Brigitte Gabriel is a Lebanese-born victim and survivor of Muslim Arab terrorism. In her eye-opening book, Because They Hate (St. Martin’s Press, 2006), she reveals, from personal experience, that Islam denies the sanctity of human life. This single fact, evident in Islamic deeds and doctrine, underlies the moral and cultural conflict between original Islam—the Islam of the Koran—and the West, especially Israel and the United States.
Ms. Gabriel, a Maronite Christian, recounts her traumatic experiences during Lebanon’s civil war, which had been precipitated by the PLO in 1975. Her idyllic childhood was shattered when the PLO took over southern Lebanon and used the area as a launching pad for terrorist strikes against Israel.
In 1982, Israel launched “Operation Peace for the Gallilee” to rid Lebanon of PLO terrorists. During the ensuing battle, Brigitte’s mother was wounded. Unable to get help in a local hospital, Brigitte asked an Israeli for help. Lo and behold, an Israeli ambulance took Brigitte and her mother to a hospital in Safed. It was the first trip of this young lady to Israel.
When she arrived at the hospital, she was amazed that
the Israelis were providing medical treatment to Palestinian and Muslim gunmen… Israeli doctors worked feverishly to save their lives. Each person was treated solely according to the nature of his or her injury. The doctor treated my mother before he treated an Israeli soldier lying next to her because her injury was more severe than his. The doctor did not see religion, political affiliation, of nationality. They saw only people in need, and they helped.
Brigitte was stunned. Day after day, year after year, she had been immersed in a sea of lies about. Israel. But now, in this Israeli hospital, Brigitte began to see the truth. Even her thoughts about her near-death experiences
were slowly replaced by reflections on the compassion and generosity that I’d seen the Israelis exhibit over and over, all day long…. It suddenly dawned on me that the efforts of the Israelis were not just isolated, individual acts of compassion…. [All] this was possible only because the Israelis, as a state, as a society, as a culture, made a conscious, deliberate decision to devote precious resources to saving the lives of their enemies.
Brigitte was shocked by “the implications of this revelation”:
I recalled all the horrible things that I had heard about Jews in general and Israelis in particular as I was growing up: they were greedy, brutal, and treacherous; they were the cause of all misery in the world. I had seen with my own eyes that nothing could be further from the truth….
But now Brigitte proceeds to confirm the thesis of her book:
I also learned about hatred, intolerance, and bigotry. The Muslim woman who was in the room with my mother had stayed in the hospital about twelve days. And even after ten days, when the doctors left the room after changing her bandages, and checking on her in their morning tour, she said, with an evil, hate-filled look on her face, “I hate you all. I wish you were all dead.” And for the first time in my life I saw evil.
I realized that this Muslim could not love the Jews even after they had saved her life. And when you are unable to be grateful to the people who saved your life, you have no soul. When humans become devoid of compassion, a sense of forgiveness, and open-mindedness, when they surrender their humanity to hate, they become an evil force of darkness that is irreconcilable with hope, love, and peace.
I urge my readers to purchase Ms. Gabriel’s book. Please have its message disseminated as widely as possible: among members of Congress, the Bush administration, and of course in the print and electronic media.