Israel’s philosophy of vengeance

If demolishing the homes of dead Palestinians where their living relatives remain is supposed to be a deterrent, Israel must be a nation led by fools.

Odai Abed Abu Jamal and Ghassan Muhammad Abu Jamal could have been in little doubt about the price their families would pay and yet were not deterred from carrying out yesterday’s attack in Jerusalem.

But there must be very few Israelis who really believe that house demolitions are meant to deter anything — this is the ancient balance of justice in which one crime can be avenged by committing another.

Even though nominally it involves a form of punishment, since those getting punished are guilty of no crime, the demolition practice treats Palestinians as a collective entity that is not constituted from autonomous individuals responsible for their own actions. To be blunt, it treats Palestinians as sub-human and turns the exercise of justice into something more akin to the culling of a population whose strength must periodically be reduced.

Treat a population as suitable to be culled and it’s hardly surprising that once in a while a few of its members will adopt the same debased mentality.

Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man writes: “Do not discriminate between blood and blood,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday night, calling for international condemnation of a murderous attack inside a synagogue that morning. Moments later, he announced the steps he plans to take in response to the senseless bloodletting.

“This evening I ordered the demolition of the homes of the terrorists who perpetrated the massacre and the hastening of the demolition of the homes of the terrorists who perpetrated the earlier attacks,” Netanyahu told the nation, asking it to allow the state to settle scores on its behalf.

Five months earlier, Netanyahu made a similar statement after the horrific murder of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir. “We don’t distinguish between [Palestinian] terror and [Jewish] terror, and will deal severely with both,” the prime minister said, vowing to bring the full force of the law down upon the murderers, who he said, “have no place in Israeli society.”

Of course, Netanyahu — like his predecessors — does discriminate between blood and blood, and he does distinguish between Jewish terror and Palestinian terror.

The prime minister did not order the police or army to demolish family homes of the suspects in the Abu Khdeir murder. Then again, they, and their families who live in said homes, are Jewish. [Continue reading…]

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