Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

29 Av 5762 - August 7, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
Cynical Criminal Palestinian Activity

Israel is caught between conflicting needs and goals in its attitude to the Palestinian people. This is true of both the political decision-makers and the security experts.

Both are trying to find the delicate balance between a stubborn and successful battle against Palestinian terror and avoiding causing undue suffering to the large Palestinian population that does not participate in the terror.

On the one hand, there is the just need to fight an uncompromising battle against the cruel terror that is used against Israel, and the army and the security forces are doing their best given the many constraints that they have to operate under.

On the other hand, there is a desire to limit as much as possible the difficulties of the many Palestinians who just want to live their lives. This includes the day-to-day problems they have while living under curfews and travel restrictions, as well as the extraordinary times when an uninvolved bystander is killed or harmed when a terrorist is attacked.

The problem arises because the Palestinian terrorists are entirely unconcerned about the lot of their own brethren, and they use any easing-up in the IDF pressure on Palestinian cities to murder innocent Israelis. Just last week Shani Ladani Hy"d of Alush was murdered by terrorists who slipped in and out of Tulkarm during the few hours that the army eased the curfew so that the residents could go about their business.

The bloodthirsty Palestinian murderers know well that their deeds cause suffering to their own people but they believe that it is "worth it" if they can murder innocent Jews.

International law has banned such behavior. It clearly requires that all fighters wear special clothing (uniforms) and take care to stay apart from non-combatants so that targeting them, which is a legitimate act in warfare, will not cause incidental harm to the non-combatant population.

Palestinian criminals ("fighters" according to the media) deliberately live among civilians knowing that Israel will have operational and political difficulties in stopping them that way.

International law addresses that situation too, saying that the full responsibility for non-combatant casualties and suffering is considered to rest with the criminals who flout law and convention by, in effect, using civilians as human shields. They are considered responsible for the noncombatant deaths that result from attacks targeted at them.

Unfortunately, the media does not know of this or does not want to know of it, and when there are non-combatant deaths or injuries they all blame Israel and not the so-called militants who are really responsible according to established international law.

There is no other country in the world that, when faced with such heartless terrorism, would respond with the sensitivity displayed by the State of Israel. The Americans bombed targets in Bosnia and Afghanistan and there was no criticism when they were legitimate targets. America rained bombs on the hideouts of Osama bin Laden in the mountains of Afghanistan even though it was well-known that the arch- terrorist lived with his family. Hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of non-combatant Afghani residents were killed by the American attacks.

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