Terrorism must be unambiguously condemned by all. But it's not.
A New York Sun editorial today highlights the difference between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in their reactions to horrific murders committed by "their" sides. First, in reaction to the recent murder of Arab civilians by an Israeli soldier (which I mentioned yesterday), Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
immediately denounced the killings as "a reprehensible act by a bloodthirsty Jewish terrorist." The leader of the settlers' council, Bentsi Lieberman, said, "Murder is murder is murder, and there can be no other response but to denounce it completely and express revulsion."Kudos to Abbas for the rhetorical equivalent of baby steps towards ending terror. But he's got a ways to go.
Contrast these absolute condemnations to a recent response of the Palestinian Arab leader, Mahmoud Abbas, to terrorism against Jews. Last month, after two grandparents were shot dead by Palestinian Arab gunmen, Mr. Abbas said, "The Palestinian Authority will make every effort to stop these useless operations." Not because murder is murder and murdering is wrong, but because they are "useless." Because Israel doesn't buckle to terrorism and a different tactic is needed.
On a related note, a missing comma in the same Sun editorial could lead to an unfortunate misinterpretation.
Here is how the piece starts:
The murder of four Israeli Arabs yesterday by an Israeli in an army uniform and a yarmulke deserves to be condemned in the most unequivocal manner. And it was by the leader of the Jewish state.The murder was by Ariel Sharon? No, but it's not clear from the wording. A comma after was in the second sentence would have helped clarify the matter:
The murder of four Israeli Arabs yesterday by an Israeli in an army uniform and a yarmulke deserves to be condemned in the most unequivocal manner. And it was, by the leader of the Jewish state.Perhaps someone will correct the online version.