Is It Racist to Prioritize Freedom from Terror?

(JNS) Jonathan S. Tobin - In discussing the recent surge of murders of Jews by Palestinians, who are then celebrated by their community and its leadership as heroes, Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir told Israel's Channel 12, "My right, the right of my wife and my children to move around Judea and Samaria is more important than freedom of movement for the Arabs. The right to life comes before freedom of movement." Most media sources quoting Ben-Gvir didn't include the last sentence. Shorn of that line and taken out of context, the comment came across as unabashed racism. The notion that a Jewish right to free movement takes precedence over similar rights for Arabs is repugnant. That was the way it was interpreted by the U.S. State Department. The problem with these assumptions is that those condemning Ben-Gvir are ignoring not only the context of his comments, but also whether there is an intrinsic right for Palestinian Arabs to attack and murder Jews that trumps the latter's right to live in security. Protecting Jews against terrorism by means that would inevitably inconvenience the population that both produced and supported the terrorists is not an extreme position. Support in Israel for the checkpoints and security fence that helped to end the horror of the Second Intifada in the early 2000s is a matter of national consensus. Even if you think it's unwise for Israel to build communities in what is the heart of the ancient Jewish homeland, the idea that the hundreds of thousands of Jews who live there should be treated as legitimate targets for terrorism is both legally untenable and immoral. Were terror against Jews not such a routine occurrence, then measures like checkpoints or fences would be unnecessary. At stake in this debate is not the right of Palestinians to freedom of movement. Rather, it is whether there is a right to commit terrorism against Jews.

2023-08-28 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive