Targeted Killings (Part I)

No, not those targeted killings.

No, not those targeted killings.

The Palestinians have embarked on a policy of eliminating “traitors and collaborators” within their population – sometimes with the benefit of a kangaroo trial, sometimes without. “T&C” are those who cooperate with Israel in some “unacceptable” manner, generally meaning to provide information to Israel on the whereabouts of terrorists or planned terrorist events. But it has also been known to include real estate agents who sell to the wrong people and people not at all involved with Israel, but who fell afoul of the authorities (which isn’t hard to do there).

A call to the State Department to determine what level of condemnation the U.S. attaches to such targeted killing elicited an odd, but we believe, truthful response. The United States is opposed to Palestinian killings of what they call “traitors” because of the lack of due process and the failure to provide rights to the accused. The U.S. has no formal opinion of the PA definition of a “traitor,” but we don’t want anyone executed who wasn’t actually one according to Palestinian law. We were told that people work against all kinds of governments for all kinds of reasons. For example, if a Chinese person helps the US in China and the Chinese government catches him/her, we are sorry if they are executed, but in fact they violated the laws of China. It is not for us to judge how governments define crimes against the state or the punishments they mete out. Our State Department official said that to do that would be a “slippery slope.”

To do otherwise would be amoral.

In Nazi Germany, it was defined by the government as a crime to be Jewish, homosexual or Romany (gypsy). In Afghanistan it is defined by the government as a crime for women to appear outside the house without full cover and a male relative. In our own country, the government for a long, long time legally sanctioned the enslavement and sale of human beings. It would be an outrage to say that the creation of those laws was no one’s business as long as the proof and due process were put before the punishment.

The next thing you know, the slaughter of Christians in Southern Sudan will be an internal Sudanese matter as long as the government has its due process house in order.

There are good laws and bad laws, good governments and bad. And even good ones can make bad laws. Not to recognize and categorize at the most basic level of life and death is an abdication of the American interest in promoting freedom and liberty. You cannot be in the human rights business without being in the judgment business. We laugh when Iran and Libya sit on the UN Human Rights Commission, but are embarrassed, too, by the perversion of a commission who’s work should be noble.

The State Department has found outrage enough to toss at Israel, which is fighting a war for its very survival and the protection of its people. There should be outrage at the killing of Palestinians who (for whatever own reason) want to help them.