Here you have an Israeli government minister, Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon, praising the founder of the Stern Gang.
Only a little while back, the official Israeli/hasbara talking point du jour was to beat up on Palestinians for incitement, which they defined as naming a street in Ramallah after a terrorist.
So how now do you square this circle? What grade do we give Moshe Ya’alon’s speech in praise of Avraham Stern on our ‘incitement report card’?
While we’re at it, let’s ask how many streets and squares in Israel are named for people who committed atrocities in 1948 and after (I’m thinking right now especially of Rabin Square in Tel Aviv; Rabin led the operation that ethnically cleansed Ramle and Lydda near what is now the Ben Gurion airport, break-their-bones-Rabin in the first intifada. But there’s also Shamir, Begin, Sharon and– does Tzipi Livni’s dad have any streets named for him?). And how many of those streets and squares (I’m thinking of Yaffa, Haifa, Akka) actually originally had Arabic names which were changed and Judaized after 1948?
So by what criteria does one differentiate incitement from patriotism?
If I had to judge empirically, based on the behavior of the people who speak about terror and incitement the most, I would guess that the two most important criteria are 1) whether the incitement/encomium/street name is in Hebrew or in Arabic and 2) whether the people murdered were Arabs or Jews. But maybe I’m just a little thick.
P.S. If people find it jarring to see Rabin called a terrorist–that’s certainly how Arabs view him. If someone wants to make the argument that he was a democratically-elected leader, then that’s fine. That just means you have to talk to Hamas, because Hamas is democratically elected.