Monday, December 13, 2004

Don't dishonor soldiers by calling them terror victims

This post may upset some people.

It's certainly terrible that five Israel Defense Forces soldiers were killed Sunday by a bomb planted in a tunnel dug beneath an army checkpost in the Gaza Strip. But is it terror?

In the same article about the Gaza bombing, Haaretz quotes Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as saying the Palestinian Authority is doing nothing against terror. Here's the Haaretz excerpt:

Speaking to journalists Monday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said he did not see any change in the Palestinian Authority's efforts to fight terrorism.

Progress in peace efforts, Sharon said, "depends on the Palestinians, if they will act against terror."

"By now, we don't see any change," he said, speaking in English.

"Myself and my government would like to move forward toward peace, but it depends on one thing, that it should be quiet and I'm really sorry to say that by now we don't see any changes," he added.

But it's not really clear whether Sharon was talking about the Gaza bombing. I wouldn't be surprised if he was, because Israel tends to label all Palestinian atacks as terror.

But don't soldiers deserve a bit more credit? Calling the attack an act of terror turns them into victims. As someone who served in the army here and does reserve duty, I understand I'm a legitimate target when I'm wearing my uniform. Armies use force to impose a particular policy, and sometimes those who disagree with the policy fight back.