Is Zuhair Bahloul correct?

What is the essential difference between a terrorists who stabs an IDF soldier and the hanging of two British sergeants by the Irgun?

Haggai Huberman

OpEds
Arutz 7

For MK Bahloul's remarks, click here.

MK Zuhair Bahloul confronted Israeli society with a complex mirror.

After all of the condemnations and hysteria relating to the things that he said, we must admit that in some deep sense, there is more than a
little justification for his words.

After stating that someone who stabs an IDF soldier is not a terrorist, he claimed at the end of the week that: "Before 1948 the British Mandate
was here. Etzel, Lehi and the Haganah, all of the Jewish Underground organizations acted against the soldiers of the British Mandate in order to bring about your state, which has become an amazing state. Why is this prohibited to the Palestinians?"

This claim has some truth. What actually is the essential difference between a terrorist who stabs an IDF soldier and the hanging of two

We did not want to destroy Britain. The Arabs, however, want to destroy the State of Israel.
British sergeants in 1947 (Editor's note: The Jewish underground group Irgun kidnapped two British Army sergeants and threatened to kill them if the death sentences passed on three Irgun militants by the British were carried out. When the three men were executed by hanging, the Irgun killed the two sergeants, an act condemned by many Jews as well as the British).  And making the question even sharper: what is the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter?

One of the just claims made by Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir and their comrades in the underground was: contrary to the Palestinian terror organizations, we were careful not to harm civilians. We struck only soldiers. This was where we drew our ethical line. We, unlike Arab terrorists, only wanted to drive out the British. 

We did not want to destroy Britain. The Arabs, however, want to destroy the State of Israel.

This claim was true. In the first 40 years of the state, Arab terror focused on murdering civilians, and avoided taking on armed soldiers.
The first time that any Arab terrorist carried out a planned attack against a military base was the "Night of the Gliders" at the Gibor
Base near Kiryat Shmona in November 1987. But since then there have been quite a few terror acts against military bases.

And here comes Zuhair Bahloul and makes exactly this distinction. We should listen to everything he said. "I think that every person who
harms innocent people is, of course, an assailant who deserves the most severe punishment, and these things of course must be said
without hesitation. He (the Palestinian) deserves the most severe punishment, but this is what the State of Israel's legal bodies are
for."

Bahloul created a complex distinction: absolute revulsion towards the murder of civilians, but understanding for the murder of soldiers. Opposition to Israeli control in Judea and Samaria, but recognition of the State of Israel.

So what really is the difference between Arab terror on the one hand and Etzel and Lehi on the other?

The contortions and mumbling that come from the Left's spokespeople, especially concerning Bahloul's words, proves that this mirror that
was set up by an MK from their own camp – reflects upon them. Because to me, like most of those who read this column (on Arutz 7), of
course, the answer is clear: there is no similarity between terror organizations and the Jewish underground, because the British were
foreigners in our land.

The State of Israel is not a foreign occupier in Judea and Samaria.

The People of Israel is not a foreign occupier in the Land of Israel. Therefore the IDF soldiers are not occupiers in Hevron. They are
defending their country. The British were one of a series of peoples that occupied the Land of Israel: the Babylonians, the Greeks, the
Romans, the Byzantines, the Muslims, the Mamelukes and the Turks. It doesn't matter who occupied the Land, since there was only one people that never ceased yearning for it: the People of Israel.

The British controlled the Land for 30 years. In the last 68 years we have not seen even minimal longings from any British person for the Land of Israel. For 2000 years, the People of Israel never ceased praying for the return to Zion; Zion being the whole of Jerusalem, as well as
Hevron as part of Judea and Samaria.

It is a problem for the Left, as well as for those elements in Likud that portray themselves as rightists, because they have a hard time
saying that Israeli control in Hevron is not occupation. On the contrary, they are the ones who carry the banner of the occupation,
and the demand to end it. If also according to the Left's point of view we are occupiers in Hevron – then Bahloul is right!  And the
condemnations of Eitan Cabel, Yitzhak Herzog, Shelly Yachimovitch and their partners become pathetic.

But it is also difficult for the Likud to deal with the claim, because its leader also still advocates the concept of two states for two peoples . Meaning: Even in Netanyahu's point of view we are occupiers. 

There is one way to make clear to the entire world that the State of Israel is not an occupying power: to apply Israeli law over Judea and Samaria, and if it is not possible to do this immediately in the territories of the Palestinian Authority because of the Oslo Accords that have not yet been nullified, and because we fear the possible diplomatic difficulties, we must do it at least in all of Area C, which constitute 60 percent of the territory of Judea and Samaria.

This will be an unambiguous declaration to the entire world: the State of Israel is not an occupying force. Judea and Samaria are a key part of the Land of Israel, the land of the Jewish People. And if there is no occupation, there are no freedom fighters but only terrorists, and that is the way we must treat them.

This article appeared in Hebrew on Arutz 7 and was translated by Sally Zahav for Women in Green as a public service
 




top