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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/21/16

My Terrorist, Your Terrorist

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Message Uri Avnery
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(Because the psychological effect is so important, most reactions to acts of terrorism only serve the terrorist.)

Modern terrorists -- real terrorists -- lay bombs in markets, shoot at random civilians, run over people. Hezbollah does none of these.

One can hate Hezbollah and detest Nasrallah. But calling them "terrorists" is plain stupid.

ALL THIS came up because of a chain of incidents that has recently rocked Israel.

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The Arab league, dominated by Saudi Arabia, has declared that Hezbollah is a "terrorist" organization. This is almost meaningless, a little gesture in the battle between the Saudi monarchy and Iran. Or between the "Shiite arc" and the "Sunni bloc."

Two small Arab parties in Israel, both members of the 4-party Arab "Joint List," have condemned the League's declaration and sided with Hezbollah. They are the Arab nationalist Balad (Motherland) party and the (pro-Assad) Communist party.

The Knesset exploded. How dare they?! Defending our enemies? Denying that these arch-terrorists are arch-terrorists?

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Jewish members, practically from wall to wall, are demanding the outlawing of the two parties, expelling their members from the Knesset, and what not. Since there is in practice no legal death penalty in Israel, they cannot, alas, be hanged. Pity.

WERE THESE Arab members right in their statement? Of course they were.

Was their statement logical? Indeed it was.

But logic can be poison in politics.

For ordinary Jewish Israelis, Hezbollah is a deadly enemy. Nasrallah, with his sneering, superior style is detested by each and all. By making their declaration, which actually had nothing to do with Israel, the Arab Knesset members just provoked and upset the entire Jewish public.

Of course, these Arabs are part of the Arab world. They have the right to express their opinion about everything that happens in the Arab world. The right, not the duty.

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Arab members of the Israeli Knesset are torn between two seemingly opposite tasks: to serve the interests of their constituents and to take a stand on issues concerning their Palestinian nation and the Arab world in general.

By criticizing the Arab League's condemnation of Hezbollah, they served their second task. But by widening the gulf between Israel's Arab and Jewish citizens without an urgent reason, they definitely harmed the first. Thereby they also harmed the chances of peace.

I understand them, but I believe that it was not a wise thing to do.

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Uri Avnery is a longtime Israeli peace activist. Since 1948 has advocated the setting up of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. In 1974, Uri Avnery was the first Israeli to establish contact with PLO leadership. In 1982 he was the first Israeli ever to meet Yassir Arafat, after crossing the lines in besieged Beirut. He served three terms in the (more...)

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