What kind of society consciously and purposely sacrifices its own youth for political gain and tactical advantage? Suicide bombers are an escalation of a small-arms war introduced and championed by Palestinian Arab leaders, even prior to Arafat's arrival from Tunis to Gaza in July 1994.
Today the overwhelming majority of Palestinian Arabs nurture a blind hatred of Israel. They created a cultural milieu of vengeance, violence and death - preparing their children to be sacrifices in a death cult. Proud parents dress up their toddlers not in clown costumes, but with suicide belts, and countless others celebrate their children's deaths with traditional sweet holiday cakes and candies.
Palestinian Arabs are killing their children because they make effective delivery systems for killing Israelis. They also sacrifice them because wounded or dead children paint Israelis as heartless and cruel in the eyes of the world and the Israelis themselves.
This so-called success encouraged Palestinians to enlarge the role of their children by using them as human shields, direct combatants and suicide bombers - glorifying, rather than mourning their deaths.
The death of Arab children on the front lines - extolled as shahids or martyrs - has become a cynical weapon in the arsenal of Arab leaders. They have learned that when their children are killed, they gain world sympathy, especially in Europe and North America - where the death of any child is viewed as a tragedy and portrayed as such in the media, regardless of circumstance.
While Palestinian leaders exhort the public into volunteering their children for suicide missions, they make sure their own children are not among the volunteers.
International law prohibits using children to fight. Article 38 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (adopted in 1989) condemns the recruitment and involvement of children in hostilities and armed conflicts. In 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted a treaty that raised the age limit for compulsory recruitment and participation in combat to age 18. Article 36 of the same UN document calls on states to protect children against any kind of exploitation.
Former United Nations Under-Secretary-General Olara Otunnu condemned terrorist groups' use of children as human shields, gunmen and suicide bombers. At a UN Security Council debate on January 14, 2003 devoted to measures to protect children in armed conflict, he said:
"We have witnessed child victims at both ends of these acts: [Palestinian] children have been used as suicide bombers and [Israeli] children have been killed by suicide bombings. Nothing can justify this. I call on the Palestinian authorities to do everything within their powers to stop all participation by children in this conflict."
A Washington Post editorial headlined "Death Wish," following a conference in which 57 Islamic nations rejected the idea that Palestinian 'resistance' to Israel had anything to do with terrorism, said:
"In effect, the Islamic conference sanctioned not only terrorism but also suicide as a legitimate political instrument. ... It is hard to imagine any other grouping in the world's nations that could reach such a self-destructive and morally repugnant conclusion."
The Post castigated Muslim states and suggested their behavior was liable to be the seeds to their own destruction. It concluded:
"The Palestinian national cause will never recover - nor should it - until its leadership is willing to break definitely with the bombers."
A criminal Palestinian Arab leadership, along with cowardly and intimidated Palestinian parents on the West Bank and Gaza, exploit their children to engage in armed conflict - in opposition to values held by the rest of the civilized world and in flagrant violation of international law and common decency.
There is no excuse - nor any widespread precedent among the wretched of the earth - for sacrificing the youth of any society for political gain and tactical advantage. If this is to stop, the culpability must be put squarely on the shoulders of Palestinian society and others who legitimize, support and 'understand' such child sacrifice.
 Justus Weiner, "The Recruitment of Children in Current Palestinian Strategy," Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, October 1, 2002.
 See "UN urges Palestinian leaders to stop child suicide bombings," Agence France-Presse, January 14, 2002.