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'Fighting terror with terror'

by Scarecrow Friday, Jun. 13, 2003 at 1:51 PM

While it claims otherwise, Israel has been fighting "terror" with "terror." It is impossible to suggest that Israel is worried about Palestinian civilians when it launches raids like the one on June 10. Authorizing helicopter gunships to launch missiles into crowded Palestinian streets? Only a ruthless government would authorize such attacks.

By Ash Pulcifer Columnist (United States)

( -- On June 6, four days after the Mideast peace summit in Jordan, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades launched an attack on the Israeli military in northern Gaza. The groups managed to kill four Israeli soldiers and wound four others. Despite the fact that the militant groups focused their attacks on the Israeli military, rather than attacking civilians as they have in the past, Israel responded by launching what can only be defined as a "terrorist" attack. On June 10, Israel fired missiles into a crowded street in Gaza, missing their main target but killing and wounding innocent bystanders. The following day, a Palestinian suicide bomber responded with a "terrorist" attack against Israel, exploding on a bus in Jerusalem, killing 16 people and injuring more than a hundred more. Shortly after, the Israeli government was directing helicopter attacks in Gaza.

While it claims otherwise, Israel has been fighting "terror" with "terror." It is impossible to suggest that Israel is worried about Palestinian civilians when it launches raids like the one on June 10. Authorizing helicopter gunships to launch missiles into crowded Palestinian streets? Only a ruthless government would authorize such attacks. Furthermore, as many others have stated, the target of Israel's June 10 attack was not a suicide bomber packed with explosives on his way to blow up a bus or a café. No, that target was Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the well-known Hamas political leader who was merely driving down the street at the time; Rantisi barely survived the attack. It is a highly dubious assertion for Israel to claim that this extreme level of force was needed.

Such heavy-handed and careless attacks by Israel are making it harder and harder for the Jewish state to claim the moral high ground. In order to defend its occupation of what the U.N. has labeled Palestinian lands, the Israeli government is using similar tactics that its enemies use: not distinguishing between militants and civilians. The only difference between the opponents is that Palestinian militant groups admit they are uninterested in peace; the Israeli government, on the other hand, claims that it is interested in peace, while at the same time ordering massive military attacks meant to bring terror and death to the Palestinian populace.

It seems that the Israeli government, and the Israeli populace, still believe that they can break the will of the Palestinians. This explains why they continue their harsh repression of the Palestinian population, along with their massive retaliatory attacks anytime Palestinians defend themselves either justly or unjustly. But the past 55 years have shown that such actions merely further radicalize the Palestinian population, resulting in more terror and death for the Israeli people.

Palestinians from 1948 would be shocked at the current methods of Palestinian resistance. What used to be a civil disobedience movement has now been radicalized into one that largely approves of the use of suicide attacks on civilian populations. So, too, would Jews from the 1940s be shocked at what is now considered "self-defense": occupying a land whose population does not wish to be occupied, continuing to build illegal settlements on that land, following a policy of assassinations, and firing rockets and missiles into crowded streets or apartment buildings.

And now with these latest attacks, it looks as if the conflict will radicalize even further. According to Joel Greenberg of the Chicago Tribune, in the June 10 attack, Israeli Apache helicopter gunships fired seven missiles at Rantisi, who was driving on a busy street in downtown Gaza. Greenberg writes, "The explosions sprayed metal fragments across sidewalks and buildings, shattering windows. A woman who stepped out of a taxi was killed, and an 8-year old girl was critically wounded in the head." Does the Israeli population still believe that such careless attacks are actually helping the peace process? The frequency of these attacks force any honest analyst to wonder if the current Israeli government wants peace at all.

The coming months will decide whether these latest incitements by the Israeli government and Palestinian militant groups will further radicalize the conflict. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has already said that such strikes by Israel will continue. And Hamas spokesmen have made even harsher statements. "The Israelis will never enjoy security or stability as long as they occupy our territories," Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the target of the June 10 attack, said from his bed in Shifa Hospital. "We are going to retaliate by all means," another Hamas spokesman stated, as quoted from Greenberg's article in the Tribune. "Every person in Israel should condemn the policy of their government because they are going to pay the price."

