Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously wrote of American society rationalizing acceptance of ever rising levels of crime and self-destructive behavior in the 1993 Winter edition of The American Scholar. The title of his essay was Defining Deviancy Down and became a frequently used part of the lexicon in the ensuing battles and debates in our culture wars. The same concept of acquiescence writ large on the international stage is the subject of a Wall Street Journal column published yesterday and written by Judea Pearl, father of Danny and UCLA professor. Judea Pearl, whose journalist son was brutally slain by Islamist terrorists in Pakistan, decries the world's surrender to legitimacy and recognition of death-obsessed organizations like Hamas.
Over the decades, Israel has been pressured first to recognize Arafat's PLO, then Fatah with its murderous proxies, the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigades, and now is resisting enormous coercion to extend respectability to an even worse terrorist organization. No small part of this egregious and reprehensible effort is the American academy, the Middle East Studies Association and our former president, Jimmy Carter. In commemorating the seventh anniversary of the death of Danny Pearl, his father writes:
Neither he, nor the millions who were shocked by his murder, could have possibly predicted that seven years later his abductor, Omar Saeed Sheikh, according to several South Asian reports, would be planning terror acts from the safety of a Pakistani jail. Or that his murderer, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, now in Guantanamo, would proudly boast of his murder in a military tribunal in March 2007 to the cheers of sympathetic jihadi supporters. Or that this ideology of barbarism would be celebrated in European and American universities, fueling rally after rally for Hamas, Hezbollah and other heroes of "the resistance." Or that another kidnapped young man, Israeli Gilad Shalit, would spend his 950th day of captivity with no Red Cross visitation while world leaders seriously debate whether his kidnappers deserve international recognition.
About Jimmy Carter's role in defining down the deviancy of terror:
But the clearest endorsement of terror as a legitimate instrument of political bargaining came from former President Jimmy Carter. In his book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," Mr. Carter appeals to the sponsors of suicide bombing. "It is imperative that the general Arab community and all significant Palestinian groups make it clear that they will end the suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and the ultimate goals of the Road-map for Peace are accepted by Israel." Acts of terror, according to Mr. Carter, are no longer taboo, but effective tools for terrorists to address perceived injustices.
On the preening and loathsome Bill Moyer's moral equivocation:
Some American pundits and TV anchors didn't seem much different from Al Jazeera in their analysis of the recent war in Gaza. Bill Moyers was quick to lend Hamas legitimacy as a "resistance" movement, together with honorary membership in PBS's imaginary "cycle of violence." In his Jan. 9 TV show, Mr. Moyers explained to his viewers that "each [side] greases the cycle of violence, as one man's terrorism becomes another's resistance to oppression." He then stated — without blushing — that for readers of the Hebrew Bible "God-soaked violence became genetically coded." The "cycle of violence" platitude allows analysts to empower terror with the guise of reciprocity, and, amazingly, indict terror's victims for violence as immutable as DNA.
Lamenting the repugnant actions of his own university:
At my own university, UCLA, a symposium last week on human rights turned into a Hamas recruitment rally by a clever academic gimmick. The director of the Center for Near East Studies carefully selected only Israel bashers for the panel, each of whom concluded that the Jewish state is the greatest criminal in human history.
When Pat Moynihan gave a speech to the FBI, in the spring of 1993, after publishing his famous essay, he quoted NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly:
There is an expectation of crime in our lives. We are in danger of becoming captive to that expectation, and to the new tolerance of criminal behavior, not only in regard to violent crime. A number of years ago there began to appear in the windows of automobiles parked on the streets of American cities signs which read: "No radio." Rather than express outrage or even annoyance at the possibility of a car break-in, people tried to communicate with the potential thief in conciliatory terms. The translation of "No radio" is: "Please break into someone else's car, there's nothing in mine." These "No radio" signs are flags of urban surrender. They are handwritten capitulations. Instead of "No radio," we need new signs that say "No surrender."
The nations of Europe are putting signs of conciliation, written in Arabic, in the windows of their societies.
Will America, even alone, have the courage and fortitude to continue to hold up a sign that says, "No Surrender" ?