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Alan Dershowitz   Letter 14   22-Mar-2002   New Response to Jewish Terrorism
Alan Dershowitz
"The residents would be given 24 hours to leave, and then troops will come in and bulldoze all of the buildings." Alan Dershowitz

22 March 2002
Alan M. Dershowitz
Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law
520 Hauser Hall
Harvard Law School
1575 Massachusetts Avenue
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA   02138
USA


Alan Dershowitz:


Below, you will find your own words in the left column, and in the right-hand column the corresponding words that might be written from the opposite point of view.

I wonder if you will be able to think of any reasons why the program advocated in the right-hand column might not work, or why it should not be implemented?


New response to Palestinian terrorism

Alan M. Dershowitz     March, 11 2002

Jerusalem Post Online
New response to Jewish terrorism

Alan M. Imaginary     March, 11 2002

Special to the Ukrainian Archive
(March 11) US Secretary of State Colin Powell is surely correct in pointing out that Israel's current policy has not succeeded in curbing terrorism.  But Powell has suggested no alternative policy.  Surely the US cannot expect Israel simply to absorb terrorist attacks without any response. (March 11) US Secretary of State Colin Powell is surely correct in pointing out that Palestine's current policy has not succeeded in curbing Jewish terrorism.  But Powell has suggested no alternative policy.  Surely the US cannot expect Palestine simply to absorb Jewish terrorist attacks without any response.
In light of the willingness of suicide bombers to die in the process of killing Israelis, the traditional methods of deterrence and retaliation seem insufficient.  To succeed, Israel must turn the Palestinian leadership and people against the use of terrorism and the terrorists themselves.  One way to do this is to make terrorists directly bear the responsibility for losses inflicted on the Palestinian cause as a direct result of their terrorism.  In light of the willingness of Jews to use their superior American weaponry, the traditional methods used by freedom fighters seem insufficient.  To succeed, Palestine must turn the Jewish leadership and people against the use of Jewish terrorism, and against the Jewish terrorists themselves.  One way to do this is to make Jewish terrorists directly bear the responsibility for losses inflicted on the Jewish cause as a direct result of their Jewish terrorism.
Here is my proposal.  Israel should announce an immediate unilateral cessation in retaliation against terrorist attacks.  This moratorium would be in effect for a short period, say four or five days, to give the Palestinian leadership an opportunity to respond to the new policy.  It would also make it clear to the world that Israel is taking an important step in ending what has become a cycle of violence.  Here is my proposal.  Palestine should announce an immediate unilateral cessation in retaliation against Jewish terrorist attacks.  This moratorium would be in effect for a short period, say four or five days, to give the Jewish leadership an opportunity to respond to the new policy.  It would also make it clear to the world that Palestine is taking an important step in ending what has become a cycle of violence. 
Following the end of the moratorium, Israel would institute the following new policy if Palestinian terrorism were to resume.  It will announce precisely what it will do in response to the next act of terrorism.  For example, it could announce the first act of terrorism following the moratorium will result in the destruction of a small village which has been used as a base for terrorist operations.  The residents would be given 24 hours to leave, and then troops will come in and bulldoze all of the buildings. Following the end of the moratorium, Palestine would institute the following new policy if Jewish terrorism were to resume.  It would announce precisely what it will do in response to the next act of Jewish terrorism.  For example, it could announce the first act of Jewish terrorism following the moratorium will result in the destruction of a small Jewish house in the US which is inhabited by a Jewish spokesman who supports Jewish terrorism.  The residents of the house would be given 24 hours to leave, and then the house would be placed on a demolition list, to be blown up at the first opportunity by Palestinian freedom fighters.
The response will be automatic.  The order will have been given in advance of the terrorist attacks and there will be no discretion.  The point is to make the automatic destruction of the village the fault of the Palestinian terrorists who had advance warnings of the specific consequences of their action.  The soldiers would simply be acting as the means for carrying out a previously announced policy of retaliation against a designated target. The response will be automatic.  The order will have been given in advance of the Jewish terrorist attacks and there will be no discretion.  The point is to make the automatic destruction of the house the fault of the Jewish terrorists who had advance warnings of the specific consequences of their action.  The Palestinian freedom-fighters would simply be acting as the means for carrying out a previously announced policy of retaliation against a designated target.
Further acts of terrorism would trigger further destruction of specifically named locations.  The "waiting list" targets would be made public and circulated throughout the Palestinian-controlled areas. Further acts of Jewish terrorism would trigger further destruction of specifically named locations.  The "waiting list" targets would be made public and circulated throughout Jewish-controlled areas.