So, once again, we seem to be back at square one with the Mideast peace process. This time the Israeli government is as much to blame for derailing the peace process as Palestinian militant groups are. If the Israeli government and its people truly want to live in peace, then they will have to stop fighting terror with terror; their current harsh policies towards the Palestinians have to come to an end, otherwise they are no better than the "terrorist" groups they are fighting.

[Ash Pulcifer is a U.S. based analyst of international conflicts and is also a human rights activist. While he does not justify or accept the killing of civilians in warfare, he attempts to understand why groups or governments resort to such means in order to achieve their strategic objectives.]

Ash Pulcifer encourages your comments: is an international news and opinion publication. encourages its material to be reproduced, reprinted, or broadcast provided that any such reproduction identifies the original source, Internet web links to are appreciated.

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Did you hear anything? mymicz Friday, Jun. 13, 2003 at 1:57 PM
While I disagree with violent... Diogenes Friday, Jun. 13, 2003 at 2:07 PM
Careful there, Dio... daveman Sunday, Jun. 15, 2003 at 12:33 AM
You mean the right to kill... Diogenes Sunday, Jun. 15, 2003 at 2:00 AM
Fuck you pig fresca Sunday, Jun. 15, 2003 at 3:02 AM
"As for your snide comment... daveman Sunday, Jun. 15, 2003 at 9:59 AM
Oh, my ... Diogenes Sunday, Jun. 15, 2003 at 12:36 PM
Oooh... daveman Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 12:20 AM
Oooooooh... Diogenes Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 4:51 AM
Well well. daveman Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 8:32 AM
Diogenes is an idiot Diogenes is an idiot inbred Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 3:02 PM
When they start piling... Diogenes Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 3:04 PM
Why not just call them... Brian OConnor Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 3:42 PM
Persecution complex? Brian OConnor Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 7:06 PM
Free Palestine! Brian OConnor Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 8:18 PM
Palistine 101, for Brian Brian O'gay Connor Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 8:31 PM
Lies, damn Lies Brian OConnor Thursday, Jun. 19, 2003 at 5:11 PM
canaan brigg Thursday, Jun. 19, 2003 at 5:35 PM
That's exactly what these liberals can't understand brigg. Eric Thursday, Jun. 19, 2003 at 5:58 PM
Definition of Fascist Bush Lied Thursday, Jun. 19, 2003 at 6:04 PM
canaan brigg Thursday, Jun. 19, 2003 at 6:13 PM
IMCspeak Word of the Day: Eric Thursday, Jun. 19, 2003 at 6:20 PM
Bush Lied Bush Lied Thursday, Jun. 19, 2003 at 6:25 PM
Bush lied. Big deal. So what. Who cares. Eric Thursday, Jun. 19, 2003 at 6:28 PM
How Come This Road Wasn't on the Map? Ffutal Thursday, Jun. 19, 2003 at 6:37 PM
What a joke! Bush Lied! Thursday, Jun. 19, 2003 at 7:00 PM
Did I say it was okay? Eric Thursday, Jun. 19, 2003 at 8:13 PM
Typical Indymedia double standards. daveman Thursday, Jun. 19, 2003 at 9:16 PM
Wrong daveman fresca Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 12:53 AM
brigg anti-brigg Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 2:30 PM
abby normal brigg Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 2:39 PM
brigg Dan Quayle Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 2:50 PM
Thanks for the laugh! Brian OConnor Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 3:08 PM
BOC brigg Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 3:24 PM
Also... brigg Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 3:29 PM
faker/KOBE brigg Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 3:33 PM
Uh, Frigg... Diogenes Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 3:35 PM
brigg anti-brigg Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 3:35 PM
brigg anti-brigg Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 3:42 PM
faker/KOBE brigg Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 3:48 PM
Ti and Do Eric Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 3:51 PM
brigg brigg is a psycho Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 3:51 PM
Unreal brigg needs help Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 3:53 PM
KOBE KOBE SBM Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 6:09 PM

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