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Jewish Journal

Justice or lex talionis?

Pavel Pustelnik, Cardiff

March 21, 2012 | 4:30 pm

‘I was killing because Jews are killing in Palestine’ said the French murder about the killing spree in Toulouse. Peculiar idea about justice isn’t it?

Lack of tolerance towards Jewish people in Europe has been expressed in many different ways. There have been articles about how Israel is unjustly treating Palestine, there were unpleasant situations encountered by local communities… Nevertheless, the situation that took place recently in France has shocked everyone. The murderer has allegedly been trained by al-Quaeda, but this does not really matter. His motivation grounded on a wicked idea what is just or not is simply beyond my comprehension.

It opens eyes to a question: how do we perceive justice? What is justice for us? Is it just a simple equation ‘an eye for an eye’ – you kill our people, we will kill yours? It appears that for the fundamentalists the behavior of this kind is acceptable or even praiseworthy. For them justice is like an instant soup. You can do it yourself, bearing barely any costs, it does not take much time and you can be sure of the results. After all you are the one who decides on the trail’s outcome.

When I hear that the Jewish organizations and elites are over engaged in human rights and quest for justice I cannot understand what is meant by that.Presumably, Israel is not ‘clean’ enough to be a prophetic voice advocating for the rights and righteousness. This kind of thinking based on false premises is surprisingly widespread and vicious. What is more it is increasingly disconnected from the reality. Justice goes beyond securing own interests and having the rule over the discourse. Or at least it should be so.

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