What is the big deal about killing a killer?

David Pryce Jones:

" 'Blood will have blood' is the grim observation Shakespeare puts into the mouth of Macbeth. Unlike that character, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin did not kill in person, but he organized murder, a great deal of it. He strove all his life to make a reality of the mind-set of the Muslim Brotherhood, in which good Muslims everywhere at last assert their deserved supremacy over irredeemably bad Christians and Jews. Compromise is excluded. The only available options are victory or martyrdom.

"An unlikely figure with several severe physical disabilities, wheelchair bound all his adult years, Yassin nonetheless founded Hamas and thereby gave himself responsibility for the Palestine sector of the wider Islamist struggle. Palestine, he believed, was a land exclusively reserved by God for Muslims. With a consistency that has to be acknowledged, he rejected the existence of Israel in any shape or form and led jihad to eliminate it. His specialty was the recruiting and dispatching of suicide bombers. He wanted to kill Jews and didn't mind how many Muslims died in the process. Israel, he prophesied in a recent interview, would finally collapse in 2007. For him, then, peace meant war, and so he was the victim of his own violence. Blood will have blood.


"Both Christians and Muslims, in other words, are defending themselves with the very same measures and moral values as Israelis. What, then, explains the uproar of indignation and condemnation released by the killing of Yassin? Can British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw really believe that his description of Yassin as 'an old man in a wheelchair' is a necessary or sufficient definition? The EU foreign ministers in collective session have declared that the killing 'undermines the concept of the rule of law.' Did that concept have any meaning either for Yassin or for those who attacked the Madrid railway station? Will observance of the concept be enough to thwart further terror attacks anywhere in Europe?

"Beyond the usual humbug of diplomatic discourse, there seems to be an anxiety to pretend to Arabs and Muslims that all is well when evidently it is not. It is as if Arabs and Muslims were children who mustn't hear the truth; that assorted Islamists are destabilizing Islamic countries and dragging them by the scruff of the neck into suicidal wars with the neighbors.


"The Arab and Muslim world is caught between a past that will not release its grip and a future not quite able to come to birth. Sheikh Yassin had no solution to this dilemma. His inhuman passion could only ensure that blood will have blood. Everyone, Palestinians first and foremost, is better off without him."

Percy Foreman, a legendary criminal defense lawyer in Texas was successful using a strategy that said the victim deserved to die. Certainly Yasin deserved several deaths. The gates of hell that Palestinians claimed were opened by his killing, were only opened to receive him.


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