Does Swedish Prime Minister consider that the targeting of
Israeli children by Palestinian groups “makes the world
understand what times we are living in, and what types of “crimes
and terror we have to deal with”?
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, following
“There are no reasons imaginable that could justify
taking children, toddlers, babies and their mothers hostages”
Our comment: In 1974 Palestinian terrorists seized 26 Israeli
schoolchildren in the northern Israeli town of Maalot, held
them hostage, and then killed them all when Israeli forces tried
to rescue the children. Palestinian terrorists carried out child
hostage-taking 30 years ago.
French Foreign Ministry, post-Beslan statement
“Everyone must mobilise in the fight against terrorism….”
Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot on behalf of
the European Union:
“We have been confronted with a deep human tragedy….
Beslan shows once again that we have to do everything
in our power to confront terrorism…”
British Foreign Minister Jack Straw, following
“Terrorism is something which affects us all and
requires us to show complete solidity and unanimity in
the way in which we fight it….” (The Times
4 September 2004)
Beyond Images Conclusion
Israeli children are routinely targeted by Palestinian terrorists,
deliberately and ruthlessly. When children were killed in Beslan,
the condemnations by European politicians were unqualified.
Will European politicians and opinion-formers apply consistent
standards to Palestinian terrorism, or will they continue to
look all too readily for explanations and excuses for that terrorism?
Jack Straw’s appeal to the international community following
Beslan to “show unanimity” in the fight against
terrorism, and Ben Bot’s rallying cry to do “everything
in our power to confront terrorism” should each be applied
consistently as the basis for Israel’s right to defend
Selective outrage in the face of terrorism actually fuels that
terrorism, by giving those who carry out attacks the sense that
outsiders are sympathetic to them.
The reality is that Palestinian terrorism is not the solution
to the Palestinian peoples’ plight but, in large measure,
the cause of it.