ISRAEL TARGETS HAMAS LEADER

Yahoo! News reports a detour on the roadmap to peace:

Israeli helicopters fired missiles at a car carrying a senior Hamas leader Tuesday, wounding him, killing two others and jeopardizing the U.S.-backed road map to Mideast peace. President Bush criticized Israel, saying he was “deeply troubled” by the strike.

Hamas vowed revenge and threatened to kill Israeli political leaders in reprisal for the attack on Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the most high-profile leader of the Islamic militant group to be targeted by Israel in 32 months of fighting.

While I’m often critical of the Sharon regime, which I consider to be rather barbaric by the standards of Western democracies, I’m hard pressed to be critical of their going after terrorists this way. Hamas is responsible for untold deaths of Israeli civilians and is desperately seeking to undermine the current peace process. Arafat won’t control them and Abu Mazen has given little indication that he can do the job; maybe a little assist from Sharon will be helpful.

Update (1407): Not surprisingly, Meryl agrees with me on this, although more vehemenly:

So, what’s happened since the road map was implemented? Well, let’s see.

Israel started evacuating illegal settlements in the West Bank. Israel freed Palestinian prisoners, including a man who murdered 13 Israelis in the 1970s. Two Israeli citizens were murdered in Jerusalem. Five Israeli soldiers were killed. Many attempted suicide bombings were prevented. Oh, and Rantisis said this just a few days ago:

Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a Hamas leader, said the attack was intended to send a message to the Palestinian leadership that Palestinians will continue to fight Israel and will not “surrender to the pressure exerted by Israel and the United States of America,” said.

“We are unified in the trenches of resistance,” he said.

The President should be deeply troubled that this bastard is still alive, not that Israel tried to kill him.

And once again, the double standard for Israel rears its head. She must stand still and take whatever the Arabs dish out. It isn’t terrorism if the end result is dead Jews, apparently, and not even dead American Jews. Shame on the President, and shame on all who hold this double standard. Terrorism is terrorism.

She also quotes Charles Johnson as calling Rantisi “The Pediatrician of Death.” Why is it that all these terrorist scumbags get such cool nicknames?

FILED UNDER: Middle East
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. BigFire says:

    Hey, Hamas never bother enter any peace talk. In the latest round of the peace talk, they pointly boycott it, and vowed never to ceased their attack until all Jews are in the sea. So cry me a river when IDF decide to take the glove off on a non-participant in the peace process. If PA won’t go after the criminals, IDF will.

  2. Ryan says:

    While I understand the point of view that some-one needs to go after the Palestinian terrorists, what the Israeli government has just attempted is extra-judicial killing. Anyone who believes in the rule of law, rather the law of the jungle, should condemn this action.

  3. James Joyner says:

    Ryan,

    I’d contend that Hamas has declared war on Israel and therefore the rules of war apply. If the Palestinian Authority were actually aggressively arresting and trying these terrorists, then I’d agree that the judicial process would be the way to go; but they aren’t.