507540561_089699c41f.jpgVarious versions of this letter were published in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian today.
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The morality of extra-judicial killings is an extraordinarily difficult one, because they undermine the principle of the rule of law and particularly international law. Who would not have wanted to get rid of Hitler?
For many Jews, militant Palestinians and political leaders are seen to be in the same league and the ends justifies the means. But this is an inadequate analysis of the problem. Even if such people are a threat, do their deaths contribute to long-term Jewish and Palestinian security? The answer is no.
If anything, over the years, assassinations have encouraged new willing recruits to Palestinian organisations and a culture of religious-political martyrdom as evidenced by garish death notices in places such as East Jerusalem or Damascus.
Thus extra-judicial killings do nothing to contribute to peace-making which of course involves ending the occupation, a prime cause of the problem, as well as realistic negotiations over a host of other difficult issues, for which both moderate Israelis and Palestinians have worked for years (such as the Geneva accords).
Combine all this with Israel pinching other people’s passports (including Australians), Israel really alienates its friends,particularly because while on the one hand, claiming to be a country that behaves legally, it cocks a snoot at other countries and takes advantage of them when it should be working with them to broker a lasting peace. I am sure that many people in the Jewish community are embarrassed and angry, but reluctant to say that Israel should not involve Australia in this way.
[The image is of Hamas ‘martyrs’, with whom of course, I have little political or religious sympathy]
———-The views expressed are of course my own.