Inclusive is not worth ineffective
Prior to September 11, many Americans could never have imagined being victims of terrorism, but there are in fact other countries in the world continuously being targeted, such as Israel, which faces a Palestinian uprising, or Intifada.
Though that one day’s events were far more dire than any single act so far in the Intifada, the horror in America parallels the effects and extent of terrorism in Israel. Everyone knows someone with a personal story. Likewise, the Bush administration's vow to come down hard on terrorism resembles Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's policy on terrorism, which is why the Bush administration's recent criticism of Israeli actions is so hypocritical and self-defeating.
Last week, Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi was assassinated by terrorists, sparking the most aggressive action by the Israeli government to date against multiple Palestinian cities with the purpose of fighting terrorism. The U.S., in the strongest language used against an ally, condemned Israel’s actions.
On a certain level, this political response is logical. The United States is allied with Israel, so several moderate Muslim nations which support the Palestinians hold the U.S. responsible for Israel’s actions. If there is to be any hope of gaining the support of these nations for Bush's broad anti-terrorism coalition, the U.S. cannot afford to alienate them by condoning Israel’s harsh measures against the Palestinians.
And yet, how can the coalition hope to accomplish anything if it cowers away from its objective? Israel is fighting the very battle the proposed coalition theoretically would promote. If the coalition loses the backing of certain countries because it acts on its noble cause, those countries do not really oppose terrorism.
A worldwide effort to eradicate terrorism would be ideal, but unfortunately a ”worldwide” effort is mutually exclusive with eradicating terrorism because some countries encourage and harbor terrorists. Even if they give superficial statements of agreement, those countries should not be permitted in an anti-terrorism coalition, let alone pampered with political maneuvers in order to make the coalition more acceptable to them.
In essence, with this condemnation, the U.S. is saying that the terrorists who messed with us are bad, but we don’t really care about any other terrorists. This is the opposite of an effort against all terrorism. Israel should be commended, not condemned, for being the only other country besides the U.S. since September 11 to actually take action against terrorism.
Ben Meiselman. Ben Meiselman is a senior in the Communication Arts Program at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. He enjoys playing sports, especially baseball. Ben is seventeen years old, born May 16, 1985. He has played the trumpet since fourth grade when he began … More »