing nearby. One of them, Salah, was killed by a live bullet in the abdomen.

This is not the first time things like this have happened. But have you ever heard a Palestinian call for the elimination of "celebratory" gun firings? It is laughable to even think about it.

Look at the lopsided prisoner swaps that Israel does periodically. Look at the measures Israel uses to protect its citizens versus the Palestinian propensity to put its children in harm's way. Look at the entire idea of suicide bombing, or "martyrdom." Look at the idea of naming streets and schools after murderers. One culture celebrates death and the other celebrates life.

Israel seems to care more about Palestinian lives than Palestinians do. If this is true, the inescapable conclusion is that Palestinian blood really is much cheaper than Jewish blood, by the Palestinians' own standards.

Perhaps when they act in such a way that they truly value human life as much as Israel does there could be a possibility of peace. Until then, it appears foolhardy to trust as a "peace" partner a people who belong to a cult of death.