Israel’s Terrorist Aid

The Israeli government's decision to demolish the family home of a Palestinian who rammed his car into a group of pedestrians, killing two, was callous and counterproductive. By punishing people whose only known offense is being related to a criminal, Israel has discredited itself, which is precisely the terrorists' goal.

NEW YORK – The decision by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government to demolish the family home of Abdelrahman al-Shaludi, a Palestinian who rammed his car into a group of pedestrians, killing two (including a three-month-old baby), was both callous and counterproductive. By punishing people whose only known offense was being related to a criminal, Israel inadvertently shifted the focus from the attack, the perpetrator of which was killed immediately after his crime, to Israel’s apparent embrace of a policy of collective punishment.

If Israel’s principal concern is deterring terrorist attacks, it should be doing everything in its power to ensure that such acts are universally condemned. This includes making sure that people who carry out attacks, and those who aid and abet their crimes, are lawfully punished.

Punishing terrorists’ families and neighbors, or those who share their ethnic and religious identity, has the opposite effect, intensifying hostility toward Israel and dissipating the moral outrage that should be mobilized against the actual perpetrators of terrorism. As observers increasingly equate the two sides, regarding both as victims and victimizers alike, international support and sympathy for Israel wanes.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in;
  1. An employee works at a chemical fiber weaving company VCG/Getty Images

    China in the Lead?

    For four decades, China has achieved unprecedented economic growth under a centralized, authoritarian political system, far outpacing growth in the Western liberal democracies. So, is Chinese President Xi Jinping right to double down on authoritarianism, and is the “China model” truly a viable rival to Western-style democratic capitalism?

  2. The assembly line at Ford Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

    Whither the Multilateral Trading System?

    The global economy today is dominated by three major players – China, the EU, and the US – with roughly equal trading volumes and limited incentive to fight for the rules-based global trading system. With cooperation unlikely, the world should prepare itself for the erosion of the World Trade Organization.

  3. Donald Trump Saul Loeb/Getty Images

    The Globalization of Our Discontent

    Globalization, which was supposed to benefit developed and developing countries alike, is now reviled almost everywhere, as the political backlash in Europe and the US has shown. The challenge is to minimize the risk that the backlash will intensify, and that starts by understanding – and avoiding – past mistakes.

  4. A general view of the Corn Market in the City of Manchester Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

    A Better British Story

    Despite all of the doom and gloom over the United Kingdom's impending withdrawal from the European Union, key manufacturing indicators are at their highest levels in four years, and the mood for investment may be improving. While parts of the UK are certainly weakening economically, others may finally be overcoming longstanding challenges.

  5. UK supermarket Waring Abbott/Getty Images

    The UK’s Multilateral Trade Future

    With Brexit looming, the UK has no choice but to redesign its future trading relationships. As a major producer of sophisticated components, its long-term trade strategy should focus on gaining deep and unfettered access to integrated cross-border supply chains – and that means adopting a multilateral approach.

  6. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now