Should Mossad carry out extrajudicial killings?
The killing of a Hamas chief in a Dubai hotel room by alleged Mossad agents travelling on counterfeited British passports of olim has led Gordon Brown to announce an inquiry by the Serious Organised Crime and Fraud Agency (Soca). The Hamas official had been wanted for the capture and murder of two Israeli soldiers in 1989 and for the smuggling of weapons into the Gaza Strip – he was allegedly on his way to Iran to secure an arms deal. Is this ‘liquidation’ policy the best way of dealing with the threat of terrorism? Or can extrajudicial killing, even of terrorists, simply not be condoned?
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
Keeps terrorists busy escaping assassination
Way back when the British ruled what was then Palestine, Jewish underground leaders Menachem Begin and Yair Stern had to keep on the run and change addresses almost nightly to avoid detection.
Back then it was merely a fear of capture (although Geoffrey Morton, the police officer who arrested Yair Stern, cowardly shot him in the back). Now, Arab terrorists have to keep on the run and fear not only targeted killing (supposedly) Mossad-style, but also unarmed drones in the sky as used by the USA in
When you have such fears, you cannot function normally. The occasional assassination serves to keep the danger real, quite apart from serving justice for murderers such as Al-Mabhouh, who would never have been brought to justice thru any legally-acceptable channels.
The US kills Al Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan with unmanned drones so it’s hypocritical to talk of extrajudicial killings.
You only need look at 'Operation Mincemeat' to see that the UK too has used forged passports in its own espionage operations.
Targeted killing is legitimate self-defence.
I remember some years ago the British "attemping" an extra-judicial hit on some IRA members in Gibralter, (I said attempting as, if you remember it failed), nevertheless, why all the hypocracy from the Brits now?
The fact that five Al-Queda operatives were allegedly killed in Pakistan; at the cost of the lives of 700 innocent people is hardly an argument for repeating such atrocities.
Even the Washington Post says "Al-Queda operative "apparently" killed in Pakistan."
U.S law and most human rights organizations oppose the killings of hordes of innocent people as well as terror-suspects(who may or may not be guilty but should be assumed "innocent until proven guilty" if American justice has a say in it.)
That others do it and that Mossad has done it before is not an argument that they should do it now, there are differing circumstances between nations and times.
A lot is put down to precedent when it should not be, in this case the precedent should make no difference in whether they should carry out extrajudicial killings and similarly "this" should be no reason not to.
When a country claims that something is wrong and then goes ahead and does it on the basis that other people do it; it is quite simply: hypocrisy/double-standards/injustice.
nations should not be let off like teenagers who submit to peer pressure and the like. In fact; even teenagers suffer consequences even in that circumstance.
Occasionally states need to get their hands dirty and be willing to engage in practices that might outrage us as individual citizens. This is why states need secret services, so that they can deny it and do things that are outside the public eye, this is why the existance of MI6 was denied for so long. In the case of Mossad they are a secret service for a state that faces a threat that could see the state wiped out. It is therefore right that it should be willing to do anything to protect the state of Israel and this would include killing. The people who Mossad kills are prople who are engaging in practices that are threatening to israel, they are either terrorists who have killed or been involved in killing themselves or are the people who supply arm to those people.
The USA has just killed a dozen or more civillians while attempting to kill a few Taliban. The killing of the Hamas terrorist involved no civillian casualties. Who ever did the assasination should be applauded.
National security should not trump the right to life. A state does not have a right to go around murdering people no matter what they were doing. Mossad has engaged in kidnapping people to put them on trial and put them in prision such as with numerous ex nazis and Mordechi Vanunu. Why could they not have done so in this case, it seems that they had plenty of time in which to do so. It seems that they simply murdered because it was simpler and took less time. Simple ease should not be the motivation of a state killing.
How else do you fight terrorism?
Israel is facing an immense terrorist threat. Terrorism is not something that is easy to counter. There is often no central country that can be invaded to destroy the core of a terrorist group as there was in 2001 when the USA invaded Afghanistan. And even if there was there would be many lives killed and international condemnation. Assassination is one of very few ways to fight such terrorists. Killing them prevents them from engaging in attacks and disrupts their networks, while capturing them would be useful this is often not possible.
