The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Monday, February 28, 2005

              Their Peculiar Institution
All too often we hear the trite and morally equivalizing adage that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". Most often we hear this from Europe and the American Left regarding Palestinian terrorists, or "militants" as they like to call them, especially comparing them to Jewish groups during the end of the Palestine Mandate. Lee Harris, in this excellent essay, tears down those arguments.
Samuel Johnson once remarked, in a moment of irritation, "I will have no cant in defense of savagery." Well, if he had lived today, he would have had to put up with something even worse than cant in defense of savagery, and that is cant in defense of terrorism. But what would have been guaranteed to push him beyond the limits of his patience would have been the Western school of cant that, for over a half century, has been employed to defend and apologize for one particularly brutal, pointless, and politically self-defeating forms of terrorism: Palestinian terrorism.

What makes Palestinian terror uniquely privileged among all other forms of terror, even among those people who find other form of terrorism unacceptable? And why do so many well-meaning people in the West observe a double standard when it comes to the terrorism used by the Palestinians and the terrorism used by al Qaeda?
My reason for spending so much time dissecting the cant surrounding Palestinian terror is simple. I am convinced that the West shares much, if not most, of the blame for the most startling fact of our epoch, namely, the political triumph of Islamic terrorism.
His argument boils down to a simple fact - Palestinian terrorism does not have a political goal, i.e. it is not being used to create something but merely to destroy. And as such, it is entirely illegitimate. Yet, by the West's acceptance of Arab propaganda - the "cycle of violence", "the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people", and the Zionist occupation" - the West has made Palestinian terrorism an acceptable form of political expression and has in this way brought on itself more and greater Islamic terrorism.
|| Nudnik 9:46 PM
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