Israel is condemned when it kills terrorists

By Robin Shepherd, May 5, 2011

So it was "kill", not "capture". Fair enough. If someone openly expresses their aim of destroying your country and proves their point by slaughtering as many of your civilians as possible, they're clearly an enemy combatant.

As surely as if their minions were pointing a gun at your children, you don't wait for them to issue an order - you just blow their head off as soon as the opportunity presents itself. What reasonable person could seriously disagree?

But enough about Israel's targeted assassination policy against Hamas terrorists. Let's talk about last Monday's killing of Osama bin Laden by US special forces.

Let me be clear. I was all in favour and rejoiced like the best of them. But it is surely worth mentioning that the case for Israel's policy of targeted assassination is a good deal stronger than the one for the US operation against Bin Laden in Pakistan.

First, the evidence that has emerged so far suggests the US could, if it had wanted, have had Bin Laden arrested to face trial. Such luxuries rarely present themselves to Israeli forces engaged in Hamastan.

Second, therefore, this was in the strictest sense of the words, an "extra-judicial execution". As I say, I'm all in favour in such circumstances. But let's be clear on what we're talking about.

Third, Bin Laden had enormous symbolic importance but he had not had operational control of his organisation for years. Hamas terror chiefs pose a clear and present danger. Bin Laden did not to quite the same extent.

So, time for a bit of comparing and contrasting.

Here is what the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, said on Monday about the killing of Bin Laden: "It is unequivocally a good thing that he is no longer able to pursue terror, murder and mayhem in the world."

And here is what the British Foreign Secretary (then Jack Straw) said in 2004 about the killing of Hamas terror chief Abdelaziz Rantissi: "The British government has made it repeatedly clear that so-called targeted assassinations of this kind are unlawful, unjustified and counter-productive."

And here is what the EU said about Bin Laden: "[This is]a major achievement in our efforts to rid the world of terrorism."

And here is what the EU said in 2004 about Rantissi: "… extra-judicial killings are contrary to international law and … respect for international law should mark an important distinction between democratically elected governments and terrorist groups."

Intellectualise it all you like. But sorry, it's Jew-hatred by any other name.

Robin Shepherd is owner-publisher of website The Commentator,

Last updated: 11:03am, May 5 2011