Why does Israel destroy the homes of terrorists family members

I was watchign the history channel and they were talking about Israels assassination of Ayyash the engineer. After he was dead the Israelis blew up his families home. What was the point of that? I can understand their motive with suicide bombers since suicide bombers have no real concern for their own lives they may rethink a suicide attack if their family suffers, but in this instance the terrorist was already dead. Why did they blow up his families house? And why does Israel sometimes do this as a policy.

According to published statements, the Israeli government and/or military seem to think it’s a deterrent for any other potential terrorists, or else appropriate punishment for terrorism.

Just to beat the rush to have this moved to GD, some people think it’s Israeli terrorism against freedom fighters in their occupied homeland.

Because it is so fricking obvious that such actions encourages Palestinian rage against Israel, a lot of people assume the Israelis are knowingly doing it for that purpose. Think “1984” and a government that needs perpetual war to keep the home folks in a terrorized state.

As usual, the press release from a government explaining its actions and the real reason behind the actions are very, very different.

Because it is so fricking obvious that if a palestenian wants to perform terrorists acts he will have to accept that his family will be punished for his actions. Since you cannot punish a dead man, let him execute his terrorism with the full knowledge that his family’s welfare is threatened.

Exactly Lud, I think it should be written policy…

I think that in the case of terrorist actions, the houses of the victims should be destroyed.

Hell, we’ve already turned the world upside down, so why not?

It’s obvious that the Israelis believe, or at least hope, that the prospect of having your family members punished for your actions will deter at least some prospective suicide bombers.

It’s also obvious that the policy of punishing relatives has risks for Israel. First, it will increase the sense of injustice, powerlessness and outrage which Palestinians already feel, and so may promote recourse to terrorism. There is obviously a risk that this effect will, in the long run (and perhaps even in the short run) outweight the deterrent effect, so that on balance the policy will promote rather than discourage anti-Israeli terrorism.

Finally, it’s obvious that the policy of punishing the innocent on account of the guilty offends against the most basic concepts of human rights, weakens the Israelis’ own moral case and must cost them some support abroad.

Israeli policymakers are (presumably) not stupid, and can see all these potential effects of their policy.

It may be that, in their judgment, the positive effect of deterring terrorists is likely to outweigh the negative effects of promoting terrorism and weakening Israel’s strategic position. That wouldn’t be my judgment, but that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be theirs.

An alternative explanation for their behaviour is the one that ftg advances, which is that the policy is not designed or expected to discourage terrorism, but rather to promote anti-Israeli terrorism. That strikes me as just a bit too tinfoilish.

There is a third possibility. The policy could be intended to placate a section of Israeli domestic opinion which demands vigorous punitive action in response to anti-Israeli terrorism, and is not overly concerned with whether that action is likely to be effective or not, so long as it is seen to be taken.

The bottom line may be that Israeli policymakers hope that the policy discourages terrorism, but know that it cements their own electoral position, and that this is the reason it is pursued.

Furthermore, some terrorists commit acts of violence for the benefit of their families. This would lessen those benefits. Unfortunately, like every anti-terrorist act, it only heightens the criminal’s image as being a martyr.

Moved to GD.

samclem GQ moderator.

Sorry, Wesley, but this one was just gonna gather more non-GQ posts.

Israel doesn’t destroy the homes of terrorists’ family members when the terrorist is Jewish.

Um, cite?

I’ve always wanted to say that. :slight_smile:

I’ll second that request for a cite.

Or are we playing fast and loose with the word ‘terrorist?’
As in, any action by the IDF and/or settlers taking land are ‘terrorist’ actions?

Israel doesn’t destroy the houses of terrorists who are Israeli citizens, Jewish or Arab.

Sevastopol doesn’t have to adopt such an extreme position to support his claim.

In 1994 Baruch Goldstein went into a mosque in Hebron and shot 29 worshippers before somebody floored him with a fire extinguisher.

Goldstein was a member of the Kach movement, which both the US and Israeli governments condemn as terrorist. According to the (Israeli) International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Kach has been responsible for other terrorist murders of Palestinians.

That anti-Palestianian terrorism emanates from Israeli sources is therefore not in dispute. It may be much smaller in scale than anti-Israeli terrorism emanating from Palestinian sources, but it exists, and the Israeli government acknowledges this.

Do the Israeli authorities destroyed the homes of the families of Israeli perpetrators of terrorism against Palestinians? I don’t know, but my guess is no, they don’t. I’ll be genuinely pleased if somebody can convince me my guess is wrong.

Ah, cross-post. Thanks, Alessan

Why Israel bombs the homes of civilians and gets away with it? Isn’t that a war crime or something? NATO invaded Serbia in order to stop Milosevic’s ethnic cleansing, but noone will do anything to stop the Israelis. Double standards?

Yes, perhaps those extreme positions are not implied, but something surely is being tacitly implied…

This suggests that the Israeli government’s reasons for not punishing the family members of terrorists is their religion. From where I sit that sure as heck requires a firm cite behind it.

I’d also point out that the Israeli system of retributions aren’t based on punishing terrorists in any part of the world who target anybody at all, but terrorists who target Israel/Israelis.

As such, even Israelis who attack other countries wouldn’t be covered.

Ethnic cleansing =/= destroying buildings.

But yes, from what I’m aware both sides have commited actions which are classified as war crimes.

Dog80, you do realize that they let everyone out of the house before they destroy it, don’t you?

Israel is very careful when it comes to attacking civilians, at least compared to say, the U.S. in Iraq (sorry, but that’s just the way it looks), and actual bombings of heavily populated areas are rare. Accusations of ethnic cleaning are ridiculous. If we were really trying to kill off the palestinians, then why are there still so damn many of them? You can’t accuse us of being incompetant killers.

Oops! That little detail evaded me :o I thought they were bombing houses with people in them. Please forget about my previous post.