The Headline: Israeli Minister warns Palestinians of "holocaust" in Gaza

This was the title all over the news this morning: “Israeli minister warns Palestinians of ‘holocaust’. In fact, YNet still is using the same headline tonight.

What Ynet is reporting: Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said today that “By stepping up Qassam rocket attacks on Israel [from the Gaza Strip] ‘Palestinians will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust because we will use all our might to defend ourselves,’ says Deputy Defense Minister Vilnai says. Hamas in response: We are facing new Nazis.

The article reports: ” ‘Holocaust’ is a term rarely used in Israel outside discussions of the Nazi genocide during World War Two. Many Israelis are loathe to countenance using the word to describe other contemporary events. Israeli air strikes on the coastal territory, controlled by Hamas Islamists, have killed at least 32 Palestinians, including five children, in the past two days. Israel said it was responding to rocket fire by Gaza militants, which killed one Israeli in the southern border town of Sderot on Wednesday, and it threatened to launch a larger-scale offensive unless the barrage stopped. ‘The more Qassam (rocket) fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they (the Palestinians) will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust because we will use all our might to defend ourselves’, Vilnai told Army Radio. Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said of Vilnai’s comments: ‘We are facing new Nazis who want to kill and burn the Palestinian people’.” This article is posted on YNet’s website here.

Now, the reporting is being criticized — though not this article in YNet. Reuters and the BBC (both British news outlets) are taking the brunt of the rage.

The Spectator, another British media, has published this reaction: “This reported remark by deputy defence minister Matan Vilnai caused widespread shock and absolute horror. For an Israeli minister to use the word ‘holocaust’ to describe a limited war of Israeli self-defence, when for Jews of all people the ‘Holocaust’ means one thing: genocide — and this at a time when the calumny of the ‘Jews as Nazis’ is rampant around the world, putting Israel and the Jewish people at risk — was simply beyond belief.

It was indeed without any credibility — because Vilnai never said it. It was an appalling mistranslation by Reuters, the source of the BBC story.

Vilnai said: ‘The more Qassam (rocket) fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they (the Palestinians) will bring upon themselves a bigger “shoah” because we will use all our might to defend ourselves’.

Reuters translated the Hebrew word ‘shoah’ as ‘holocaust’. But ‘shoah’ merely means disaster. In Hebrew, the word ‘shoah’ is never used to mean ‘holocaust’ or ‘genocide’ because of the acute historical resonance. The word ‘Hashoah’ alone means ‘the Holocaust’ and ‘retzach am’ means ‘genocide’. The well-known Hebrew construction used by Vilnai used merely means ‘bringing disaster on themselves’.

As a subsequent Reuter’s story reported, ‘Vilnai’s spokesman said: “Mr. Vilnai was meaning ‘disaster’. He did not mean to make any allusion to the genocide”. Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Arye Mekel, added: ‘Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai used the Hebrew phrase that included the term “shoah” in Hebrew in the sense of a disaster or a catastrophe, and not in the sense of a holocaust’. But this grotesque mistranslation has given Hamas a propaganda gift which they lost no time exploiting: Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said of Vilnai’s comments: “We are facing new Nazis who want to kill and burn the Palestinian people”.’ This reaction in The Spectator to the initial reports of Vilnai’s remarks is posted here.

Meanwhile, even the Jerusalem Post is reporting that “Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i said Friday that ‘as long as the rocket attacks escalated, the Palestinians are bringing upon themselves a bigger Shoah [Holocaust]’.” This article in the JPost is published here.

Yes, Palestinians can be in shock, too

Ramattan News Agency published this account of the last minutes of a five month old baby who died in Gaza City on Thursday (28 February) in a second airstrike in recent weeks on the supposedly abandoned Ministry of Interior building: ” ‘The baby sucked milk, he was playing with his mother, I was reading a book when a rocket hit Ministry of Interior’, the father, Nasser Al-Boraiy, said. With the first rocket, the electric power was cut off; darkness filled the …house.
Stones and pieces of the asbestos ceiling poured on the head of the laughing baby. The explosions continued as two other rockets hit the building. ‘I looked for my baby in darkness between the ruble, I did not realize where is he, when he cried a once, I followed the direction of his voice’, the father said. ‘My hands touched my baby who was breathing hard, I felt a warm liquid on my two hands to realize that he is wounded’, Nasser Al-Boraiy said”.

