What Golda Meir said to the National Press club almost 50 years ago, still holds true today:

Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.

That’s one thing beyond my comprehension. I have two great kids who I love more than life itself. I am sure that the terrorists that are parents love their children just as much as I love mine. But how could anybody, for ANY REASON let their children slap on an explosive belt, or put them in a car and let them just blow up? I don’t care about economic hardships or religion or any other thing.
When I read this article by Dr. Boaz Ganor, I understood it a bit more. He takes a look at the from a unemotional cost/benefit point of view. And his views regarding why this method of terror evolved makes sense….It Works–it creates the most havoc and nations of the world reinforce terrorism by giving into it.
Dr Ganor also describes the “rational” benefits of being a bomber or a relative of a bomber that make it so “attractive”

  • In the eyes of the attacker and his community this phenomenon has nothing to do with committing suicide. Instead, he is seen as a “shahid” – a martyr who fell in the process of fulfilling the religious commandment of “Jihad” (holy war). (Thus his act is called in Arabic Istishhad).
  • FOR G-D: The radical Islamic activists who decide to become “shahids” see themselves as martyrs who are fulfilling a divine command of protecting their religion from the attack by the infidels.In that respect, committing a suicide attack is considered by the perpetrator and his entire community as an altruistic step for the religion and for Allah.
  • FOR COUNTRY: In some cases (Palestinian, Chechen, Kashmiri, Iraqi and others), the “shahid” is also seen as committing a patriotically altruistic act for his nation by carrying out a suicide attack. The suicide attacker and his supportive community believe that by carrying out the attack he will cause great damage to the enemy and instill fear and anxiety within the enemy population and army, which will result in fulfilling their political/nationalistic/separatist goals.
  • FOR CASH: In some cases, “shahids” come from a low social status background and by carrying out the suicide attack they improve their family’s socioeconomic status after their death.The shahid’s family is showered with honor and praise and receives financial rewards for the attack from Islamic charities or the terrorist organization.In this respect, carrying out a suicide attack is in many cases regarded by the perpetrator as an altruistic act benefiting his family.
  • THE ULTIMATE PYRAMID SCHEME: In addition to the religious mission and the family rewards, the “shahid” also receives some personal benefits (according to his belief). By carrying out the suicide attack, he earns eternal life in paradise, he is spared from suffering the horrific purification period in the grave before reaching heaven and he earns the loving kindness of 72 young virgins who will serve him in heaven. The “shahid” also earns the privilege of promising a life in heaven to 70 of his relatives and friends (hence, again, this is an altruistic act benefiting his friends and relatives).

All this said on a rational basis I guess I can almost understand it, but as a parent who loves his children, I can never comprehend it. Either way Dr. Ganor’s essay written for the Institute of Counter Terrorism is a MUST Read. You can find it at this link: The Rationality of the Islamic Radical Suicide attack phenomenon For those of you who think that the picture at the top of the post may be a bit exaggerated, I recommend this post on Solomania.