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The Guardian (UK) reports that the Israeli defence ministry has decided that taking a gun on a bus and mowing down several civilians as a form of political action doesn't qualify as terrorism. Does that sound strange in a country that suffers more terrorist attacks than any other? It should, and the explanation only makes it stranger:
Four Arab Israelis shot dead by a soldier opposed to the closure of the Gaza Strip settlements are not victims of "terror" because their killer was Jewish, Israel's defence ministry has ruled, and so their families are not entitled to the usual compensation for life.
The ministry concluded that the law only recognises terrorism as committed by "organisations hostile to Israel" even though the prime minister, Ariel Sharon, described the killings by Private Eden Nathan Zaada, 19, as "a despicable act by a bloodthirsty terrorist."
He shot dead four people on a bus in the Arab Israeli town of Shfaram on August 4 and was then lynched by a mob.
Ariel Sharon diagnosed this attack perfectly, and the Defence Ministry should be ashamed of itself. Openly targeting civilians with lethal force to lash out for political purposes is terrorism no matter who conducts it. The difference between Palestinian terrorism and Israeli terrorism is that the latter results in punishment by the Israelis, while the former results in praise and celebration by the Palestinian "government".
The denial that this terrorism exists in the few isolated cases that occur, such as Zaada, erodes the moral standing of the Israelis. One cannot make an argument that the exact same action undertaken by a Jew and an Arab amounts to two different crimes and still claim to represent justice and tolerance. Either both commit terrorism, or both don't. The Defence Ministry risks a revival of the Zionism-equals-racism charge with this extremely poor decision and should immediately reconsider it.Sphere It View blog reactions
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» Jewish gunman was no terrorist from Don Singleton
This is sheer stupidity. If Israel wants the Palestinian authorities and the world wide press to call it terrorism when it is targeted at Israel, they also need to acknowledge, as Sharon did, that it is terrorism when a Jew does it. [Read More]
Tracked on September 1, 2005 10:20 AM
Tracked on September 1, 2005 10:49 AM
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