As America Remembers Va. Tech Victims, Carter Honors a School-massacre Perpetrator

In his deranged message to the world, Cho Seung-Hui, the murderer of 32 students and professors at Virginia Tech, credited Columbine High School killers "Eric and Dylan" as his inspiration. But, to give credit where it truly is due, it was not Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, but rather Yasser Arafat and his sidekick Mahmoud Abbas, who pioneered the art of targeting young students.

Ironically, the same week we mark the anniversary of these two school massacres, former president Jimmy Carter paid homage to Cho's most accomplished predecessor when he laid a wreath of flowers on Arafat's grave.

Significantly, he did not lay wreaths on the graves of Arafat's victims, nor did he meet with their families. And the media failed to note the irony of an ex-president on a "diplomatic" mission honoring the killer of diplomats Cleo A. Noel, Jr., George Curtis, and Guy Eid, whose graves Carter is also unlikely to visit.

The contrast speaks volumes. Carter, in effect, displayed a noose to the victims' loved ones.

Palestinian officials quoted the ex-president praising Arafat as a "peace fighter and a dear friend of mine," as well as a "partner in representing the question of justice in the world" --  an extraordinary description of the terrorist mastermind who swore that the PLO's goal was to ensure that "the blood of every last Jew from the youngest child to the eldest elder is spilt..."

When Arafat said "from the youngest child," he meant it. The school-massacre victims Carter would rather forget include the young Israelis killed in the small town of Ma'alot on Israeli Independence Day in 1974. After PLO terrorists sneaked in from Lebanon and killed two parents and their child in their home, they attacked the school, killing the guard and some of the children. A few children escaped by jumping out a second-story window. Of the remaining hostages, including more than 100 children, 26 were killed-21 of them children-when the terrorists exploded hand grenades and opened fire on the hostages with machine guns. More than 60 others were wounded.

Four years earlier, Arafat's gang had opened fire on Israeli children and teachers on a school bus. The cold-blooded ambush is recounted in an article on

"...the bus departed from Avivim heading with its passengers to two local schools, as it did every morning following the same route. This route had secretly been scouted by the Palestinians in the weeks leading up to the assault, and a careful ambush was prepared. As the bus passed the ambush point, just ten minutes after leaving Avivim, it was attacked by heavy automatic gunfire from both sides of the road. The driver was amongst those hit in the initial barrage, as were the two other adults on board, all three being killed as the bus crashed into an embankment, the gunmen still firing into the vehicle... In all nine children (aged between six and nine) and three adults, all civilians, were killed in the attack. Nineteen other children were seriously wounded by the gunfire."

A generation and endless peace talks later, nothing had changed. On May 2, 2004, Tali Hatuel, who was born one month after the school bus massacre in 1970, was driving with her daughters -- Hila, 11, Hadar, 9, Roni, 7, and Merav, 2 -- when Palestinian terrorists opened fire and forced the car off the road. The gunmen then approached the vehicle, shot the eight-months-pregnant mother in the stomach and shot the screaming girls repeatedly in the head. (The attack was launched from nearby buildings the Israeli Defense Forces had wanted to demolish as a security risk, but were stopped by an Israeli Supreme Court ruling.) One week later, two terrorists dressed as women opened fire on a memorial service for the mother and her daughters, but were killed by the IDF before they could kill or wound any mourners.

The US taxpayer-funded Palestinian Authority was ecstatic over the mass murder, as reported in the Jerusalem Newswire headline: "Arafat's PA Honors Killers of Jewish Family: Arab satellite networks, Al Jazeera refer to the killing as ‘heroic martyrdom.'" The PA also called Tali Hatuel and her four daughters "terrorists."

The Hatuel massacre was eerily echoed when Amish girls were killed execution-style in Pennsylvania two years later. The only difference was that no one took the side of the gunman, and there is no Hamas-like organization, dedicated to killing the rest of the Amish people, for someone like Carter to legitimize.

Despite the distinction almost universally drawn between the terrorists of Hamas and Abbas' "moderate" Fatah, unarmed students remain a favorite target of both, as seen in the recent slaughter of 8 yeshiva students by Fatah; Hamas' bomb attack at Hebrew University, which killed 9 and wounded 85; and the murders of three yeshiva high school students playing basketball by Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, among countless similar atrocities in recent years.

The tactic originated by Carter's favorite serial killer is now emulated by Islamic terrorists worldwide on an almost daily basis, as I found when I monitored this epidemic over approximately a two-week period last year. Murders, attempted murders, and violent intimidation of students and teachers occurred in:

  • Israel (May 16). A rocket fired by terrorists in Gaza struck a high school in the Negev, wounding two people.
  • Israel (May 7). A medium-range rocket nearly hit a kindergarten in Sderot as children were arriving for school.
  • Gaza (May 5). Palestinian terrorists opened fire at a United Nations-run elementary school, killing one person and wounding seven others, because boys and girls were allowed to participate together in the "sports day" event. Two weeks earlier, Palestinian terrorists claiming to be part of al Qaeda blew up parts of the American International School.
  • Pakistan (May 4). A bomb exploded at the main entrance of a girls' school in the town of Gujrat, following warnings from Islamic extremists to shut down all educational facilities for girls.
  • Iraq (May 3). A girls' school under construction was found to be rigged with explosives suspected to have been planted by al Qaeda. The planned massacre would have instantly killed hundreds of girls.
  • Thailand (May 2). After "militants" beheaded a Buddhist man and shot his nephew to death, the head was found at a school where three bombs were planted at the entrance.
  • Afghanistan (May 1). The country's education minister announced that in the past year, at least 85 students and teachers were killed, 187 schools were burned down, and 350 closed due to security concerns. The most recent victim was Ghulam Haider, headmaster of a girls' school, who was murdered on April 17 while walking to a mosque for morning prayers.
  • Iran (April 30). A peaceful rally at a Tehran university in support of a jailed student dissident was attacked by supporters of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who stabbed and assaulted the students with chains. One of the victims was hospitalized in critical condition.

In a related story that was reported last year (and then quickly forgotten), counterterror officials warned that suspected terrorists have signed up as school bus drivers in the United States.

Is there a chance Carter's displays of gross insensitivity will result in his being penalized or ostracized -- perhaps banned from the Democratic National Convention -- or at least lead to an apology? It appears unlikely. Although Carter's words and actions are infinitely more outrageous, obscene, and hurtful than the slanderous wisecrack that rightfully cost prominent radio-show host Don Imus his job, we live in an upside-down, Alice in Wonderland world where the standard of decency is much higher for an entertainer than for an ex-president and Nobel Peace Prize recipient.