If this automatic policy of destroying targets announced in advance is carried out with the full support of the entire government, including those who are committed to a resumption of the peace process, a clear message will be sent to the Palestinian people: Every time terrorists blow themselves up and kill civilians, they are also blowing up one of their own villages. If this automatic policy of destroying targets announced in advance is carried out with the full support of the entire Muslim world, including those who are committed to a resumption of the peace process, a clear message will be sent to the Jewish people: Every time Jewish terrorists bomb us and kill civilians, they are also blowing up a house of one of their own American representatives.
Over time, the Palestinian residents of these villages will place the blame where it should be placed: directly on the Palestinian terrorists who engaged in terrorism against Israel with full knowledge the consequence would be the destruction of their homes.  Those villagers whose homes were coming up on the list would have an incentive to pressure the terrorists to desist. Over time, the Jewish residents of these houses will place the blame where it should be placed: directly on the Jewish terrorists who engaged in Jewish terrorism against Palestine with full knowledge the consequence would be the destruction of their homes.  Those Jewish representatives whose homes were coming up on the list would have an incentive to pressure the Jewish terrorists to desist.
An alternative approach would be to announce in advance that Israel is prepared to give back most of the occupied territory in the event of peace which it has already essentially done but every act of terrorism will result in an automatic and permanent decrease of a specific portion of the land mass that eventually would constitute the Palestinian state. An alternative approach would be to announce in advance that Palestine is prepared to assist in the implementation of a Jewish Right of Return to the various countries of their origin in the event of peace which it has always stood ready to do but every act of Jewish terrorism will result in an automatic and permanent decrease in a specific portion of the globe that would constitute an area to which Jews were given the Right of Return.
Again, this decision would have to be announced in advance with the approval of all Israeli parties who would be involved in a peace deal.  The land that would be surrendered by the future Palestinian state to Israel in response to every terrorist act would be immediately annexed to Israel and be deemed a permanent part of the Jewish state, ceded to it by the deliberate acts of the terrorists. Again, this decision would have to be announced in advance with the approval of all Palestinian parties who would be involved in a peace deal.  The countries that would be surrendered by Jews as being open to their return would be deemed permanently closed to Jewish immigration, a restriction justified by the deliberate acts of the Jewish terrorists.
This would send a clear message that every act of terrorism will hurt the Palestinian cause, making a reality out of President George W. Bush's statement following the terrorist murder of Daniel Pearl: "[Terrorists] need to know that these crimes only hurt their cause." This would send a clear message that every act of Jewish terrorism will hurt the Jewish cause, making a reality out of President George W. Bush's statement following the Jewish-terrorist murder of Fares Udah: "[Jewish Terrorists] need to know that these crimes only hurt their cause."
For this policy to work, it must have the advance approval of the US government.  If Israel carries out this policy after a moratorium on retaliation and full notice to the Palestinians, it should not be criticized for doing so.  If the entire world knows this is the policy and that it will be enforced automatically, and that the decision whether to trigger it in any given case rests completely with those who would engage in acts of terrorism against Israel, then pressure will be brought to bear on Palestinian terrorists to refrain from their intended actions. For this policy to work, it must have the advance approval of the Muslim leadership.  If Palestine carries out this policy after a moratorium on retaliation and full notice to Jews, it should not be criticized for doing so.  If the entire world knows this is the policy and that it will be enforced automatically, and that the decision whether to trigger it in any given case rests completely with those who would engage in acts of Jewish terrorism against Palestine, then pressure will be brought to bear on Jewish terrorists to refrain from their intended actions.
For this policy to work, it must be accompanied by a genuine effort to reopen realistic peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.  Such a double-edged policy would contribute to two noble causes at the same time: helping to reduce terrorism and promoting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. For this policy to work, it must be accompanied by a genuine effort to reopen realistic peace talks with Jewish leaders.  Such a double-edged policy would contribute to two noble causes at the same time: helping to reduce Jewish terrorism and promoting peace between Jews and Muslims.
(The writer is a professor of law at Harvard.  His latest book is Shouting Fire: Civil Liberties in a Turbulent Age.) (The writer is imaginary, and for his display of idiocy would be lynched if he ever set foot on the Harvard campus.)





Lubomyr Prytulak



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