The Muslim Brotherhood produced The Project, a document that contains its plan for radical Islam to infiltrate and dominate the west. Among their aspirations is to make “Palestinians” a cause célèbre, and to instigate a constant campaign of inciting hatred against Jews, by any means. As a member of BDS (Boycott Divestment, Sanctions) and SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine), Susan Abulhawa, a jihada, advocates the economic and civilizational destruction of Israel. The inexact and skewed information in her book, Mornings in Jenin, is Da’wa, a strategy of silent jihad, designed to delegitimize Israel and invite Muslims to accept Islam as a peaceful religion.
Inventing Palestine as a centuries-old Muslim country
Following their Prophet, Muslims may never accept the world’s transformation after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and birth of Israel. To delegitimize Israel, they must maintain that Palestine and Palestinians have always existed, yet there is no documentation of any governance, language, customs, currency, artifacts, or date and cause of its demise. These are Bedouin Arabs descended from nomads of the Arabian Peninsula and Syrian Desert living in Judea and Samaria, who yielded to the armies’ directions and were then abandoned, leaving their abused, traumatized children to wage jihad – Holy War. Abulhawa’s book follows the lives of four generations of the fictional terrorist family of Yehya Mohammad Abulheja.
In each generation, the Abulheja family is bound to wage jihad and establish their god’s authority on the earth. “The Holy War (Islamic Jihad) in Islamic Jurisprudence is basically an offensive war. . . the duty of Muslims in every age . . .” This story’s oldest generation, Grandfather Yehya traces his ties to the land since 1189, AD, its founding attributed to a general of Saladin’s. Had he gone further back, he’d have discovered a Jewish Kingdom that lasted for thousands of years, beginning with the reign of King Saul, 11th c. BCE. Had he gone forward, he’d have had to contend with the Saladin dynasty’s conquest by the Mamluks.
Two generations of Muslims in Palestine
In 1953, Yehya dons his newly whitened clothes and his Bedouin kafiyyah. (As an aside, I recognize this as the same attire worn by U.S. Army Major Hasan on his murderous rampage at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009.) Despite his son’s plea to stay, Yehya leaves Jenin refugee camp for Ein Hod, returning with olives and fruit from property he owned years before. On his second foray, he is killed by residents of the artists’ colony, hailed as a martyr as his body is returned to his home by the Red Crescent. The author is deceptive with half-truths. Yehye did not have his clothes whitened for harvest. His first trip would have been an investigative mission. Though not disclosed, we can be certain that he was armed for his second venture, dressed for holy war, and prepared to die as a shahada, a martyr.
The next generation is his two sons. Darweesh is the first to meet beautiful Dalia, the 14-year-old Gypsy Bedouin, but her father prohibits the clandestine relationship and, to enforce his point, puts a hot iron to the palm of her hand, warning her not to scream or cry. She pulls her pain inward. In Islamic reality, her hand would have been chopped off or her father would have murdered her for his honor. Dr. Tawfik Hamid explains the severe suppression of conscience and desensitization to or acceptance of violence without remorse, as displayed by Dalia’s father.
Rejecting arranged marriage
Before long, Yehya’s other son, Hasan, announces he will marry Dalia. His mother blames the Zionists for his not accepting the family’s choice of bride and for the world’s turmoil.
Facts on Jewish emigration to Israel
Hasan’s best friend is Ari Perlstein who, with his parents, fled Germany in 1937, after his leg was permanently injured by a Brownshirt. Ten years later, the author predictably uses Ari’s Jewish voice to announce that the Jews are heavily armed and on the attack. Factually, Britain embargoed weapons for Jewish forces and surrendered strategic locations and arms to the Arab Liberation Army for Palestine.
Thousands of Jews arrived on the shores of what was then called Palestine. Having survived torture, starvation and disease, the loss of loved ones and belongings, the war-damaged Holocaust refugees wanted only to return to their G-d-ordained sliver of land, two-tenths of one percent of the Islamic landmass. Ill-equipped to fight five armies with the remnants of WW II munitions, they suffered huge losses.
War is upheaval. Those who reached Israel had to again fight for their survival. By the 1948 War’s end, 400,000+ Arabs fled the area and 450,000 Jews fled Arab lands. Abulhawa’s information is deficient.
