Friday, January 31, 2003

From today's New York Times:

JERUSALEM, Jan. 31 — Israeli forces shot and killed a Hamas militant in the West Bank city of Jenin today in a gun battle outside a fire station in which a bystander was also killed.

Israeli forces continued what the army called an open-ended operation in Hebron, also in the West Bank, where they demolished the homes of two militants today.

Has the time come to embrace the nightmare? Isreal consistantly denies it is engaging in collective punishment, which would be in violation of the Geneva Convention. Yet it is hard to see how else suicide bombers might be deterred. Furthermore, this thought seems to have occured to some in Isreal already. In some ways an unspoken policy of collective punishment is worse than an explicit one. An explicit policy could be debated, limited, evaluated. An attempt could be made to obtain the most deterrence with the least cruelty and violence. The terms could be spelled out clearly, so people would know at least what behaviors to try and watch for in themselves and their families. If even a few neighborhoods might sign on it would be a start. Perhaps there could be rewards as well as punishments.

This is a really horrible thing for an American to suggest - I think it would come under the heading of an unconstitutional Bill of Attainder here.

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