Targeted Killings of Terror Leaders Are Moral

(Ynet News) Donniel Hartman - Israel assassinated Popular Resistance Committee Secretary-General Zuhir al-Qaisi, the known terrorist leader who was involved in the planning of an imminent terrorist attack from Sinai. Should we engage in pre-emptive, targeted assassinations, knowing full well the "cycle of violence" that will ensue? An essential part of our national ethos is to be pro-actively engaged in shaping our future, to determine our own destiny to the best of our ability. As a citizen of Israel I embrace the need to act and to attempt to proactively give us the security that we deserve. While Jewish tradition elevates the sanctity of life as one of its highest values and sees all of humanity as equal in value, it does not merely allow but obligates acts of self-defense. One cannot be committed to the sanctity of life in general without being committed to valuing the sanctity of one's own life. Self-defense is a higher moral expression than self-sacrifice. Our tradition teaches us, "When someone arises to kill you, pre-empt them, and kill them first." Targeted killings of known terrorist leaders, those with blood on their hands and the self-expressed desire and capacity to spill more blood, are not morally ambiguous, but rather acts of "tikkun olam," repairing the world. Evil exists, and it is our responsibility as Israelis and moral duty as Jews to see this evil, and do everything in our power to limit it and not allow its terrorist intent to rule our neighborhood. Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman is president of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.

2012-03-13 00:00:00

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