There Is No ‘Moral Equivalency’ Between Israeli Soldiers and Palestinian Terrorists
During a seminar in my graduate program in Israel, a professor concluded a lecture on terrorism and political violence claiming: “The tears of a grieving Palestinian mother, whose son was responsible for carrying out a suicide attack are equal to the tears of an Israeli mother whose son fell in service to the country.”
It took me a while to understand that the statement itself was not really problematic. The issue was that there was no follow-up with what needed to be said: while the mothers may feel an equal amount of sorrow, the world must never draw a moral equivalence between the terrorist and the soldier. This rule must apply to the stakeholders of any armed conflicts and the reason is simple: The frequency and normalization of terrorism, as a legitimate tactic of resistance, will increase unless it is universally condemned and categorized as an unjustifiable evil.
WHILE THEIR MOTHERS MAY FEEL AN EQUAL AMOUNT OF SORROW, THE WORLD MUST NEVER DRAW A MORAL EQUIVALENCE BETWEEN THE TERRORIST AND THE SOLDIER.
This is exactly what Combatants for Peace, an Israeli nongovernmental organization (NGO) founded in 2006, is failing to do. The organization’s goal, as it is introduced to the general public, is very appealing:
“Raise the consciousness in both publics regarding the hopes and suffering of the other side, and to create partners in dialogue.” “Educate towards reconciliation and non-violent struggl
While this event has been held every year for the past decade, it remains widely controversial and unpopular in Israel. The most common criticism was exemplified by Israel’s former Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman who announced:
“I will not lend my hand to the desecration of Memorial Day. This is not a ceremony but an exhibition of bad taste and lack of sensitivity that hurt the bereaving f