Eye on the Middle East Dec/Jan 1998/1999

Palestinian militants were pleading “wounded pride” following last summer’s retaliatory strikes against terrorist bases in Sudan and Afghanistan. A leader of Islamic Jihad said he hoped Muslim militant groups would carry out attacks to punish the United States for having the audacity to fire back after the carnage caused by Islamic terrorists at American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

The spokesman for Islamic Jihad said revenge could be expected because Arab and Muslim pride had been wounded. “We hope this happens. It doesn’t just have to do with Sudan and Afghanistan…it has to do with our pride. Our pride has been stepped upon. Therefore, it is necessary, natural, and logical that there should be a reaction equal to the American strikes.”

Islamic Jihad members, who have been responsible for killing many Israeli citizens, joined a march in Gaza to yell, “Death to America! Death to Israel!” After the usual ritual burning of U.S. and Israeli flags, marchers chanted, “We are on our way to Sudan. We want to be martyrs.”

Such is the mindset of irrational fanatics who have convinced themselves that they should be allowed to kill and maim at will, while free from the fear of being put in harm’s way themselves. In their view, Jews and Americans are legitimate targets. Militant Islamic terrorists are not.

If the opinion of a majority of Israelis is heeded, Jihad terrorists may have more than their pride wounded if apprehended while committing terrorist acts. In a recent poll by The Jerusalem Post, 84 percent favored the execution of convicted terrorists. Only 16 percent said no.

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