[EDITORIALS]Another bad Israeli choiceSheik Ahmed Yassin, a spiritual leader of Palestine who won the respect of most Islamic people, was killed Monday by an Israeli missile that had targeted him.
Even though he was the founder of a militant Palestine group, Hamas, that the United States labeled as a terrorist group, the targeted attack on him was still, in the words of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, “an act that violates international law and that makes no contribution to world peace.”
Hamas immediately declared that it would retaliate. Criticism of the targeted killing as well as worries about retaliation are being heard from all over the world, not only from the Middle East. Iraq and the rest of the terror-stricken world will be caught in another bout of fear of terrorism.
Israel said that because of the recent suicide terror attack by Hamas at Ashdod port in Israel, in which 30 Israelis were killed, it was necessary to target the Palestinian spiritual leader.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said he had ordered the assassination of Yassin himself in order to prevent Hamas from occupying the Gaza Strip legitimately through an election after Israel’s announced withdrawal.
Whatever logic the Israelis apply to it, however, the killing of Yassin has betrayed the wishes of the majority of the world’s population, that wants a peace settlement in the Middle East and the coexistence of the two peoples through dialogue.
Retaliation will bring nothing but more retaliation. The Israeli government must stop making such bad choices that threaten to lead it farther and farther away from the road to peace.
“Love your neighbor” is not only a religious teaching. It is also necessary in the real world. Militant Palestine groups must also understand that terrorism brings nothing but more terrorism.
Whether it is suicide terror or state terror, it violates the spirit of love. Both sides must resume negotiations for peace immediately and show real courage by cutting the vicious circle of retaliation.
International society must mediate actively between the Palestinians and the Israelis to prevent a collision between the two emotionally-charged sides.