Arabs reject partition
The Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected recommendations of the special UN General Assembly in November 1947. When the British withdrew, the Arabs attacked the new state of Israel on May 14, 1948. Abdul Rahman Azzam Pasha announced, “This will be a war of extermination and momentous massacre,” and Israel launched a (retaliatory) massive artillery and aerial bombardment of villages, which Abulhawa, in her fiction, mischaracterizes. More than 400,000 Arabs heeded their leaders and evacuated, expecting to return victoriously. The 1947 UN resolution would have meant two states, no refugees, and full and equal citizenship in Israel. Cairo called for Holy War.
The idealized Palestine – and an illogical narrative
In her novel, as the Israelis enter Ein Hod, Arab families flee on foot and with carts. Hasan carries five-year-old Yousef while Dalia follows, carrying baby Ismail, when he is swiftly ripped from her arms. She screams her deepest agony, but he is lost to them forever. The author conjures up an Israeli soldier, Moshe, who “believes himself on a mission from G-d” and “envious” of the Arab women’s many children. He impulsively snatches Ismail and flees home to his wife Jolanta, who’d been made barren by Nazi cruelty. She embraces the child and names him David. The author, in a moment of “creative genius,” calls the baby’s discerning feature, a scar on his cheek from a protruding crib nail, “the scar of David.”
The logic of a soldier carrying a baby while dutifully looting the village with his unit is more than ludicrous; it is a case of projection. It was Mohammed’s warriors who kidnapped for slavery, conversion, and booty. Realistically, Moshe and Jolanta would have welcomed one of the many parentless children who were brought to Israel.
Considering her father’s brutality, her shock by an explosion and minor leg injury, and the kidnapping of her six-month-old son, Dalia begins displaying symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. She rallies with the birth of her daughter, Amal, in 1955, but gradually sinks into dementia, as her husband and first-born Yousef join the wars. Dalia eventually becomes unraveled, needing Amal’s constant care, and dies before Amal turns 14.
Again the facts belie the fiction
Returning to real facts, in 1966, Soviet Intelligence incorrectly reported Israel’s imminent campaign against Syria, heightening tensions and causing fledgling Palestinian guerilla groups to increase in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, and Israel retaliated in the Jordanian West Bank in November. On May 14, 1967, Abdel Nasser mobilized Egyptian forces in the Sinai, requested that UNEF (UN Emergency Forces) leave, and, joined by Jordan and Iraq, blockaded the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping. To the endless overt threats, Israel launched a preemptive assault against Egyptian and Syrian air forces on June 5, and captured Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip, and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
In the fictional account, Hasan mobilizes to defend against Zionist aggression, and that contrary to reason and truth, Israel singlehandedly attacks Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. After removing his cache of 20 weapons from beneath the kitchen floorboards, Hasan and Yousef leave the twelve-year-old Amal and her friend Huda behind, hidden under the floor, with only each other for comfort through the terrifying sounds of war. It is this act that haunts Yousef for the rest of his life, the guilt that he was unable to stay and comfort them as they trembled until the bombing abated. Abulhawa fails to perceive that these children are steeped in dread, their lives consumed with war and death.
1967: Despite being outnumbered, Israel regained Judea and Samaria. In the story, when Yousef returns briefly, he tells Amal that he has seen a scarred Israeli soldier, undoubtedly their lost brother Ismail, called David. David hears his own friend remark about their likeness, and Moshe is burdened with his secret, admitting it to David only on his deathbed, begging forgiveness. He is haunted by Dalia’s cries, the awful evictions, killings and rapes.
The rape accusation is projection, customarily a Muslim action against their enemy’s women. Islam teaches and justifies violence against women. Quran 2:223, “Women are your fields, go, then unto your fields when and how you please.” Quran 8:60: “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power . . . to strike terror (into the hearts of) the enemies of God.” Islamic rape is steeped in hatred and vengeance. Jihadis are trained to dehumanize and inflict great physical harm on women, one method being Taharrush. Islamic apartheid also fosters rape of boys by older men “of status,” an age-old, self-perpetuating Islamic practice of humiliation and emasculation.
Hah! Are Israelis racist because they do not commit rape?
Strangely, in 2017, an anti-Israel activist declared that Israelis are racist because they don’t rape Palestinian women! Notwithstanding military purpose, Israelis pursue a high moral culture, attested by Colonel Richard Kemp. All capable Israeli youths are required to serve in the armed forces, re-enter society to become devoted spouses and parents, and contribute to their country’s growth.
