A couple weeks back I said that no American newspaper would print a piece by the great Henry Siegman, the former American Jewish Congress president who has become outspoken on the need for Israel to deal fairly with the Palestinians.
I was wrong. Yesterday’s LA Times has a stunning article by Siegman saying that there is a moral equivalence between Palestinian suicide bombers and the Israeli rocket attacks that mistakenly kill innocent Palestinians. He argues that the Israeli attacks are a cynical effort to sustain the violence, thereby “shattering an entire people” and avoiding a just peace with the Palestinians, at the pre-1967 borders.
The vast disproportion between Palestinian civilian casualties from Israeli “mistakes” and Israeli casualties from Palestinian terrorist assaults also brings into question the distinction between the two. It suggests that the killing of Palestinian civilians is, at the very least, more a matter of Israeli indifference than a mistake. Not a single Israeli has been killed by a Kassam rocket since Israel’s disengagement from Gaza last year, although during this period Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli artillery and airstrikes virtually on a daily basis. (According to B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights group, Israeli forces have killed about 3,400 Palestinians since the intifada started, and Palestinians have killed about 1,000 Israelis).