SEARCH SITE:

HOME

NEW ARTICLES

Analysis
Teaching Peace from Tales of the City: Peace Education through the Memoryscapes of Nagasaki Patporn Phoothong
Special Report
Reflections of Refugees in Africa Wyclife Ong'eta Mose
Feature
Freedom of Expression Under Threat in Zambia Mariateresa Garrido
Essay
Women’s Political Representation in Sri Lanka: Leading towards Prosperity or Peril Pujika Rathnayake
Comment
The political Crisis of the 2017 Honduran Election Daniel Bagheri S.
Letters
Notes On A Controversy Amardo Rodriguez

RECENT ARTICLES
Analysis
The Unraveled and Disquieting Human Rights Violation of Afghanistan Priya Pandey
Special Report
Nepal's recovery process since the 2015 earthquake Jini Agrawal
In-depth
Challenges and prospects of AU to implement the Ezulwini Consensus: The case of collective security and the use of force Tunamsifu Shirambere Philippe
Policy
The Right to Food Shant Melkonian
Feature
Land of the Golden Pagodas: Checking in on Myanmar’s Peace Process Monica Paniagua
Interview
Douglas Janoff on LGBTQIA Human Rights Luciana Téllez
Essay
Common Things: Communication, Community, Communal Peacebuilding Lina Patricia Forero Martínez
Comment
Periodismo Ciudadano e Internet Gina Paola Parra
Research Summary
Water Security in the Sixaola River Basin Adrián Martinez Blanco and Diana Ubico Durán
Poetry
Reborn Arunima Chouguley
Letters
An Open Letter to the American People: Political Responsibility in the Nuclear Age Richard Falk, David Krieger, and Robert Laney

ARCHIVES

Analysis
Last Updated: 01/18/2005
Palestinian Suicide Bombers Revisited
Basel Saleh

A fundamental question has dominated the study of terrorism and suicide attacks. After the September 11 attacks, scholars have primarily relied on themes from neoclassical economics to develop theoretical and empirical models of terrorism. Suicide attackers and terrorist were seen as optimizing agents. But this innovative approach failed to deliver and obscured more than it illuminated. It failed to yield meaningful predictions and practical policy implications. This paper considers the merits of this approach and surveys evidence gathered from the biographical sketches of 50 Palestinian suicide attackers.


PALESTINIAN SUICIDE ATTACKS REVISITED: A CRITIQUE OF CURRENT WISDOM

ARTICLE AVAILABLE IN PDF Click Here

 

After the September 11 attacks scholars from various disciplines were resolved to uncover the secrets to the human bomb. This ambition was motivated by the urgency to preclude future attacks given the scope of tragedy inflicted by 19 individuals who were determined to die. For that purpose, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict represented an opportunity. Palestinians- in the West Bank and Gaza Strip- have launched a campaign of suicide attacks as part of their operational tactics since 1993, especially after the start of the current intifada in September 2000. Since the 9/11 hijackers and Palestinian suicide attackers share a common religion and ethnic origin, and the obvious potential this would have on unraveling the mysteries of suicide missions, it was essential to examine Palestinian suicide attacks[1]. But with the exception of few studies, most research focused primarily on the dynamics of suicide attackers recruitment and venues of prevention. The policy implications derived from these studies were centered on two counter-insurgency tactics: intercepting the funding for militant organizations and smashing their leaders. But these are tactical responses that don t address the intermingled root- causes of terrorism. Even after the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, there has been a crescendo in suicide attacks that spread to Morocco, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Spain, Russia, and Indonesia[2].  The most important player in the suicide mission, the executioner- the suicide bomber, went unnoticed.  What is seriously lacking and urgently needed is information about the lives of suicide attackers which can identify risk factors that, directly or indirectly, may have led them to opt for a mission that ends with death.  A scrutiny of the lives of Palestinian suicide attackers is important and as Jennifer Harbury said listening to the other side does not dishonor the innocent victims. Failing to listen will lead to more bombings and more victims.[3] Reverend Naim Attek also wrote:

When healthy, beautiful, and intelligent young men and women set out to kill and be killed, something is basically wrong in a world that has not heard their anguish cry for justice. These young people deserve to live along with all those whom they have caused to die.[4]  

 

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE IN PDF Click Here

Basel Saleh is Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics, College of St. Benedict / St. John’s University and can be contacted at bsaleh@csbsju.edu


Footer