Abulhawa has her creation, Amal, riding through Jerusalem and witnessing the destruction of ancient houses, but omits clarifying that this is not senseless injustice, but Israel’s way of punishing residents responsible for deadly terrorist attacks.
Fact v. fiction again: the 1982 Lebanon invasion
It is 1982, and the author brings her family to the next accusation, that Israel provoked the PLO to strike. The historical facts are that Israel had been harassed, shelled, attacked and raided by PLO guerrillas in Lebanon, a major component of the Lebanese Civil War, which triggered Syria’s intervention and limited occupation. Israel provoked the PLO actions that would justify their full-scale invasion of Lebanon, in order to bomb the PLO targets in Beirut and southern Lebanon, headquarters for 14,000 armed fighters.
In August, the Christian Phalangist militia, the PLO’s bitter enemies, massacred as many as 3,500 Palestinians, Lebanese, Pakistanis, Iranians, Syrians and Algerians in Sabra and Shatila, 400,000 made homeless, infrastructure devastated. Women and children were evacuated to Lebanon, the PLO exiled to Tunisia. Had there been no raid, the Palestinians would have continued their homicidal jihad unimpeded. The author appears to be lacking in understanding.
The factitious – and real – price Palestine pays today
Amal, now living in Philadelphia, receives a call from her brother, Yousef, screaming vengeance for the massacre in both refugee camps. He screams that his wife and daughter have been killed, as was Amal’s husband, Majid. Amal gives birth to Sara, and suffers from depression, remaining a traumatized, emotionally distant mother, as Dalia had been.
Amal is next contacted by her long-lost brother Ismail, now called David, who has come to America to meet his sister for the first time, and the author has a field day inventing unfound slurs against Israel. David is convinced that “Israel is a lie,” and that “Palestinians paid the price for the Jewish Holocaust,” the author’s vicious trope. No. Palestinians are paying the “price” for Mohammed’s desire for world triumph and the Palestinian all-or-nothing conquest strategy, with a strong faction that is unable to live in peace. The women suffer desperately for their inferior position in Islamic societies. Amal and David promise to meet again soon.
Amal and 19-year-old Sara visit “Palestine” and are met by David and his son, Jacob. They visit Dr. Ari Perlstein who suggests that Hasan was killed in the 1967 war and that Yousef bombed the US embassy in 1983. Amal sees the “Judaizing of Jerusalem,” never alluding to Jerusalem’s (Yerushalayim in Hebrew) being one of the oldest cities in the world, est. 4th millennium BCE), and the religious and administrative center of the Kingdom of Judah in 10th C BCE.
All about Jenin
The four continue their drive to Jenin, population 45,000, an infamous den of terror, and visit Huda, whose husband and mute son, Mansour, were taken by Israelis for terrorist activities. Suicide bombings and attacks had been increasing in intensity, followed by two Israeli incursions, arrests, demolitions and curfews. They hear destruction of nearby homes and buildings, proving the Israeli policy of bulldozing homes of terrorists, when an Israeli soldier enters this terrorist home, aims his weapon at Sara and Amal runs to take the bullet. Amal is killed.
Israel had endured approximately 16 bombings, many of them suicide attacks. Following the Battle of Jenin, in 2002, however, there were cries worldwide of massacre and genocide, when Israel conducted two waves of incursions with ground troops, helicopters, tanks, and fighter jets. Of the camps’ 15,000 residents, 25 terrorists, 26 civilians, and 25 IDF soldiers were killed, far fewer than the thousands killed in Kosovo by Muslims or from the suicide bombing at an Israeli hotel (28 killed, 140 injured) by Palestinians. The IDF were ambushed with explosive devices in the Jenin homes and on the roads, and women helped to lure the soldiers into traps.
Palestine – symbol of waste of lives
The next generation will live in Philadelphia. Sara and Jacob return to her mother’s home in Philadelphia, and Mansour, Huda’s only surviving son, will join them while also studying art. Yousef to remain unidentified and kill no more. Still, this author’s inaccuracies or misinformation, accusations, and slander, are stealth jihad, intended to encourage violent jihad. The ambition of a depraved warlord of the 5th century continues to waste the lives of Muslims and their victims in the 21st century.
After visiting Israel, John LeCarre wisely said, “No nation on earth was more deserving of peace — or more condemned to fight for it.”
The author aptly describes Palestine as a self-imposed prison.
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