No equivalency

By Beryl Wajsman on July 7, 2014

On its own, the murders of the three Israeli Jewish teenagers -  Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel - would call for special condemnation . But what makes this even more urgent, is the rush to moral equivalency in so many quarters in the public arena following the heinous killing of Mohammed Abu Khudair, the Palestinian teenager. If this is the last place, and even the only place, where one truth will be stated clearly and candidly then we must do so.  These murders are equally repugnant as individual acts. But there is no collective equivalency between the societies from which they arose. 

“Any man’s death diminishes me,” John Kennedy said. And that is true, and needs to be repeated. And now that three of the six Israelis arrested has confessed,  the fullest weight of punishment must and will be brought to bear. But what is also true is that there is a groaning difference between murder by policy as Hamas practices, and murder by singular criminal act. There is a fundamental difference between rule and exception. Hamas’ commitment to death and destruction is on the record. And even in the Palestinian Authority, when was the last time that it  ever acted with any vigour against the groups perpetrating countless acts of murder against Israelis? However, so many opinion makers cheapen the murders of the three Israeli teens and the Palestinian teen, by cursing both sides and equating the killings on a societal level.

Yet where were their voices of condemnation when Hamas used their own people as shield and sacrifice thousands of times particularly in the shooting of nine year old Mohammed al-Dura in Gaza some years ago? And for that matter, where are their voices condemning the beatings in Toronto of Canadians with “Never Again” printed on their pullovers demonstrating peacefully against Hamas violence several days ago by pro-Palestinian demonstrators chanting “Down, down Israel” in Arabic. The pro-Palestinians beat the members of the anti-Hamas group so badly - using sticks with the Palestinian flag on them - that some had to be taken – on stretchers - to hospital in ambulances. The voices of condemnation were, and for the most part are, mute. But in the handful of cases over the past decades where individual Israeli Jews have descended into madness, their voices have been loud and venomous.

There is no case for societal moral equivalency here and this must be stated again and again. There can be no equivalency to Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the other groups operating in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority, that have launched some 10,000 rockets from Gaza and nearly 5000 terrorist attempts from the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank over the past three years. There can be no equivalency with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal’s constant repetition and enforced policy that “every Israeli civilian is a legitimate target for killing because Israel has a citizen army.” The only question in the murders of the Israeli Jewish teens is whether it was a Hamas operation or a "splinter" group of Hamas. Meshaal himself does not care, because he has already voiced his praise for the acts of any “group within the Hamas alliance” when he pronounced himself on direct Hamas responsibility for the slaughter of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali.

Those who draw collective equivalency have taken moral relativism to a debased extreme. And condemnation of it matters. It matters because the world excuses deranged single acts. And the rule by terror of Hamas must not be allowed to profit from it. Not in these latest murders. Not in the murders of nearly 1000 Fatah opponents. Not in the terror it imposes on its own people. And not in the hundreds of successful and unsuccessful terrorist strikes it has launched against the people of Israel. The argument of equivalency is exactly the cover Hamas wants. It cannot be allowed to stand unanswered. The discount on Israeli blood is over.


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Beryl P. Wajsman

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