Along the Tracks

Friday, July 12, 2002

‘Deserving cause’ isn’t the cause

The Jerusalem Post has an interesting debate between its editorial columnist Bret Stephens and The Economist foreign editor Peter David. Last week, Stephens blasted The Economist for what he and many others see as anti-Israel and borderline anti-Semitic slants in Middle East coverage. David responds today with a defense. The Economist does seem callous in some of its statements, but what really caught my attention, both in Friday’s original Stephens piece and today’s defense by David, was the statement that Palestinian suicide bombers put their terror “to a deserving cause.” Setting aside whether you believe any cause ever justifies or even complicates the moral equation in terrorism, I’d like to consider what this “deserving cause” really is. The Economist - and indeed most in the media - make the assumption, with no explanation or argument, that the terror’s goal is the creation of a Palestinian state, or at a minimum, an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Yet, while this may be the goal (and even a worthy goal) of many of the Palestinian people, is clearly not the “cause” which energizes the terrorists. Their activity prolongs and intensifies the occupation, pushing statehood ever farther into the future. No their real cause is the elimination of Israel. That is why the creation of a state of Palestine without first eliminating the terrorist groups will do nothing to stop the violence against Israel, and may very well increase it.

The terrorists want to destroy Israel. That is their “cause.” They quite plainly admit it, in their own words. Why does the media continue to propagate this bald-faced lie that the terrorists’ “cause” is a deserving one?

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