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The Palestinians' Genocide Campaign By: Alan M. Dershowitz
Jerusalem Post | Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Recently, a young student at the Hebrew University was gunned down while jogging through a mixed neighborhood of Jews and Arabs in north Jerusalem. The Aksa Martyrs Brigade, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, joyously claimed credit for the killing yet another innocent Jew.

When it was later learned that the jogger was a Jerusalem Arab and not a Jew, al-Aksa quickly apologized to the family, calling it an accident.

But the killing of the innocent young jogger was not an accident; the murderer had deliberately taken aim at his head and midsection, intending to end his life. The only thing accidental about the murder was the religion of the victim. Al-Aksa had sent the assassin to murder a Jew – any Jew, so long as he was a Jew.

This is racism, pure and simple. And despite efforts by supporters of Palestinian terrorism to justify the murder of innocent civilians as national liberation or by any other euphemism, this case proves that the Palestinian terrorists' targeting of Jews and only Jews – as many as possible – is little different in intent from other forms of lethal or exterminatory anti-Jewish murders. (I don't use the term anti-Semitic only because some Arabs claim that because they too are Semites, they can't be anti-Semitic.)

Obviously the numbers are different, because Israel is capable of defending its Jewish citizens, but if it were not, the goal of Palestinian terrorist groups would not be very different from that of previous groups intent on murdering as many Jews as possible.

The Web sites of various Palestinian terrorist groups proclaim – usually only in English and almost never in Arabic – that they have no quarrel with the Jews, only with the Zionists. Yet they target every Jew, regardless of his or her individual political views, and they apologize when they accidentally kill a non-Jew, regardless of his political views. The racist acts of these terrorist groups speak louder than their sanitized English-only anti-Zionist Web sites.

YET THE international community – including the UN, the Vatican, and the European Union – claims to see no difference between Palestinian terrorists who target random Jewish civilians and the Israel Defense Forces that target specific mass murderers, such as Ahmed Yassin. It's all part of a "cycle of violence" in which both sides are morally equivalent, according to the double standard consistently applied against Israel by people who should know better.

The preventive killing of the mass murderer Sheikh Yassin received much more negative attention from the moral leaders of these organizations than did the racist attack that accidentally killed the young Arab. This failure – or refusal – to distinguish murder based on religious affiliation from preventive self-defense based on past and future murderous acts is the height of immorality. It would be as if the soldiers who killed Auschwitz guards in the process of liberating the inmates were deemed morally equivalent to the Auschwitz murderers.

It should not be surprising that Palestinian terrorists employ racist criteria in selecting their civilian targets, since the entire goal of Palestinian terrorism is racist to its core. It seeks to deny the Jewish people the right to self-determination. Under their version of Islamic law, it is impermissible for Jews to govern any land that was once under Muslim control, and it is equally impermissible for a Jewish majority to govern a Muslim minority, namely Israeli Arabs.

The time has come for the international community to listen to what Palestinian terrorists say to their own people: that this is a racist struggle to ethnically cleanse all of Palestine, which includes Israel, of all Jews (except, they say, those Jews who lived there before 1917 and are willing to remain as a minority in a Muslim land).

The civilian targets are selected on a racist basis – all Jews are fair game, and if a non-Jew is killed, that is an unfortunate accident.

The terrorist killing of the young Jerusalem Arab student, coupled with the apology when it was learned he was not Jewish, was not only a tragedy for his family (which lost another member to a terrorist attack years earlier), but it is also a revealing episode in the history of Palestinian terrorism. All who hate racism should condemn the selective morality under which a deliberate Jewish civilian death is applauded and a deliberate Arab civilian death is regretted.

All deliberate targeting of non-combatants must be equally condemned. And the deliberate targeting of civilians based on their religion is to be especially condemned.

Alan M. Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard. He is the author of many books, including, most recently, “The Case Against Israel’s Enemies.”

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