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Iran calls the assassination a "terror attack" in letter to UN Secretary General.
Osama bin Laden was assassinated by U.S. Special Forces on May 1, 2011. Although media emphasis thus far has been focused almost entirely on the pertinent operational and political issues surrounding this "high value" killing, there are also important jurisprudential aspects to the case that require similar attention. Whether or not killing Osama was a genuinely purposeful assassination from a strategic perspective, a question that will be debated for years to come, we should now also inquire: Was it legal?
It was even before the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin by Yigal Amir that the Israeli Left, led by the Haaretz newspaper, chanted in unison what has become one of its fundamental political axioms: political violence is a congenital inclination of the Israeli Right and is committed exclusively by right-wingers.
When charged by the Prophetess Deborah, wife of Lapidoth, in Judges to free the Jews from the tyranny of Sisera, general of the Canaanite king Jacin's army, Barak the son of Abinoam famously responded with the biblical equivalent of "I'm right behind you." Deborah agreed to accompany Barak to Kedesh but told him Sisera would die by a woman's hand. Barak accepted the terms, and Sisera was eventually lured into Yael's tent, where she fed him milk to make him drowsy and drove a tent peg through his head.
Over the years, I have lectured and published widely on Israeli security matters - often with special reference to assassination and international law. Usually, in these matters, I have tried to point out the positive side of assassination, including informed support for Israel's ongoing policy of "targeted killings."
Now that Israel has eliminated Hamas terrorist masterminds Sheik Ahmed Yassin and pediatrician child killer Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, Prime Minister Sharon may soon strike at certain other lead murderers who relentlessly plot suicide-bombings against Israelis.
Earlier this month, a previously unknown Arab/Islamic terror group claimed the murder and mutilation of four American civilian contractors in western Iraq as "retaliation" for Israel's assassination of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
According to Zeev Boim, Israeli Deputy Minister of Defense, Israel plans to target Sheik Ahmed Yassin, founder of the deadly Hamas terror group. Boim authoritatively cites numerous acts of barbarism authorized by Yassin, with particular reference to Yassin's recent religious ruling allowing women to become suicide bombers.
The criticism of Israel's policy of targeting the terrorist infrastructure to thwart assaults on its citizens continues to grow in leftist circles, particularly in Israel. One also finds news articles and editorials sharply condemning Israel for acting as prosecutor, jury and executioner. It seems that they are all quite willing to disable Israel from addressing the cynical strategy hit upon by Arafat and his colleagues to kill Jews without risk through the tactical use of nondescript terrorists and suicide bombers. That is, the terrorist infrastructure must remain untouched because its members, not being turned over by Arafat, were not convicted in a court of law. Happily, the government of Israel is not cowed by this sophistry.