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Finley: Cheers for synagogue killing can't be forgotten

Nolan Finley
The Detroit News

The acts were horrific enough: Four rabbis and a police officer hacked to death with meat axes while worshipping in a Jerusalem synagogue. It doesn't get much more disgusting than that.

Until you see the photographs of Palestinians lining the streets, waving axes and gleefully cheering the slaughter. Even worse than the act was that reaction.

As poisoned as the killers must have been by mind-rotting hatred, those who stood and publicly praised such a grotesque spilling of blood are just as sickening.

It is their adulation of murderers that allows the murder to continue; their refusal to shun brutality that enables the brutal to act in their name.

Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, quickly and rightly denounced the attacks on behalf of those of his people who are sickened by the bloodshed, as a civilized mind demands them to be. But he also took the opportunity to demand Israel stop "invasions" of the Al Aqsa Mosque in the Old City, as if Israel was the provocateur.

Hamas, Abbas' terrorist bedfellow, issued a statement in solidarity with the demons whose demonstrations sent the message, "Jews were chopped to pieces in a temple! Fabulous!"

You have to ask, what sort of evil drives such an outpouring of joy over the deaths of clerics at prayer? You should be asking, what sort of nation would support such a twisted people?

The United States, for one.

Our country, in direct violation of its own laws, continues to send dollars to the Palestinian Authority, even though Hamas is fully integrated into its leadership.

President Barack Obama condemned the killings as "horrific." But he couldn't let it rest there. As always, he lapsed into moral equivalency. Noting that too many Israelis and Palestinians have been killed in recent months, he called on "both sides" to cooperate in lowering tensions and rejecting violence.

To even suggest this act of rabid terror was an outgrowth of the political conflict and an answer to it can be found at the negotiating table is to be complicit in the crime itself. That sort of moral wobbling and outright naivete contributes to the endless killing.

This act was driven by a 100-proof strain of hatred poured into a vulnerable populace until they're so drunk on it they're capable of committing even the most barbaric act.

We can't pretend that peace is possible until a cure is found for that disease. Israel knows the truth — as long as Hamas lives, its security is always at risk. Hamas doesn't want an independent state; it wants the complete eradication of Jews in the Middle East.

That's why Israel risked another war this spring with the intent of smashing Hamas once and for all. That intention was thwarted by the hand-wringing of Obama and other world leaders, who begged Israel to show restraint, to stop short of its goals.

On whose behalf were they intervening? Those same monsters who stood in the street and hoisted hatchets in celebration of the murders of religious men, butchered while communing with their God.

Next time Israel must go to war to stop Hamas' random rocket attacks on innocent civilians, it should rent billboards throughout the world on which to post photographs of those axe-waving maniacs.


Follow Nolan Finley at, on Twitter at nolanfinleydn, on Facebook at nolanfinleydetnews and watch him at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays on "MiWeek" on Detroit Public TV, Channel 56.