August 12, 2013
Whose Impunity Is It, Anyway?
A persistent cry from the global anti-Israel campaign claims that Israel enjoys impunity under which it commits unspeakable crimes. Based on a categorical definition of any Israeli action as a horrible crime, this argument is essentially flawed, and is actually aimed at stripping Israel of its ability to operate in a series of extremely hostile and active fronts.
But now, in light of the expected release of 104 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, the question arises: Who’s really operating with impunity here?
The definition “political prisoners” covers only the background of these men’s actions; These are no freedom-seeking-flag-hangers. Most of the released this time around are in prison for murder or attempted murder. Among them are two who had stabbed a 78 and an 82 year old to death; Some who murdered their Palestinians brethren; A man who boarded a bus and stabbed 3 passengers to death. Under the comfortable auspices of a political cause these men committed severe criminal acts. And now, their accumulative violence will enjoy impunity.
Learning from history: This is an unfortunate ocassion to revisit the Gilad Shalit dillema:
Can the violent death of 180 human beings be regarded as a move towards peace? Are 180 murdered people - or 36 or 2 - the price of peace? They may have certainly been just that, as a tragic backdrop to a momentous, historical reconciliation between Jews and Arabs, where the crimes and atrocities of the past are to be put to rest for the sake of a prosperous, hopeful future.
Alas. We’re far from that. These Palestinian criminals are going back to a society that sees them as heros and examples, a sick society that lacks a moral compass of the most basic kind to deal with the atrocious legacy of Palestinian terrorism. This kind of soul-searching would be a basis for a real peace process, where the sides are willing to place their bets on compromise, and give up fantasies of total victory, holy martyrdom and glorious bloodletting.
No, we’re certainly not there. Not a single Palestinian will have to audacity to doubt these killers’ heroism. These criminals are part of a society that sees their unspeakable acts as accepted and even virtuous behavior, and is happy to give them moral and cultural impunity.
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