I would have done the same

I know -- I'm getting a bit obsessed with the Middle East lately, but it makes me so crazy that we're spending billions to help various people kill each other. I don't support the killing of innocent civilians, but that's what both the Israelis and the Palestinians are doing. It's somehow considered less immoral when it's done with American-made F-16s, tanks, and laser-guided bombs. Israel basically has the entire West Bank and Gaza Strip under 24-hour curfew. Even in the worst days of Northen Ireland, or the depths of the Apartheid regime in South Africa, the oppressor didn't go that far. And it's still not making Israel safer.

Here is a column by Yitzhak Frankenthal about the death of his son, a soldier killed by a Palestinian in the Occupied Territories.

My beloved son Arik, my own flesh and blood, was murdered by Palestinians. My tall, blue-eyed, golden-haired son who was always smiling with the innocence of a child and the understanding of an adult. My son. If to hit his killers, innocent Palestinian children and other civilians would have to be killed, I would ask the security forces to wait for another opportunity.


I would say to the security forces: do not kill the killer. Rather, bring him before an Israeli court. You are not the judiciary. Your only motivation should not be vengeance, but the prevention of any injury to innocent civilians.


My son Arik was murdered when he was a soldier by Palestinian fighters who believed in the ethical basis of their struggle against the occupation. My son Arik was not murdered because he was Jewish but because he is part of the nation that occupies the territory of another. I know these are concepts that are unpalatable, but I must voice them loud and clear, because they come from my heart - the heart of a father whose son did not get to live because his people were blinded with power.

As much as I would like to do so, I cannot say that the Palestinians are to blame for my son's death. That would be the easy way out, but it is we, Israelis, who are to blame because of the occupation. Anyone who refuses to heed this awful truth will eventually lead to our destruction.

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Published on August 13, 2002 3:00 PM.

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