Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tel Aviv Journal: The Atrocity in Itamar

The New Republic's Marty Peretz weighs in on the atrocity in Itamar and, if you didn't want to see the gruesome vision of Helen Thomas yesterday then you won't like the pictures displayed in Tel Aviv Journal: The Atrocity in Itamar.
In any case, Itamar, again like the other Jewish villages in the area, is not a building site. Its residents may be hoping against hope that when (or if) Israel and the Palestinian Authority reach an agreement Itamar will be allowed to remain. But the fact is that, given any kind of understanding between the parties and not necessarily a formal peace pact, there will be no new construction in this settlement ever again. After all, there is none now. The construction now being done in the territories is only in the larger towns cleaving to the 1949 armistice lines which no one—yes, no one—believes will ever be a part of Palestine. Not Abbas, not Fayyad, not Bibi or Ehud Barak, not even Barack Obama who probably still wishes it was otherwise.

So the atrocity committed against Ruth, the mother, aged 35, Udi, the father, aged 36, and two children, Elad, aged 3, and Yoav, aged 11, was simply an atrocity, and it was claimed by the Al Aqsa Brigade, an armed rump of Fatah run until his death by Yassir Arafat. Hadas Fogel, the last of the victims, was three months old when the brave Palestinian freedom fighter slit her throat. Two other children went unnoticed by the fanatic, and the oldest wasn’t home.

I am now taking sides in one of those perfectly asymmetrical disputes that always rages around Israel. Recall these scenarios: Hezbollah continually bombards the Galilee with rockets and missiles. Hamas does the same but over a much longer period. And the liberal world immediately demands to know why Israel uses disproportionate power in retaliation. As if a country dragged into war by its tormentors should limit its retaliatory power to that which will give it no military advantage. This is the one really new ethical problem of our time.

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