The baby was killed by the shrapnel of an Israeli missile.

six-month old baby Mohammad al-Bori - killed in Gaza city 28 Feb 2008 - Ramattan News Agency

The Ramattan report continued: “The father carried his baby to the nearby Shifa Hospital, blood was streaming from his tiny head. In the hospital, the father went in a panic of hysteria to realize that his sole baby was killed. The tears showered the face of the father when he saw the shoes of the baby.

Angry Arab photo of Mohammad al-Boraiy - 28 Feb 2008

” ‘After five years of treatment from sterility, I had a baby; I do not imagine that I lost him in a second’ …

AP Photo by Hatem Moussa

The mother of the baby was shocked when she realized that she lost her baby, she fall unconscious, she laid on the bed at the reception department while her baby was in the morgue. On Thursday morning, she strongly cried when she saw the ’empty’ bed of her baby, after arrived in the house from the hospital”.

The mother of baby Mohammand - Ramattan News Agency

In this report from Gaza, Ramattan addes that “Mohammed Al-Boraiy is not the sole child who was killed in the Israeli series of air rids across the Gaza strip, three others were also killed on Wednesday evening in the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabalya. Medics reported that Anas Al-Manama, 10, Bilal Hijazi, 11, and Mohammed Hamada, 11, were killed in Jabalia last night in an Israeli Air Strike”.

This report can be found online here.

Twenty Palestinians were killed in Gaza today, and several in the West Bank as well.

The photo below shows a Palestinian man fainting after seeing the bodies of four children in a morgue in Beit Lahyia (in the northern Gaza Strip), also on Thursday:

man faints after seeing bodies of four children in morgue in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza - AP Photo by Adel Hana

Suffering — and death — from Palestinian "projectiles" in Sderot

Here is a photo from the funeral today of the student killed by a massive chest wound after a Qassam rocket fired from Gaza hit his car in the parking lot of Saphir College near Sderot:

28 Feb 08 funeral of Roni Yehiye - REUTERS photo of Gil Cohen Magen

The student, 47-year-old Roni Yehiye, father of four, who was receiving vocational re-training, died of his wounds on the spot.

The photo below shows his son mourning during the funeral.

REUTERS photo by Gil Cohen Magen

Media codewords – by an Israeli former journalist

These excerpts are from an excellent article by former Israeli journalist Yonatan Mendel, published in the London Review of Books:

“Interviewing Abu-Qusay, the spokesman of Al-Aqsa Brigades in Gaza, in June 2007, I asked him about the rationale for firing Qassam missiles at the Israeli town of Sderot. ‘The army might respond’, I said, not realising that I was already biased. ‘But we are responding here’, Abu-Qusay said. ‘We are not terrorists, we do not want to kill . . . we are resisting Israel’s continual incursions into the West Bank, its attacks, its siege on our waters and its closure on our lands.’ Abu-Qusay’s words were translated into Hebrew, but Israel continued to enter the West Bank every night and Israelis did not find any harm in it. After all it was only a response.

“At a time when there were many Israeli raids on Gaza I asked my colleagues the following question: ‘If an armed Palestinian crosses the border, enters Israel, drives to Tel Aviv and shoots people in the streets, he will be the terrorist and we will be the victims, right? However, if the IDF crosses the border, drives miles into Gaza, and starts shooting their gunmen, who is the terrorist and who is the defender? How come the Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories can never be engaged in self-defence, while the Israeli army is always the defender?’ My friend Shay from the graphics department clarified matters for me: ‘If you go to the Gaza Strip and shoot people, you will be a terrorist. But when the army does it that is an operation to make Israel safer. It’s the implementation of a government decision!’

