Friday, July 04, 2008


What I wrote in response to some blog which was arguing "how can you say that the Jerusalem bulldozer killer was a terrorist, who knows, perhaps he was just insane or had marital problems or something or did it by accident."


Technically, it's impossible to know beyond any doubt exactly what any person is thinking at a given moment. But Dawyyat was a Muslim who yelled "Allahu akhbar" before ramming his bulldozer into a crowd of Jews (that particular neighborhood is almost entirely Jewish). Is it really reasonable to think that he had no political motive or intent?

You might as well say that Baruch Goldstein, when he massacred a crowd of Arabs 14 years ago, in fact just wanted to protect himself from people who were threatening his own life. There are really some people who think, or at least say, that that's exactly what happened. But the people who say this are invariably the same Jewish extremists who don't think the massacre was such a bad thing in the first place. In their rush to find an unlikely justification for Goldstein's actions, they make clear where their sympathies ultimately lie.

What is true of Goldstein is also true of Dawyyat. According to any reasonable interpretation, both Dawyyat and Goldstein were terrorists. Once you start grasping for unlikely justifications to remove the stigma of "terrorism" from their actions, you indicate that the lives of the victims and their ethnic group are not so valuable after all. And that is inexcusable.

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