Capture would not be possible because the war against terrorism is if possible fought away from a the state's own home country in order to limit casualties and the chances of the terrorist to engage in his terrorist attack. Other countries object as much to kidnapping from their territory as they do murder on their soil. Unlike the USA who is able to persuade or buy other countries into supporting their conflicts this is not always possible for smaller countries such as Israel who do not have the influence or resources. Arab states are never going to help Israel murder or kidnap palestinians and other islamic terrorists on their soil even if they themselves are happy for those targeted to be disposed of.
Countries have never objected to kidnapping terror-suspects and torturing them unlawfully in extra-territorial prisons.
Countries(via coalition forces) have sold terror-suspects they've captured to the U.S for this purpose.
International Human rights Organizations, oppose these acts not countries; mind you.
Point being, most terror suspects(ranging from Somalis, Filipinos,Yugoslavs,Arabs,British and even American[[http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/04/AR2010010400800.html]] in a recent case) have been to the U.S(and her allies) and were not killed nor captured there because murdering a thousand people to catch 5 suspects is impossible/impermissible/unacceptable on U.S soil; mainly because it is inhuman.
Mossad has no right to take the U.S's 'bad behavior' as an excuse to take lives.
There is no such thing as a disproportionate response to calls for genocide
Every day, throughout the Arab world calls for the genocide of Jews and the eradication of Israel are a part of the fabric of those societies.
State sponsored and controlled school curriculum, media and even religious instruction all reinforce that truth.
Israel has every right to defend herself as she sees fit. History has taught that no matter how well meaning, Europeans and others cannot be counted on to stand up. When push comes to shove, Jews are best served when acting in their own defense.
That Hamas was freely elected is of little import. Hitler too, came to power by manipulating the democratic process. Had the allies bombed Berlin in 1939, up to 50 million lives would have been spared. Hitler tried to camouflage his actions- Hamas cannot be bothered. The people of Gaza knew exactly who and what they were voting for.
Given that Hamas and much of the Arab world have repeatedly 'promise to finish what Hitler started', Israel's actions ought not cause anyone a moments loss of sleep.
This is such a dangerous concept I can't believe it is made. What else in the world can we grant carte blanche freedom to our rulers to circumvent all concepts of human rights. To me it is like the 'One Percent Doctrine'. That is if there one percent risk of terrorist attack on US, they must act as if a certainty! The political 'principle of proportionality' to which I subscribe is that governments should only act as far as is necessary. That is, as far as is necessary. There can be no rational reason for going beyond this idea! When two waring factions continually look to present 'credible deterrence' every threat must be met with ultimate anger and aggression, retribution must always be sought. There can be no peace without an end to this mentality. This mentality will not end until the people are brave and back an inspirational leader willing to extend an olive branch.
Why should the terrorists get a better deal than their victims?
One who kills innocent people for no reason deserves to be killed as well. They don't deserve to be warned, they don't deserve to go to jail for any amount of time, they deserve to be killed, just what they did to others. The current situation in Israel, where murderers walk free after a short prison sentence, is ridiculous- the victims families will be forever without their loved ones, and the people who killed them get to play with their children and grandchildren. People who kill deserve no mercy- they should get what they asked for- blood and tears.
Getting killed seems to me to be a considerably worse deal than criminals get. If you are able to kill someone using a hit squad you could at least attempt to arrest (kidnap!) them and take them to trial.
The palestinians must also feel the same way about the way that Israeli soldiers dont even get a prision sentance after launching attacks on Palestine. See the equality!
If it waddles like justice, has a bill like justice, and quacks like justice . . . it's probably justice
The concept of proactive self defense can be defined just as broadly as the concepts of oppression and subjugation to justify/excuse some nasty behavior. The symmetry is irrefutable; one's enemy and his sympathizers would have to be profoundly naive and hypocritical to expect softer and more measured responses than they themselves can apparently easily find ways to justify. To paraphrase Tony Soprano: "That's on page one of the godfather playbook."
How can it be justice without any checks and balances? In this particular incident mossad got their man no problem but what happens when there is mistaken identity and the wrong person is killed or someone gets caught in the middle and killed, then there is no way it could be considered justice.
How do oppression and subjugation justify nasty behaviour? They dont. Yes attempts to throw off such subjugation can result in ugly scenes (usually caused by the oppressors) but that does not mean those involved should get off at the end of it.
Symmetry is not a very good idea because then Mossad would sometimes have to be blowing up hamas people with suicide bombs which would be both wasteful of manpower and fraught with danger to bystanders.
