I completely support the assassination of Sheikh Yassin, both for moral and practical reasons, but I do understand the argument against. I just think it is wrongheaded—does anyone really think that Hamas wasn’t trying to drive Israelis out of Israel already, or that they weren’t trying their hardest to carry out terrorist attacks beforehand? In anycase, the following are a number of articles from both sides, a round-up so to speak, of the NYPress.
· Bret Stephens, the editor in chief of the Jerusalem Post, writes in the Wall Street Journal,
“It may be recalled that Israel released the good sheikh in 1997, after having sentenced him to life in prison, with the promise that he would never again promote terrorism. This was during the Oslo years, when serious people actually thought that such conciliatory gestures served the interests of peace. Today, that is beyond comprehension. At any rate, Yassin didn’t keep his promise.\
Meanwhile, assorted foreign ministers are in full throat against Israel. “All of us understand Israel’s need to protect itself–and it is fully entitled to do that–against the terrorism that affects it, within international law,” says British Foreign Minister Jack Straw. “But it is not entitled to go in for this kind of unlawful killing.”
It would be interesting to know exactly what, according to Mr. Straw, Israel is lawfully allowed to do in self-defense. Perhaps it would be as well if the minister also reminded the Palestinian Authority of its obligations, under the Road Map, to “undertake visible efforts . . . to arrest, disrupt, and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning attacks on Israelis.” But if Mr. Straw and his colleagues do not do so, it is not from an excess of respect for the Palestinians, but rather its lack. They will, after all, be viewing them merely as weeds, not as humans capable of acting in their own best interests.
· The New York Times editorializes that “Hamas has never accepted peace with Israel, and while Sheik Yassin was the group’s spiritual leader, Israel accused him of responsibility for numerous terrorist attacks. Still, it’s hard to see how his martyrdom will make Israel any safer. Hamas will now redouble its efforts to send human torpedos into Israel. The Palestinian Authority will be even less inclined to confront terrorists in its midst and less able to coax Hamas into observing a cease-fire. Moderate Arabs everywhere have been reacting with dismay and despair to Sheik Yassin’s killing. The U.S. war on terrorism may also suffer as moderate Arab leaders feel compelled to distance themselves further from Washington.”
· James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal points out that “The Middle East Media Research Institute quotes Yassin as saying in a 1998 interview: “The day in which I will die as a shahid [martyr] will be the happiest day of my life.” So this is a happy day for everyone.”
· The NYPost writes that “Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the Hamas leader who was blown up by an Israeli missile yesterday morning, was up to his eyeballs in blood. .. Unfortunately, the widespread condemnation of Yassin’s killing yesterday suggests that much of the free world, even after the Madrid massacre, fails to comprehend what confronting Islamist terrorism truly entails.” However, their cover leads the reader to think that the killing of Yassin has led Hamas to threaten the US—as if they weren’t burning American flags and calling for the destruction of America for years.
And finally, I thought to share a news item from Haaretz: UN security council to meet on Yassin assassination. For a terrorist leader. Who proudly proclaimed that he wanted to kill all Israelis. Good job, UN.