Sympathy for the devil

The Jerusalem Post reports on the condemnation by “world leaders” of Israel for killing Ahmed Yassin, the Palestinian bin Laden. It is difficult to say which leader’s statement is the most sickening. Leading contenders surely include Javier Solona, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, and of course France’s despicable Dominique de Villepin, both of whom see the killing of Yassin as a blow to the “peace process.” But, as this harrowing Jerusalem Post portraint of Yassin points out, under Yassin’s leadership, Hamas “rejected the Oslo Accords and responded to them with gruesome violence, most notably by taking the lead in the use of bus bombings. Its highest-profile attack was the Pessah massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya in 2002, the deadliest single terror attack in Israel in three decades.” Indeed, since September 2000 Hamas has perpetrated 425 terrorist attacks of various kinds, in which 377 Israelis were murdered and 2,076 civilians and soldiers were wounded, according to figures from Israel’s Foreign Ministry. Clearly, then, the only sensible response to the demise of Hamas’ leader is cheers and congratulations. While this is certainly too much to expect from the Europeans, their condemnation of Israel is another reminder that Europe can never be an honest broker when it comes to Israel. Not with its leaders tripping over themselves to see who can express the most outrage against Israel, in the hope that the terrorists will spare their country.
What about the United States? Well, we certainly did better than Europe. But the State Department hardly covered itself in glory when it “urge[d] all sides to remain calm and exercise restraint.” In this context, it was Condoleezza Rice who, unique among world leaders, actually did remain calm enough to remark, “Let’s remember that Hamas is a terrorist organization and that Sheik Yassin has himself, personally, we believe, been involved in terrorist planning.” But, as this this Jerusalem Post editorial asks, “Is there nothing worthy of praise in the elimination of the leader of an organization that has murdered numerous American citizens and places prominently on the US terrorist list?”

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