Murder is murder
Israel makes no distinction between its extra judicial killings of those who have killed soldiers or citizens.
Extrajudicial killing, targeted killing, liquidation, preventative strike, targeted thwarting or interception are all just synonyms for murder, and a gross violation of human rights.
It is not about one group being worth more, or having more human rights than the other. It is wrong for terrorists to take the lives of Israelis but it is just as wrong for the Israeli state to carry out extrajudicial killings.
And John Stewart,Noam Chomsky and many many Rabbis are antisemitic despite being Jews themselves.
Speaking up against an atrocity does not make a person; "antisemitic".
The Jewish people(just like the Arab-Semites,Orientals,Whites, Blacks,Browns etc) are not Sacrosanct; there are murderers,thieves and wrongdoers in that race just as there are in every other.
"Human Rights" has become the Politically (in) Correct buzzword of our time. It is taking Democracy in a direction which is too far, too far to the left.
The idea that an enemy whos avowed aim is your destruction is somehow entitled to protection or his "Human Rights" are more sacrocant than the hundreds of innocent lives his terror group has been responsible for and would be responsible for going forward is laughable.
it is another example of how the "left" have hijacked the media and have attempeted to influence public opinion. However, thankfully, more and more of the "silent majority" of law abiding citizens are starting to speak out agaisnt the "left wingers" ideology.
For the greater good and for the safety of Jews living in Israel and the disapora the policy of targetting enemies, wherever they may be, has to be continued with.
The number one priority is for Israel to look after Jews.
Thankfully Israel has the means to do this.
All other Countries have their secret services and where neccessary will all act to truy and protect their citizens.
But once again, when Israel acts the balagan of left wingers and do gooders are there to climb on their Galloway and Jackson driven antisemitic bandwagon.
They damage Israel's foreign relations & reputation
Carrying out killings on foreign territory without the approval of the government of that territory is unlikely to be viewed sympathetically - particularly if that country's citizens are put at risk as a result (e.g. due to the method or location of the attack or due to the use of forged documents that implicate innocent people).
Leaving aside any moral implications from that, such actions are likely to produce negative publicity and negative diplomatic reactions from other states. Israel's public reputation is likely to be harmed by the impression given by such actions that Israel is willing to endanger foreign civilians to achieve its goals - and in countries used to the rule of law, that they are prepared to assassinate individuals rather than engage in a judicial process. Extrajudicial killings may therefore cause more harm to Israel's interests than good.
An extra-judicial killing could be seen as a surgical solution to a particular troublesome individual, and certainly less evil than military operations against neighbourhoods suspected of containing 'terrorists'.
Although I would have thought it would have been more useful to have kidnapped the individual and held him to ransom.
No solution to the conflict
Extra-judicial killing is illegal, immoral, contributes in no way to a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and can only serve to further delegitimize Israel in the eyes of the world.
There will be no shortage of volunteers to replace any that they kill - the longer the conflict continues the more Palestinians will see no way out but to attack Israel.
The only solution is to negotiate and compromise - as the UK appears to have managed with Northern Ireland. The alternative is to repeat the Nazi 'final solution' which would be an horrendous irony. Unfortunately blood tends to lead to more blood as it is vengence people want when someone is killed.
Maybe the killing of murderers doesn't win the war, but it brings victory of a battle. If the Palestinians see that they will be made accountable for their actions, and will be killed for killing others, they may think twice before killing others.
We Need Human Rights to Guard Against the 'Caprice of Man' !
We need a documented rule of law in order to draw a thought out ethical line in the sand which we will not cross. Man in a moments anger, can easily rationalise any action as necessary in order to allow his base nature to pacify his fury. The 'Right' in question here being that of a 'Right to a Fair Trial' where evidence shall be produced. Errotion of rights are not an abstract myth which you remain untouched by. Corruption and perversion by power, of process, to meet its goal of appeasing masses is indeed real. To many think selfishly of their immediate family and selves with no thought to their many generations to follow who might be blighted with wrongful convictions, assisination, etc. You only need to look to Britain and the execution of Jean Charles de Menezes as to what exessive fear can bring to know this is a real risk !
But if there is someone who has been violating these same human rights and cannot be brought to justice by normal means because he is given sanctuary or the countries he is in/travels too just dont care then what do you do? Allow them to go on and violate more human rights - plan more killings, or end the threat?
What do you think?