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October 6, 2015 / 23 Tishri, 5776
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A State Won’t Turn Terrorists Into Statesmen


Consider cartography. The official “Map of Palestine” at the PA website includes all of Israel. There is only one state on this map; it is not Israel.

In law, terrorist crimes mandate universal cooperation in both apprehension and punishment. As punishers of “grave breaches” under international law, all states are required to search out and prosecute, or extradite, individual terrorist perpetrators. In absolutely no circumstances, re states permitted to characterize terrorists as “freedom fighters.”

This is emphatically true for the United States, which incorporates all international law as the “supreme law of the land” at Article 6 of the Constitution, and which was formed by the Founding Fathers according to the timeless principles of Blackstone’s Commentaries and also antecedent Natural Law.

As Americans, we have an obligation to avoid expressly specious manipulations of law. Whether in New York or Tel Aviv, authentic “freedom fighters” do not make war against office workers, nursery schools, buses, flower markets, or mothers in ice cream parlors. Until we can accept this most elementary human understanding for the Islamic Middle East, we will run the growing risk of transforming ghoulish Palestinian gangs into a UN-supported government, and of subsequently accepting their predictable excursions into murder as “legitimate.”

Louis René Beres, strategic and military affairs columnist for The Jewish Press, is professor of Political Science at Purdue University. Educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), he lectures and publishes widely on international relations and international law and is the author of ten major books in the field. In Israel, Professor Beres was chair of Project Daniel.

About the Author: Louis René Beres (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is professor of political science and international law at Purdue University and the author of many books and articles dealing with international relations and strategic studies.

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