“Another interesting distinction between us and them came up when Hamas demanded the release of 450 of its prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit. Israel announced that it would release prisoners but not those with blood on their hands. It is always the Palestinians – never the Israelis – who have blood on their hands. This is not to say that Jews cannot kill Arabs but they will not have blood on their hands, and if they are arrested they will be released after a few years, not to mention those with blood on their hands who’ve gone on to become prime minister. And we are not only more innocent when we kill but also more susceptible when we are hurt. A regular description of a Qassam missile that hits Sderot will generally look like this: ‘A Qassam fell next to a residential house, three Israelis had slight injuries, and ten others suffered from shock.’ One should not make light of these injuries: a missile hitting a house in the middle of the night could indeed cause great shock. However, one should also remember that shock is for Jews only. Palestinians are apparently a very tough people.

“The IDF, again the envy of all other armies, kills only the most important people. ‘A high-ranking member of Hamas was killed’ is almost a chorus in the Israel media. Low-ranking members of Hamas have either never been found or never been killed. Shlomi Eldar, a TV correspondent in the Gaza Strip, bravely wrote about this phenomenon in his book Eyeless in Gaza (2005). When Riyad Abu Zaid was assassinated in 2003, the Israeli press echoed the IDF announcement that the man was the head of the military wing of Hamas in Gaza. Eldar, one of Israel’s few investigative journalists, discovered that the man was merely a secretary in the movement’s prisoner club. ‘It was one of many occasions in which Israel “upgraded” a Palestinian activist,’ Eldar wrote. ‘After every assassination any minor activist is “promoted” to a major one.’

“This phenomenon, in which IDF statements are directly translated into media reports – there are no checkpoints between the army and the media – is the result both of a lack of access to information and of the unwillingness of journalists to prove the army wrong or to portray soldiers as criminals. ‘The IDF is acting in Gaza’ (or in Jenin, or in Tulkarm, or in Hebron) is the expression given out by the army and embraced by the media. Why make the listeners’ lives harder? Why tell them what the soldiers do, describing the fear they create, the fact that they come with heavy vehicles and weapons and crush a city’s life, creating a greater hatred, sorrow and a desire for revenge?

“Last month, as a measure against Qassam militants, Israel decided to stop Gaza’s electricity for a few hours a day. Despite the fact that this means, for instance, that electricity will fail to reach hospitals, it was said that ‘the Israeli government decided to approve this step, as another non-lethal weapon.’ Another thing the soldiers do is clearing – khisuf. In regular Hebrew, khisuf means to expose something that is hidden, but as used by the IDF it means to clear an area of potential hiding places for Palestinian gunmen. During the last intifada, Israeli D9 bulldozers destroyed thousands of Palestinian houses, uprooted thousands of trees and left behind thousands of smashed greenhouses. It is better to know that the army cleared the place than to face the reality that the army destroys Palestinians’ possessions, pride and hope.

“Another useful word is crowning (keter), a euphemism for a siege in which anyone who leaves his house risks being shot at. War zones are places where Palestinians can be killed even if they are children who don’t know they’ve entered a war zone. Palestinian children, by the way, tend to be upgraded to Palestinian teenagers, especially when they are accidentally killed. More examples: isolated Israeli outposts in the West Bank are called illegal outposts, perhaps in contrast to Israeli settlements that are apparently legal. Administrative detention means jailing people who haven’t been put on trial or even formally charged (in April 2003 there were 1119 Palestinians in this situation). The PLO (Ashaf) is always referred to by its acronym and never by its full name: Palestine is a word that is almost never used – there is a Palestinian president but no president of Palestine.

” ‘A society in crisis forges a new vocabulary for itself,’ David Grossman wrote in The Yellow Wind, ‘and gradually, a new language emerges whose words . . . no longer describe reality, but attempt, instead, to conceal it.’ This ‘new language’ was adopted voluntarily by the media, but if one needs an official set of guidelines it can be found in the Nakdi Report, a paper drafted by the Israeli Broadcasting Authority. First set down in 1972 and since updated three times, the report aimed to ‘clarify some of the professional rules that govern the work of a newsperson’. The prohibition of the term East Jerusalem was one of them.

