How Collateral Damage Becomes a Terror Attack

Posted on May 26, 2011


I wrote here about the case of Ben-Joseph Livnat, an Israeli settler who had entered the Palestinian controlled Joseph’s Tomb armed and without permission, and was shot while ignoring an order to halt by a Palestinian security official. I predicted then that Livnat, whose life was ended in a similar way as thousands of Palestinians, Afghans and Iraqis at “escalation of force” incidents in their respective occupied homelands [though, of course, most of these weren’t armed], would go on to become immortalized as an innocent victim of Palestinian violence. After all, we only use the “collateral damage” appellation when we kill non-western people, whose lives are so cheap, we can kill them by the dozens before we have to acknowledge any sort of problems in our methods.

Here you go. As Haaretz reports today:

The Defense Ministry announced Thursday that the nephew of Science and Culture Minister Limor Livnat, killed by Palestinian policemen in the West Bank, will be officially recognized as a terror victim, Army Radio reported.

Ben-Joseph Livnat, a 25-year-old father of four, was killed by Palestinian security forces last month when they opened fire on three cars carrying Israeli passengers who entered Joseph’s Tomb near Nablus without permission.

It also doesn’t hurt if one of your relatives holds a ministry position and has no compunctions about using your life as a political football.