Saturday, July 05, 2008

Death By Caterpillar


I wanted to write about this week's Jerusalem bulldozer murders, which killed 3 people and injured 36; about how almost all Israeli and Jewish commentators and politicians seemed particularly incensed; about the hysterical column my old friend Bradley Burston wrote in Haaretz labeling and libeling all Palestinians; about the fact that no one seems to believe the murderer's family when they say he was motivated out of personal problems, not membership in a terror group ; and about the headline in Haaretz reading:

Barak orders demolition of Jerusalem terrorists' homes
Mazuz: Demolition of terrorists' homes permissable by law; Ramon: Parts of East J'lem should be severed.
(See full article here.)

I wanted to write that destroying the murder's family's home would be even less just than blowing up the homes of the family's of Columbine massacre's perpetrators, or, closer to home, the homes of the "Brampton 18" - should they be convicted.

I wanted to write about the irony (Is it proper to think of irony in the face of such tragedies?) of the instrument of death being a Caterpillar bulldozer, the same machine that killed Rachel Corey, and that was been used by Israelis to demolish so many Arab homes, and will likely be used to tear down the home of this week's murderer.

I wanted to write about all this, but my favourite blogster, The Magnes Zionist, beat me to it (and wrote it better than I could have.)

Here, in part, is what he wrote:

The rampage of the Arab tractor-drive this week in Jerusalem, which killed several people and wounded many more, is rightly condemned. Yes, it is important to try to understand motives, and yes, it is important to think rationally on how to prevent the reoccurence of such events. But understanding is not excusing, much less justifying. You can say the same thing for the rampage of the student at Virginia Tech last year, which killed more people. Even if a person is driven to do something by mental illness, or by some sort of exculpating factor, the harming of innocents is to be condemned. The motives are not relevant. Death by Caterpillar is death.

But no less condemnable are the acts of revenge contemplated by Israeli officials against innocents, either the tractor-driver's family (destroying their house) or his neighborhood (revoking their residency.) In fact, they are arguably more barbaric because they are premeditated actions of a state, illegal by international law, and immoral by any morality save that of the mafia. ....


Read his full blog article here.

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