In 1996, Israeli jets bombed a UN building where civilians had taken refuge at Cana/ Qana in south Lebanon, killing 102 persons; in the place where Jesus is said to have made water into wine, Israeli bombs wrought a different sort of transformation. In the distant, picturesque port of Hamburg, a young graduate student studying traditional architecture of Aleppo saw footage like this on the news [graphic]. He was consumed with anguish and the desire for revenge. As soon as operation Grapes of Wrath had begun the week before, he had written out a martyrdom will, indicating his willingness to die avenging the victims, killed in that operation--with airplanes and bombs that were a free gift from the United States. His name was Muhammad Atta. Five years later he piloted American Airlines 11 into the World Trade Center. (Lawrence Write, The Looming Tower, p. 307: "On April 11, 1996, when Atta was twenty-seven years old, he signed a standardized will he got from the al-Quds mosque.l It was the day Israel attacked Lebanon in Operation grapes of Wrath. According to one of his friends, Atta was enraged,and by filling out his last testamentd during the attack he was offering his life in response." ).Let's assume for a moment, merely for the purpose of the intellectual exercise, that what he has just written is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Bear with me, just for the moment.
On Tuesday, the Israeli military shelled a United Nations school to which terrified Gazans had fled for refuge, killing at least 42 persons and wounding 55, virtually all of them civilians, and many of them children. The Palestinian death toll rose to 660. The Israelis say they took fire from one of the schools. Was it tank fire?
You wonder if someone somewhere is writing out a will today.
What Cole has just told us is that his mind can live with the explanation that Mohammad Atta murdered thousands of people in New York, because five years earlier he'd been absolutely and totally furious at an Israeli killing of one hundred people in Lebanon. Moreover, Cole implies, it is well likely that another act of Israeli killing today will have a similar result sometime down the road. Furthermore, he then goes on, he's telling us this because the Obama administration must stop the way Israel is purposefully putting Americans in danger merely because Israelis are that kind of people.
In 1348 Europe was stricken by its first wave of Bubonic Plague, in which about a third of the entire population perished. Among the millions of dead there were entire communities of Jews, but they didn't have time to die from the plague; they were murdered by their neighbors who were convinced they must be poisoning the wells. Eventually the rampaging murderers desisted, when they managed to notice that when left alone, the Jews were dying from the plague just like everyone else. In spite of their terror and hate, they were able to observe reality and make rational judgments - well, after a while. In the 14th century.
In the 21st, Professor Cole doesn't have the terror, ensconced in Ann Arbor Michigan, he's got only the hate. But then, neither does he have the ability to observe reality and make rational judgments.
Not to mention moral ones.