International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

Sympathy for the devil

After the Sbarro suicide bombing, Jerusalem 2001

On August 9, 2001, Izz al-Masri, a Palestinian terrorist, walked into a Sbarro pizza restaurant at the corner of King George Street and Jaffa Road in Jerusalem. Strapped to his body was a bomb packed with nails, screws, and bolts in order to maximize damage. He detonated the charge, killing fifteen people and injuring more than 100.

One of those killed that day was fifteen-year-old Malka Chana Roth, who had been having lunch on a pleasant summer day in Jerusalem with a friend when both fell victim to this act of barbarism. It is heartbreaking to think about. Anyone who has gone through the experience of cautiously granting their children more and more freedoms as they get older — all the while hoping that they will be safe and will not fall prey to the perils that we all face when we go out into the world — can begin to imagine the pain experienced by Malka’s parents.

One of Izz al-Masri’s accomplices on his errand of darkness was Ahlam Tamimi, a then 20-year-old university student who drove al-Masri to the restaurant. Tamimi was captured and given 16 life sentences, but was released in 2011 as part of the prisoner swap Israel entered into to secure the release of captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Tamimi not only admits her crime, she’s proud of it; if you can stomach it, watch her here on a television appearance from several months ago as she recounts with relish some of the details of the Sbarro attack.

It’s difficult — impossible – for the vast majority of us to fathom what Tamimi did, and equally difficult to understand her obvious glee when she recalls participating in this atrocity. This is a woman who “smiled broadly” when she was told by an interviewer that the attack she helped orchestrate killed not just three, but eight children; who, after her release from prison, said, “I have never regretted what I have done, and if given another chance I’ll do it again.” She is a sociopathic, unrepentant murderer.

But apparently it’s not a problem for James Wall, former editor of the influential mainline Protestant magazine the Christian Century. After Tamimi’s release from prison last year, Wall wrote a piece describing her courtship with another prisoner during their incarceration, and their plans to marry upon their release from jail. It’s a repulsive, morally obtuse article; what person with a shred of conscience cares the least bit about Tamimi’s wedding plans, her bid for happiness, considering the profound misery she has visited upon so many others?

And what about Tamimi’s crimes? Wall’s position is this: “From Israel’s perspective, Ahlam played a role in causing a massive act of murder. She saw it, initially, as an act of war. And of course, war itself is organized, sanctioned murder … There is no simple answer to the question of what separates murder from deaths caused in combat.” In Wall’s convoluted world, then, Tamimi’s acts are no different than Israel’s efforts to defend herself against those who would destroy her.

Wall’s sympathy for this murderer of innocents is revolting. He’s still listed as a contributing editor of the Christian Century; his continued presence on the masthead of a magazine that purports to tell its readers “what it means to believe and live out the Christian faith in our time” is perverse and inexcusable.

Malka’s family has a blog. In a recent article posted there they write about their recent discovery of James Wall’s article from October 2011, and their shock at his sickening sympathy for Ahlam Tamimi and his refusal to condemn her for her crimes. They ask, “Is it Christian to embrace the unrepentant murderer of children who says she prays for the chance to do it again?”

Care to field the question, Mr. Wall?

Author: Stand For Israel | August 24, 2012
Posted in:  Uncategorized


What do you think?

  • Dan C
    August 29, 2012
    9:24 pm

    Everyone that claims the name of Christ is not Christian; a concept Mr.Wall clearly demonstrates here.

    Reply to this comment »
  • John
    August 28, 2012
    8:50 am

    This person should be tried and put to death if found guilty. She did admit the crime so put her to death. The people she killed were non combatants. Bring her here and see what happens.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Marite
    August 28, 2012
    1:30 am

    If I were James Wall, I wouldn’t have written the article. He should’ve been more sensitive. Not all right actions are permissible. Although God tells us to forgive, each action has a consequence.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Gwendolyn
    August 27, 2012
    1:21 am

    This sad situation reminds me of Saul of Tarsus,the difference is that God intervened and Saul became a productive servant of God,so,if tJhis should happen to her she should be forgiven.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Gabi
    August 26, 2012
    8:16 am

    As a Christian I am utterly ashamed of what Mr Wall writes it has nothing to do with Forgiveness as even Jeshua said, that if anyone harms a little one it would be better for the person to put a millstone around his neck. The Bible has not changed and murder is very different from death in War. My question to Mr Waker is,in what way did these so coldly and brutally murdered people supposed to have harmed Tamimi so that she had to defend herself? Perhaps he would like to sit in a cafe or Restaurant and be blown to bits by Palestinians or Hamas as afterall they have the ‘right to defend themselfs’ as they are in war with America afterall as well.

    Reply to this comment »

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