The Banality of Evil

Last Tuesday, the Israeli Defense Forces managed to put its hand on the terrorist who murdered two Israeli brothers near Nablus on February 26. Besides the terrorist, 5 more terrorist were killed in the fire exchange in Jenin. and the liberal media yet again puts the blame on Israel and the Israeli army, presenting the terrorists as random people who were killed in “another” action fuelled by Israeli aggression. fully adopted the narrative of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad when telling their readers a story and a timeline totally different from the real, in order to demonize Israel and de-legitimate its right to defend itself.

Hannah Arendt was a political philosopher, author, and Holocaust survivor. In 1961, she was sent to Israel by ‘The New Yorker’ to cover the Eichmann trial. Arendt coined the phrase „the banality of evil” to describe the phenomenon of Eichmann. She was struck by his ordinariness and the demeanor he exhibited; a small, slightly balding, bland bureaucrat, in contrast to the horrific crimes he stood accused of. „Terribly and terrifyingly normal”, this is how Arendt analysed the character who stood in front of her. The main question is, how normal one can be when being charged with the murder of innocent people? Or how normal someone can be to support it or justify it?

Abdel Fattah Hussein Kharousha was this kind of “normal”. He was 49 years old from the town of Hawara, near Nablus, with a wife and kids. On February 26, he took a gun and opened fire on Israeli vehicles. Halel Menachem Yaniv (22) and his brother, Yagel Yaacov Yaniv (20) were murdered in this fire. Their only “sin” was that they were Jews. Two of Kharousha’s boys, who probably are at the same age as their father’s victims, immediately took him to Jenin to hide from the Israeli army. In Jenin, Kharousha got cover and received protection from armed terrorists for 10 days. On March 7, he was killed by the Israeli army, together with 5 of his defenders, after a gun battle with Israeli soldiers. Kharousha was a member of the terror organization Hamas. Islamic Jihad and Al-Aqusa martyrs brigades already promised to take revenge. All of these are terror organizations acknowledged by both the USA and the EU as such.

Israel’s obligation is to defend its citizens. Like any other country does. To put a Western democratic state on the same scale with terror organizations is absurd. This is not a territorial conflict, but a 100 year-long clash of civilizations penetrated with antisemitism. People who hate other people just because of their faith or race and ready to murder them are not “normal” people. To justify any type of violence based on racism is not “normal”. People tend to think that the Jewish holocaust ended in 1945, but after 75 years, Jews in Israel are still getting murdered because they are Jews. The “silent holocaust”. There is no other way to see or understand it – to murder innocent people just because they are Jews is clearly pure antisemitism. To support it, justify it or normalize it is the banality of evil.

Tamir Wertzberger