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Monday, October 24, 2011

Moral vertigo

Richard Landes had a great comment on the terrorists for Gilad deal in London's Daily Telegraph (Hat Tip: Amnon N).
Palestine, on the other hand, represents almost the polar opposite. This is a place in which killing daughters and wives and homosexuals for shaming the family with (even suspected and loosely interpreted) inappropriate sexual behavior is a regular feature of society, where “collaborators” are summarily executed, where official statistics for executions put the PA at a rate of formal, legal execution that cedes only to China, Iran, N Korea, Yemen and Libya.

The trade of over a thousand Palestinians for one Israeli highlights the radical differences between the cultures. As Hizbullah’s Nasrullah put it after a prison exchange in 2004: “We have discovered how to hit the Jews where they are the most vulnerable. The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win, because they love life and we love death.”

If a European, concerned about the nature of the aggressive Islam that has begun to crop up in his cities, citing for example Sharia zones, wanted to understand the nature of the Arab-Israeli conflict, he might spend a moment visiting the sites of Palestinian anti-Zionists, where this profoundly perverse culture teems. But of course, that would be politically incorrect. To spend any time pointing out the problems here constitutes the highest level of politically incorrect Islamophobia.

So instead of helping Europeans understand what’s at stake, most of the media and the NGO community have spun this story as one of violations of human rights on “both sides” with a heavy focus on Israeli misdeeds. The prisoners were considered “equal,” and Israeli primarily held accountable by the Geneva Convention for the treatment of enemy combatants when, in reality, the only one protected under these conditions was Shalit, a uniformed soldier kidnapped on his own soil in non-combat situation, and the thousand Palestinian prisoners where convicted in a court, primarily of crimes related to terror attacks on civilians (an, alas, necessary redundancy in these days of sophism).

Thus, The New York Times’s Robert Mackee could speak glibly about the “joy of parents on both sides” at the return of prisoners, and the UN could voice its concern that the prisoners Israel released might be subject to illegal forced transfer. “Returning people to places other than their habitual places of residence is in contradiction to international humanitarian law.” The UN’s concern for the full exercise of free will by convicted mass murderers illustrates the problem. Humanitarian discourse has been turned on its head to protect the ugliest players in this particular game, threatened by ugly forces within their own society, all the while implying that Israel, in its haste to get its own soldier back, trampled their rights and violated humanitarian law. Not surprisingly this led Ban Ki Moon to a moment of moral vertigo where he denounced the violation of everyone’s rights.

Of course, in order to present the moral equivalence of all the “prisoners” in the swap, one has to play down the heinous nature of the crimes and personalities of the Palestinian prisoners released. BBC correspondent Jon Donnison showed the extent of ignorance among the supposedly professional news media by interviewing a man in prison for organising and abetting several suicide bombings. (Because the attacks only injured but did not kill, he did not receive life sentences.) “You are 31 years old, 10 years in prison, serving a life sentence for being a member of Hamas, I mean, how do you feel today?” BBC viewers could be excused for sympathising with a political prisoner, inhumanly incarcerated for belonging to an opposition party, free at last.
Read the whole thing. By the way, in light of this exchange and others, I believe we have no choice but to institute the death penalty (which Richard discusses at some length) for 'Palestinian' terrorists who murder civilians.

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At 11:32 AM, Blogger aparatchik said...

Would you be willing to be the executioner?

I'd just give the soldiers much greater leeway in the field. Armed civilians too.

At 1:06 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I prefer empowering rank and file soldiers to summarily execute terrorists.

But that will be difficult to institute in a risk averse IDF, that has great difficulty recognizing when soldiers have acted in self defense.

Barring a change in the IDF's behavior, soldiers are not going to bother doing more than minimum required of them. The risk of possible punishment is too great and the potential rewards of recognition and advancement from exceptional bravery on the field are slim to none.

That's the way it is for the foreseeable future.

At 4:44 PM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

Kidnap 5 Arabs for each Israeli and hide them away forever. Simply announce they were abducted and not utter another syllable on the subject. Ever.

At 5:26 PM, Blogger Malcolm said...

Did you read Daniel Greenfield's piece regarding this issue?



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