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Reflections on Ethics 43
The Evil in Terrorism

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On Monday, a young Palestinian woman was caught trying to enter Israel with 10 kilograms of explosive sewn into her underwear. Her intention was to set off the bomb in the Israeli hospital where she was being freely treated for the burns she had suffered in a kitchen accident. Her intention was to kill the doctors and nurses treating her along with her fellow patients.

What is the purpose of such an attack? It has no conceivable military purpose. It would in no way be the smallest step towards a victory over Israel. It would in no way help the Palestinian people, rather it would hurt them by denying them access to Israeli hospitals.

The immediate purpose of this attack would be to strengthen the hands of those in Israel opposed to a peaceful settlement, and thereby indirectly strengthen the hands of the Palestinian militants.

The purpose is to continue an unwinable interminable war, rather than to work towards a lasting peace. The purpose is to keep the militants in power while the Palestinian people are ground down in abject poverty. The purpose is power, not victory, not peace. The purpose is entirely evil.

And the object of the attack itself - a civilian hospital - that makes this a war crime. If the Palestinian government had any courage, an attribute it sadly lacks, it would prosecute those behind this crime.

I'm not going to suggest the Palestinians don't have valid grievances. They do. But to engage in this type of illegal act undermines the legitimacy of their case. There is no excuse. This attempted suicide attack was pure evil, evil in deed, evil in purpose.