For a psychopath killer, murder is justified by a misperception that the victim is not a conscious being, but, rather, an object whose destruction fulfills certain desires for the killer. In this context, the human value of the victim does not exist for the killer. Thus, the killer’s actions are neither clouded by guilt nor morality.
Even on a more hypothetical scale, killing is justified. For example, bird hunting is a popular “sport;” some people practice it, some are indifferent about it, and others condemn it. Most of us, however, do not stop and think about the destruction of these animals whose beauty is truly unique. This is normal, in human terms. The fact is that birds have no human value; hence, their killing could be justified. Birds are different from us.
Katzav stated yesterday, Thursday 10th, 2001, that “.there is a huge gap between us [Jews] and our enemies -not just in ability but in morality, culture, sanctity of life, and conscience.They are our neighbors here, but it seems as if at a distance of a few hundred meters away, there are people who don’t belong to our continent, to our world, but actually belong to a different galaxy.” (Jerusalem Post, Friday 11th, 2001)
The price of being different is horrific. The effects of racism are unimaginably painful. The perception (or misperception) of fellow humans as lesser beings is a crime.
Dehumanizing the Palestinian people is a mechanism by which the Israeli public is manipulated and disillusioned about the crimes of the Israeli government. When the President of Israel blatantly detaches the humanity of the Palestinians, Israelis are hypnotically ‘convinced’ of the justification in killing any Palestinian. Regrettably, this means that any attempt by Palestinians, or non-Palestinian for that matter, to voice protest against the cruelty of Israel’s atrocities is unheard in Israel. This is a tragedy; a nation blinded by misperception, not least the misperception imposed upon it by its own leaders.
All falls into place here. Having demoralized the Palestinians, the state of Israel is ethically and politically free to venture into all forms of brutality, killing Palestinian civilians; wounding Palestinian infants; shelling Palestinian homes; uprooting trees on Palestinian land; and strangulating the whole Palestinian nation.
The heartbreaking images of the beautiful baby girl, Iman Hajo, did not reach the hearts and minds of the Israeli people; for them, Iman is from a “different galaxy.”
(*The content above reflects the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of MIFTAH)