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No Surprises Here

According to news reports at the moment, a Jewish young man, 19 years old has shot up an Arab bus killing at least four people. This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. When a supposed democratic society shuts down all avenues of expression, otherwise known as non-violent protest, it is a time-bomb waiting to go off. However, I must make very clear -- in no way does this mean that I condone his actions. The Jewish People are not prone to violent outbursts, it is not at all part of our nature.

People agree to form governments in order to protect themselves and their property (thank you John Locke). When they feel that their person or property are not being protected, and when they do not feel they have a means to get their government to hear their complaints - especially in a democratic society - they are unable to see what possible options may be open to them since many and all of them are closed. What can we expect to happen?

I feel terrible that this young man felt that he had no options. I lay complete and utter blame for this situation at the feet of Ariel Sharon. He has put the Jewish People in an untenable position in which John Locke himself would agree that this government has become tyrannical and has put itself at war with the people. People are willing to overlook the wrongs of government time and time again, but there comes a time when it is impossible to do so. I am certainly not advocating that there should be a coup (G-d forbid) since this would pit Jew against Jew. However this is a reality in which non-violent dissention must be allowed and encouraged in order for the people to feel that they are heard. This is the way of a true democracy.

I pray for this young man. I wish his family comfort with all the mourners of Zion. HaShem should protect us all.


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Shira -
You know that I am far from liberal and that I agree with your views a lot of the time. However, I must say, that now is not one of those times. I know you wrote that you're not condoning what this soldier did. However, you ARE empathizing with him and justifying his actions. Honestly, my first thought when I read what you wrote was this sounds strangely familiar. Lots of liberals and pro-palestinians use these same lines of reasoning all the time... "I certainly don't condone killing innocent people and I don't agree with these suicide bombers' tactics, but...they are so oppressed! They have no other avenue! What choice do they have?!" After the London attacks London mayor Livingstone had some pretty vile and "empathetic" words for suicide bombers in Israel. You can read my rant that I posted on my blog after I read an article quoting him:
The Arabs occupying Yesha are not living in a democracy either. They have little to no rights and many truly do live in deplorable conditions. Blame for these peoples' situation must, yes, be placed squarely on their "leadership," but also on the organizations and people that are the direct breeders of hate and suicidal brainwashing. And of course on the individuals themselves. Each murderer will ultimately be held accountable for his or her own murderous choice.
I believe the same is true in the case of this Jewish soldier. Yes, we are living in an incredibly difficult and tumultuous time here in Israel and the tension is palpable...you can almost feel the entire country roiling just underneith the surface. Yes, blame can be placed on Sharon (among others). But a Jew taking his feelings of anger and helplessness out on and killing innocent people (I hear Shfaram is a Druze village!) will be held accountable for his sin. It's uncondonable and un-empathizable. And what about blame for organizations/people who inculcate and encourage these actions? Do they get any blame?
My heart is bleeding for Israel right now. For the situation we're in - for the situation our brothers and sisters in Yesha are in. I believe the disengagement is wrong and I believe it will only bring additional destruction and terror. I believe that only in the darkest of goluses would a Jew "megaresh" another Jew, destroying his community, home, and livelihood. But I do not believe murder is ever justified (in this day and age anyway - when we cannot carry out the command to kill Amalek).

The four people who were killed by the soldier were two Muslims and two Christians. I do feel bad about that. I hold nothing against those who are Israeli Arabs (obviously unless they are helping others to destroy the country), and in addition we know that the Druze do much to help the country.

I'm writing this piece as an example in political theory...using what happened to complete the theory. This has been an idea in my head for quite a while and I felt like clarifying it on "paper", especially when this event occurred.

Again, I am not condoning what that soldier did. I hope that I am making that clear. Obviously those Arabs (Muslim and Christian) who are good solid citizens of the state should not be in danger of being killed. I am speaking from a theoretical point of view. If the shooter would have survived the event, I would say along with everyone else that he should be put on trial.

As far as this sounding familiar due to the idea that Arabs and others use the phrase, "they had no choice, they are oppressed" -- perhaps, but it's not relevant here. Discussion revolving around the disengagement isn't even allowed on the Knesset floor. Those demonstrating peacefully are arrested, and the children and teenagers who are involved in these demonstrations are being taken away from their parents due to the idea that they are not being raised properly if they're involved in these peaceful protests. What the heck is that about?

As far as those Arabs who are living under "Palestinian" rule and they don't live in a democratic society - I can't say that I feel bad. They have a leadership that has perpetually used them for their own ends, 80% of the general population is supportive of the use of suicide bombers, and their cousins across the MidEast use them as pawns against Israel. Either the "Palestinian people" are suckers and go with whatever their leadership tells them to do -or- they aren't suckers and actually believe in the ideals spewed by their leadership -or- they're stupid. The one thing I know is that they aren't stupid. Where does that leave us?

I know you were not condoning this soldier's actions. I was making a distinction between condoning (to overlook, forgive, or disregard an offense without protest or censure, according to dictionary.com) and justifying (to declare free of blame; absolve). You made it clear you were not doing the former, but it seemed to me that you were certainly doing the latter. That's what I was disagreeing with. When someone murders we cannot place blame solely on "The Man" or the establishment or on society or on circumstances or on a politician or on policies. First and foremost blame and responsibility must be placed on the individual. Which you did not do in your post and which was what I was reacting to.
My other point - that my gut reaction when reading your piece was that the justifying lines of reasoning (what can we expect to happen when ppl. are so oppressed, see no other options, etc.?) sound so familiar to me - is indeed relevant here. If this type of reasoning is so contemptable when used with regards to Muslim suicide bombers (or violence in America's inner cities, etc.), why is it less so when used in reference to a Jewish militant in this situation? We're not disagreeing what a pathetic state Palestinians are living in. And we're not disagreeing on the fact that the balagan that is The Disengagment is warped on so many levels. I'm just saying that I don't think we should a) be justifying this soldier's actions, period. And b) certainly not using the same logic that others use to justify suicide bombers' actions.

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