Alan Dershowitz brings some clear thinking to the Vatican’s curious refusal to condemn terrorism against Israel. He correctly notes that this is tacitly approving of terror attacks against civilians in states that allegedly violate international law. The implications are chilling; this stance should be repudiated by the Vatican immediately. From FrontPage (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
Let us now try to understand the Vatican’s bizarre policy on terrorism. Recently Pope Benedict XVI condemned terrorist attacks against civilians in Great Britain, Egypt, Iraq, and Turkey. In a pregnant omission — very pregnant in light of the Vatican’s long history of silence in the face of attacks against Jews — the Pope omitted any mention of the country that has suffered the largest number of terrorist attacks against civilians since 9/11, namely, Israel. When the Israeli government understandably protested the omission, the Vatican’s position became even more troubling. It singled out Israel for criticism, saying that that beleaguered nation’s responses to attacks against its civilians was “not always compatible with the rules of international law.” It then went on to say that the Vatican could not protest every Palestinian attack against Jewish civilians if Israel did not always follow international law.
Let’s try to understand what this means. Unless a country is absolutely flawless in its response to terrorism, the Vatican will not condemn terrorism against its civilian citizens. This seems to justify the killing of civilians as a protest against violation of international law. If that “moral” position is not bizarre enough, let us turn to the actual facts. Egypt’s response to terrorism is far, far more violative of international law than Israel’s. Egypt routinely tortures — I mean really tortures to death — suspected terrorists, to say nothing of mere dissidents. Turkey”s record is not all that much better. The U.S. and Great Britain have killed many more civilians in responding to terrorism in Iraq than Israel has done. So even if the Vatican’s statement of principle were morally acceptable — which it surely is not — that principle would in no way justify leaving Israel off a list that includes many worse violators of international law.
Moreover, the Vatican’s snippy condemnation of Israel for its reprisals is particularly untimely. Israel, unique among nations victimized by terrorism, has refrained from any significant reprisals over the past several months, despite the facts that terrorist attacks against its civilians continue. It has made a point of withholding its right to respond in the interests of facilitating peace.