Sunday, March 28, 2004

Appalling reactions

The External Affairs Ministry said India was ‘appalled’ by the assassination of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. An Israeli Air Force helicopter gunship fired three missiles and rid the Palestinian militant movement of its “spiritual leader” a few days ago.

Why? This killing would only accelerate the vicious cycle of violence in the Middle East. But shouldn’t we leave that to Israel, which would bear the brunt of Palestinian outrage and human bombs. Or should we object to killing of terrorist leaders by any country and call it appalling?

Yes you read right. Yassin was the leader of a terrorist organisation that turned teenage boys and young girls into live bombs. A woman would walk into a restaurant and blow herself to kill people. A boy would get on a bus and blow up himself to kill 20 other office-goers for the Palestinian cause.

While the world must offer unflinching support to the Palestinian people in their struggle for end of occupation and their right to live in peace, it has to distinguish between the struggle and mindless killing of innocent minds.

Sheikh Yassin is from the same extremist school of thought as Ayman al-Zawahiri, Ossama bin Laden’s right hand man. Al-Zawahiri went on to found the Islamic Jihad in Egypt, which has ended up killing hundreds of thousands of Egyptians, including Anwar al-Sadat. He and Osama bin Laden have founded the world’s biggest terrorist organisation —al-Qaeda.

Yassin began Hamas, which has been involved in an armed struggle with Israel. He was the modern-day mastermind of suicide bombings. He was no Yasser Arafat, who also is headstrong and has even led an armed struggle.

But Arafat accepts that negotiations do happen and that enemies do sit across the table and talk.
Yassin never believed in peace.

He was wrongly referred as a spiritual leader. He was the leader who did not recognise Israel’s right to exist. He wanted all of the land for Hamas. He wanted to send death to Jews. In the process, he ended up killing more Palestinians than Israeli Jews. Death caught up with him.

The world has been outraged over the use of children as soldiers in wars in Africa. Yassin was not just using them as soldiers but also as weapons. The world is better place without a terrorist mastermind like him. His death can’t be so appalling. His death saves the world the pain of hundred other deaths.

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