“The restrictions aren’t confined to geography. On 20 May 2006, Israel’s most popular television channel, Channel 2, reported ‘another targeted assassination in Gaza, an assassination that might ease the firing of Qassams’ (up to 376 people have died in targeted assassinations, 150 of them civilians who were not the target of assassinations). Ehud Ya’ari, a well-known Israeli correspondent on Arab affairs, sat in the studio and said: ‘The man who was killed is Muhammad Dahdouh, from Islamic Jihad . . . this is part of the other war, a war to shrink the volume of Qassam activists.’ Neither Ya’ari nor the IDF spokesman bothered to report that four innocent Palestinian civilians were also killed in the operation, and three more severely injured, one a five-year-old girl called Maria, who will remain paralysed from the neck down. This ‘oversight’, revealed by the Israeli journalist Orly Vilnai, only exposed how much we do not know about what we think we know.

“Interestingly, since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip one of the new ‘boo’ words in the Israeli media is Hamastan, a word that appears in the ‘hard’ news section, the allegedly sacred part of newspapers that is supposed to give the facts, free from editorialising. The same applies to movements such as Hamas or Hizbullah, which are described in Hebrew as organisations and not as political movements or parties. Intifada is never given its Arabic meaning of ‘revolt’; and Al-Quds, which when used by Palestinian politicians refers only to ‘the holy places in East Jerusalem’ or ‘East Jerusalem’, is always taken by Israeli correspondents to mean Jerusalem, which is effectively to imply a Palestinian determination to take over the entire capital city” … This excellent article can be read in full here.

Costa Rica recognizes state of Palestine

The Central American nation of Costa Rica has said it is recognizing the State of Palestine.

In reaction, Israel Today reports, “Israel on Tuesday indefinitely postponed a planned meeting between Costa Rican President Oscar Arias and a top Israeli diplomat. Costa Rican Foreign Minister Bruno Stagno said that his nation’s February 5 decision to establish official ties with the ‘state of Palestine’ was meant to encourage accelerated peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Previously warm relations between Israel and Costa Rica began to cool last year when the Central America nation decided to move its embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. In 1982, Costa Rice was one of only two nations to spurn an international decision to pull out of the Israeli capital in response to Israel’s official annexation of a united Jerusalem”. This article is posted here.

The Palestinian territories have become a donocracy

The donors run everything, and everything is geared to the donors.

Never mind that it has already been several years since staff of the non-governmental organizations working here have come to the conclusions that they fund, while Israel destroys.

Here is a comment, by Tariq Ali, in an interview idating back to 9 August 2000, criticizing another aspect of their presence in various areas around the world:

“Question: To judge from your writings you don’t appear to place much stock in the potential of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to effect change.

Answer: I don’t. In the first place, I don’t call them NGOs, I call them WGOs—Western Governmental Organizations. Some of them do decent work but by and large what they do is to buy up lots and lots of people in these countries who are not then engaged in any form of political activity or social movements, who basically pay themselves salaries, run small offices, and go on demonstrations chanting, ‘Another world is possible’. And I don’t think that’s particularly helpful, and I think increasingly now people are beginning to see through the NGO-ization process”. This comment is part of an interview with Tariq Ali published here.

European Parliament "lambastes" Israel over Gaza seige

Today, the European Parliament adopted a resolution saying that “The policy of isolation of the Gaza strip has failed at both the political and humanitarian level … The civilian population should be exempt from any military action and any collective punishment.”

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, using reporting from Reuters and its own reporting as well, added that the resolution also said: “The European Parliament calls on Israel to cease military actions killing and endangering civilians, and extrajudicial targeted killings”.

The lawmakers also urged the Gaza Strip’s rulers Hamas to prevent the firing of rockets into Israel.

However, the report noted, “EU lawmakers have no power over the bloc’s foreign policy” … This Haaretz story is posted here.

