Tuesday, July 11, 2023

How many ways can one minimize and then legitimize terror attacks against Jews?

Tareq Baconi, former senior analyst for Israel/Palestine at the International Crisis Group and the author of “Hamas Contained” who is now president of the board of al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network, displays a lot of them in New York Times guest essay.

Purportedly an analysis of Jenin, he breaks new ground in first obfuscating, and ultimately justifying, Palestinian attacks on civilians.

At a Fourth of July event in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Israeli Army had attacked “the most legitimate target on the planet — people who would annihilate our country.” He was referring to months of armed resistance against Israeli settlers by young men in the Jenin refugee camp.
To Baconi, people like brothers Hallel and Yagel Yaniv, shot to death by a Hamas resident of Jenin while doing the crime of driving, are mere "settlers," and their murder was "resistance." 

He conveniently doesn't mention that the terror wave that gripped Israel even within the invisible line that somehow differentiates between human beings and "settlers" also came from Jenin. Three civilians in Tel Aviv were murdered in April 2022 by a terrorist from Jenin - either they don't exist or are also "settlers." The terrorist who killed five Israelis in Bnei Brak shortly beforehand was from the Jenin area, and the murders were celebrated in Jenin. The murderers of four Israelis on Yom Haatzmaut 2022 in Elad were also from the Jenin area. 

They don't count. Or, as we will see, perhaps they are "settlers" as well.
More than 20 years ago, another right-wing prime minister, Ariel Sharon, led an extensive military campaign against the same refugee camp. It was two years into the second Palestinian uprising. Palestinian suicide bombers, some of whom hailed from Jenin, had rocked Israeli streets. In response, the Israeli Army invaded the West Bank and ravaged the Jenin refugee camp, then, as now, a center of Palestinian resistance.   
Scores of Palestinians who detonated bomb belts in the midst of crowds of Jews didn't kill anyone, you see. They merely "rocked Israeli streets." It was practically a music festival! But Israel's response "ravaged" a camp that was merely a "center of Palestinian resistance" - not a terrorist hotbed.

With the absence of any hope for statehood, and with no viable political leadership to lead the struggle, some take matters into their own hands through armed and unarmed forms of resistance,
Amazingly, in this entire essay, Palestinians simply never kill anyone. They just engage in "armed and unarmed forms of resistance." Murdering Jews with axes and bombs are simply a form of protest, and a quite understandable one.
Like Jenin, the Gaza Strip also has a history of resistance against Israeli occupation.  
Shooting tens of thousands of rockets towards Israeli civilian targets, killing many, is  again merely "resistance against Israeli occupation." To Baconi, and the New York Times editors who approved this essay, there is no distinction between the two sides of the Green Line - all of Israel is "occupied." 

Beneath this evolving context is a singular constant: Israel’s ability to sustain its settlement of Palestinian territory without accountability, while equating Palestinian resistance to terrorism. That this framing has long been accepted among the major Western powers is particularly galling for Palestinians in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, where resistance to illegal occupation is hailed as heroic and supported by Western weapons and military training.  
Here the sheer immorality of Baconi and the New York Times comes into sharper focus. Not only do they dehumanize all Israelis as mere "settlers," which is sickening enough - they show no differentiation between attacking an army and targeting civilians. That principle of distinction is the entire basis of the Fourth Geneva Convention, but to apologists for murder like Baconi, Palestinians butchering rabbis while praying are equivalent to Ukrainians defending themselves from Russian soldiers and mercenaries. 
Residents of the Jenin camp, some of whom had fled from their homes in what is now Israel in 1948, are refugees once again. And some of the toddlers who were in the camp in 2002 are now the young men of the Palestinian resistance. As the history of other struggles against apartheid and colonial violence have taught us, today’s children will no doubt take up arms to resist such domination in the future, until these structures of control are dismantled.

This essay is the intellectual equivalent to handing out sweets after a terror attack.

Baconi is not only justifying but actively cheering terrorism against Jews. He portrays the most despicable and disgusting murderers as heroic "resistance"  - and he is doing it under the pretense of caring about human rights.

Any real human rights activist should be horrified at this paean to murdering civilians. But instead of condemning the twisted, immoral essay of Baconi, the "human rights" community is tweeting it. 


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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