Tuesday, July 01, 2014

There is no “cycle of violence”

Three Israeli teenagers – Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach — were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood on their way home from school, only because they were Israeli Jews. Their Palestinian Arab murderers, as identified by Israel, did not know their victims and they did not care – the objective was to attack some hated Israelis, and perhaps exchange them or their bodies for jailed murderers. Any random Jews would do.

So it has been for some 100 years in this long war against Jewish national sovereignty and equality among the nations. Long before the 1967 war and the “occupation” provided an excuse for hate and murder, such acts of inhuman violence were common. In 1929, when the Jewish community of Hebron was massacred (ethnically cleansed in modern parlance), there was no cycle of violence — this was an entirely unilateral act.

In November 1947, when all Arab leaders rejected the minimalist UN Partition Plan and launched a wave of mass terror against the Jewish community, there was no cycle. And the 1967 war, which led to the subsequent “occupation”, was triggered by Nasser’s renewed effort to destroy the Jewish state, and not part of an action-reaction cycle.

Similarly, today, there is no “cycle of revenge,” as cliched journalists, diplomats and self-proclaimed human rights activists often claim. A cycle means symmetry, automatic tit-for-tat, mindless action and reaction, in which all sides, and none, can be held morally responsible.........

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