Meanwhile, in another story with a Europe angle, the Jerusalem Post reported that “An Israeli prime minister has never visited Brussels on a formal diplomatic mission. ‘It’s just never worked out’, the diplomatic official said … Part of Israel’s strategy to strengthen relations with Europe is to de-link those ties from the vicissitudes of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. In the past, Israeli-European ties fluctuated parallel to progress, or the lack thereof, on negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. ‘The Europeans are, in general, not pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli, they are pro-peace process. Progress with the Palestinians meant better relations with Europe’, the Israeli diplomatic source said. Jerusalem’s new strategy is to enhance cooperation with Europe in a variety of fields and to demonstrate that Israel can help with some of the EU’s many interests in the region. To that end, Israel has in the past few weeks sent a detailed plan to the European Union asking to enter into negotiations on cooperation in nine fields. The cooperation would entail ‘significant’ Israeli inclusion into an array of EU institutions in fields such as finance, education, environment, youth development, law enforcement, security cooperation and scientific research collaboration … Another aspect of Jerusalem’s strategy to strengthen ties with Europe is increasing contact with the continent’s growing Muslim communities. ‘Europe is becoming more and more Muslim, and we have identified a need to reach out to these populations’, the diplomatic official said”. This JPost article is posted here.

Agreement to accelerate Israeli-Palestinian talks

So, there is the admission that they have been moving even more slowly than molasses.

And public statements as well as non-attributed leaks have done nothing but totally confuse everyone.

Now, today, it has been agreed that the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations should be accelerated.

Reuters reported this evening that “Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreed on Tuesday to accelerate U.S.-backed peace talks after critics warned Israel not enough was being done to get a deal this year … After months of delay, Olmert and Abbas agreed on Tuesday to set up working groups that will tackle side issues like water use, Israeli officials said. Olmert’s spokesman Mark Regev said negotiators would meet ‘almost daily’ going forward … Olmert has said the goal was an understanding on ‘basic principles’ for a Palestinian state, rather than the full-fledged agreement that Palestinians have been seeking. An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said negotiators had made ‘some progress’ on the core issues, which include borders, the fate of millions of Palestinian refugees, as well as Jerusalem . Olmert angered the Palestinians earlier this week when he said talks on Jerusalem would be postponed until the end of the negotiating process. Palestinian officials denied Olmert’s assertion that Abbas had agreed to the delay” …

This Reuters report is posted here.

Checkpoints – and travel restrictions

Just today I happened upon this article written by Amira Hass in Haaretz (didn’t see it there), posted on Mona Baker’s blog:

Impossible travel

By Amira Hass
Ha’aretz 01/02/07

All the promises to relax restrictions in the West Bank have obscured the true picture.

A few roadblocks have been removed, but the following prohibitions have remained in place. (This information was gathered by Haaretz, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Machsom Watch)

Standing prohibitions

* Palestinians from the Gaza Strip are forbidden to stay in the West Bank.
* Palestinians are forbidden to enter East Jerusalem.
* West Bank Palestinians are forbidden to enter the Gaza Strip through the Erez crossing.
* Palestinians are forbidden to enter the Jordan Valley.
* Palestinians are forbidden to enter villages, lands, towns and neighborhoods along the “seam line” between the separation fence and the Green Line (some 10 percent of the West Bank).
* Palestinians who are not residents of the villages Beit Furik and Beit Dajan in the Nablus area, and Ramadin, south of Hebron, are forbidden entry.
* Palestinians are forbidden to enter the settlements’ area (even if their lands are inside the settlements’ built area).
* Palestinians are forbidden to enter Nablus in a vehicle.
* Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are forbidden to enter area A (Palestinian towns in the West Bank).
* Gaza Strip residents are forbidden to enter the West Bank via the Allenby crossing.
* Palestinians are forbidden to travel abroad via Ben-Gurion Airport.
* Children under age 16 are forbidden to leave Nabus without an original birth certificate and parental escort.
* Palestinians with permits to enter Israel are forbidden to enter through the crossings used by Israelis and tourists.
* Gaza residents are forbidden to establish residency in the West Bank.
* West Bank residents are forbidden to establish residency in the Jordan valley, seam line communities or the villages of Beit Furik and Beit Dajan.
* Palestinians are forbidden to transfer merchandise and cargo through internal West Bank checkpoints.

Periodic prohibitions

* Residents of certain parts of the West Bank are forbidden to travel to the rest of the West Bank.
* People of a certain age group – mainly men from the age of 16 to 30, 35 or 40 – are forbidden to leave the areas where they reside (usually Nablus and other cities in the northern West Bank).
* Private cars may not pass the Swahara-Abu Dis checkpoint (which separates the northern and southern West Bank). This was canceled for the first time two weeks ago under the easing of restrictions.

