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August 09, 2002 - Image 22

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-08-09

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Moral Crossroads

With terror increasing, Sharon faces pressure for ever-harsher measures.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency

"They don't send their children to
be" suicide bombers, Lieberman said
in an early August radio interview.
"They send their children overseas.
And if they knew their own lives were
in danger, the terror would stop."
But Sharon is showing no sign of
responding to the right-wing demands.

singularly unsuccessful. Opinion polls
show that the Palestinian public over-
whelmingly supports suicide bomb-
ings, despite the harsh Israeli counter-
s Palestinian terrorism takes
measures they provoke.
an ever-increasing toll,
Sharon has another reason for reject-
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
ing the right-wing pressure: He does not
Sharon is seeking to walk a
want to jeopardize major political gains,
fine line: taking tougher measures
like strong U.S. support for Israel,
to deter terrorists without escalat-
and international pressure on the
ing the situation further.
Palestinians to replace Arafat and
The volume of terror continues
reform the Palestinian Authority's
— 13 people died and more than
e s,
- political, financial and military
80 were wounded in a series of
attacks on Aug. 4 alone —
Still, the pressure from the
despite the fact that the army has
right, and the new tone in the
been in West Bank cities for seven
public debate, raises the funda-
weeks, keeping nearly 2 million
mental question of how far a
Palestinians under curfew.
democracy can or must go to
Figures released this week show
defend its citizens. Are actions
that more than 600 Israelis, most
permissible in a state of war that
of them civilians, have been killed
would not be acceptable in
since the Palestinian intifada
peacetime? In other words, can a
(uprising) began in September
democracy win the war against
2000, and more than 4,000
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon looks at a jeep
terror while maintaining the full
wounded. Right-wing critics now damaged during an attack by terrorists on a military
gamut of democratic values?
are demanding harsher action
base near Ramallah on Aug. 6
And if not, just how much can
against Palestinian leaders and the
it reasonably suspend?
Palestinian population as a whole.
In July, the Israeli govern-
Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the
On the contrary, he continues to dis-
ment sought to deter would-be suicide
National Union-Israel, Our Home bloc tinguish between the Palestinian popu-
bombers by making it clear that their
in the Knesset, says the army should
lation, whose suffering he says he wants close relatives would suffer for their
have no compunction about targeting
to ease, and the terrorist organizations.
actions: houses would be demolished-
political leaders like Palestinian
and families expelled from the West
Authority leader Yasser Arafat or
Bank to the Gaza Strip. On Aug. 4
Wedge Strategy
Hamas leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin,
alone, the government destroyed nine
who he says are behind the terrorism.
Sharon's aides say the prime minister
hopes to drive a wedge between the
Israeli human rights organizations
Leslie Susser is the diplomatic-
Palestinian population and the terror-
were sharply critical of the new policy,
correspondent for the Jerusalem Report.
ists — a strategy that so far has been
arguing that it violated a cardinal prin-



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UNDER FIRE from page 20

Davis says she wants to return to
Israel next summer and still is con-
sidering. making aliyah.

A Narrow Miss

8/ 9



"I was horrified when I heard the
news," said Betty Stasson of West
Bloomfield, who has family in Israel.
The first thing she did is call her
Israeli niece, Ruthie Margalit, a doctor
who is doing special work at Johns
Hopkins University in Baltimore.
It was just one of many calls that

would be made before Betty found out
if her great-niece was safe.
Dr. Margalit hadn't heard the news,
so she called her sister, Anat Hargil, in
Haifa, whose daughter Adaya Hargil
attends Hebrew University on Mt.
Scopus. Anat called Adaya's boyfriend
and finally they located Adaya. She
was safe, but the bomb came close.
"Adaya was walking out of the cafe-
teria when the bomb exploded. She
turned around and saw what hap-
pened. Thank God, she wasn't
injured," Stasson said.
"It's insane. I don't like to hear that
this is done out of desperation. You

don't kill innocent people and take
your own life out of desperation.
They're nuts."
Geri Levitt, the sister of Stasson's
husband, Jerome, also sweated out the
bombing until she heard her niece was
fine. Levitt, host of Congregation
Shaarey Zedek's public access televi-
sion program, had her own explana-
tion for those who would commit
such acts of terrorism.
"They are evil, that is all you can
say," she said. "At least when the
Israelis make a mistake, they apologize
and want to give money and help the
people. But these murderers have no

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