The Zionist Conspiracy
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
A week ago on Orthodox Anarchist, Mobius wrote:
If the Palestinians had a museum like the Irgun museum, which essentially glorifies Jewish acts of terrorism against British and Arab installations, along with scale model recreations of blown-out buildings and actual bombmaking materials, the Jewish world would throw an enormous *******. Case in point: the outrage over the Sbarro bombing recreation exhibit in Nablus. Of course the response will be that the Irgun's acts of terrorism were justified and Palestinian terrorists' aren't, whereas the Irgun's were against military targets and more often than not, Palestinian terrorists target civilians. But you know, one man's terrorism is another's struggle for independence...
Mobius recognizes the argument that the Irgun's actions were against military targets and Palestinians have been against civilians, but doesn't seriously consider it.
In fact, there is a distinction between attacks on soldiers who are enemy combatants and occupation forces on one hand, and civilians on the other hand.
Most military actions by Jewish resistance groups were against either the British occupation, or Arabs in battle. Some civilians were killed, but with a few possible exceptions, civilians were not the targets.
In contrast, Palestinian actions - such as the Sbarro bombing - are almost always targeted at civilians.
There is a very basic difference between the two. One is a legitimate action in war, the other is a war crime.
To the extent that Palestinians attack IDF soldiers, I would agree that those actions are not terrorism. Nor, however, are they a legitimate military action, either, for at least two reasons. First, under Oslo and subsequent related agreements, the Palestinians agreed not to resort to violence against Israel, but to resolve any future disputes at the negotiating table. Attacking Israeli soldiers is a blatant violation of Oslo. That the very rifles given by Israel to the PA under Oslo were used to attack Israelis makes this violation even more egregious. The Irgun and Haganah were not bound to any agreements with either the British or the Arabs.
Second, military actions against IDF soldiers are not a necessary evil for the Palestinians to achieve statehood. Israel offered a state at Camp David and Taba, and while the current government rejects those offers, it also is willing to accept a Palestinian state. In sharp contrast, the Irgun and Haganah were never offered statehood by either the British (who from the late '20's did everything they could to destroy the dreams of Jewish sovereignty) or the Arabs (who rejected every single partition plan).
Furthermore, even if attacks on IDF soldiers by Palestinians would be a legitimate act of war, so would be a response by Israel. Under the rules of war, Israel has the right to use military force, including actions that result in injury to civilians who are citizens of the enemy combatant.