Travel permits required

* A magnetic card (intended for entrance to Israel, but eases the passage through checkpoints within the West Bank).
* A work permit for Israel (the employer must come to the civil administration offices and apply for one).
* A permit for medical treatment in Israel and Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem (The applicant must produce an invitation from the hospital, his complete medical background and proof that the treatment he is seeking cannot be provided in the occupied territories).
* A travel permit to pass through Jordan valley checkpoints.
* A merchant’s permit to transfer goods.
* A permit to farm along the seam line requires a form from the land registry office, a title deed, and proof of first-degree relations to the registered property owner.
* Entry permit for the seam line (for relatives, medical teams, construction workers, etc. Those with permits must enter and leave via the same crossing even if it is far away or closing early).
* Permits to pass from Gaza, through Israel to the West Bank.
* A birth certificate for children under 16.
* A long-standing resident identity card for those who live in seam-line enclaves.

Checkpoints and barriers

* There were 75 manned checkpoints in the West Bank as of January 9, 2007.
* There are on average 150 mobile checkpoints a week (as of September 2006).
* There are 446 obstacles placed between roads and villages, including concrete cubes, earth ramparts, 88 iron gates and 74 kilometers of fences along main roads” …

and more.

I found this possibly not exhaustive but certainly exhausting list posted here.

You cannot move anywhere without answering ridiculous questions and discussing, at random, anything and everything about your life …

Gideon Levy on Liquidations

In his article, entitled “Liquidation Sale”, published today in Haaretz, Gideon Levy writes that “It was like an especially wild orgy: First the great intoxication of the senses, then the bitter sobering up the next morning. Within a few hours, Israel went from celebrating the assassination of Imad Mughniyah to the fear of what would follow. The ‘great feat of intelligence’, the ‘perfect execution’, the ‘humiliation of Bashar Assad’ were replaced in the blink of an eye with a spate of fear-inducing ‘travel advisories’ by the Counterterrorism Office – don’t travel, don’t identify yourself, don’t congregate, be careful, take every precaution – and with states of high alert on the northern border, and at all of Israel’s embassies and consulates, and Jewish community centers worldwide. If these are the dangers that lie in wait for us, one has to ask: What did we need this assassination for?

“Whoever killed Mughniyah was once again playing with the most dangerous fire of all: He undermined Israel’s security. If it was Israel, one has to ask whether there was any shred of sense in this move. If it was not Israel, our famed intelligence agencies would do well to prove this quickly, before the next disaster. Was the security of Israel’s citizens improved? Was terror dealt a permanent blow? History, with its multitude of previous assassinations, teaches that the answer is no. The chain of ‘terrorist chieftains’ liquidated by Israel, from Ali Salameh and Abu Jihad through Abbas Mussawi and Yihyeh Ayash to Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi – all “operations” that we celebrated with great pomp and circumstance for one sweet and intoxicating moment – have thus far brought only harsh and painful revenge attacks against Israel and Jews throughout the world, as well as infinite replacements no less effective than their predecessors, and sometimes more so. From assassination to assassination, terror has only increased and become more sophisticated.

“We have never really demanded an accounting from those responsible for these liquidations; we have merely been excited by their ‘achievements’. How we enjoy wallowing in these childish tales of heroism! …

“First, the partying: It is depressing to see the pseudo-victory celebrations. What, for heaven’s sake, is there to celebrate, other than the oldest and most primitive feeling of all – revenge? The parade of generals and pundits who were interviewed in every possible platform, putting their heads together and dispensing cunning smiles, inflated with their own self-importance, along with the generations of terror victims who were called on to express the joy of their personal revenge, and the deciphering of hints – here is Ehud Olmert smiling in the Knesset and Ehud Barak standing tall in Ankara – all of these painted a picture of unparalleled grimness. Even devoted fans of the genre need to think about the morning after. Even for them, vengeance for the sake of vengeance, an eye for an eye, in the best spirit of our biblical values, cannot be the be-all and end-all. Moreover, a society that rejoices and takes pride in its media victory after every assassination is a society in bad shape, while a war on terror that only encourages ever more vicious reprisals is a lost war…”