Letter to The Guardian on Palestinian Terrorism -- and Further Reading in The Jerusalem Post and The Guardian

The short letter below appeared on 26 January 2011 after the dramatic publication of many leaked confidential documents by The Guardian and al-Jazeera TV detailing negotiations about Palestine with Israel. The argument mentioned in the letter,  for a proposition justifying Palestinian terrorism within historic Palestine, is mainly considered in three of Ted Honderich's books: Right and Wrong, and Palestine, 9/11, Iraq, 7/7... (Seven Stories Press, New York) but in Britain titled Humanity, Terrorism, Terrorist War: Palestine, 9/11, Iraq, 7/7... (Continuum); After the Terror (Edinburgh University Press, Columbia University Press, McGill-Queens University Press); Terrorism for Humanity (Pluto Press), a revision of several earlier books including Three Essays on Political Violence (Blackwell). There are German,Greek  and Japanese  translations. Further relevant thoughts are in On Political Means and Social Ends (Edinburgh University Press) and Conservatism: Burke, Nozick, Bush, Blair? (Pluto Press, Hamish Hamilton, Penguin). The proposition about Palestinian terrorism is discussed by various philosophers, including Israeli and Jewish philosophers, in a collection of papers edited by Stephen Law, Israel, Palestine and Terror (Continuum). There are further writings on the Ted Honderich website. One article, by Tamar Meisels of Tel-Aviv University, is The Trouble withTerror: The Apologetics of Terrorism -- A Refutation. A reply to her by Ted Honderich is Humanity, Terrorisms in Palestine, Innocent Victims. There are also interviews, one in the State of nature on-line journal at http://www.stateofnature.org/tedHonderich.html

To The Editor

The revelations in detail of the intransigent greed, the escape from decency, of Israeli governments in negotiation with our selected leaders of the Palestinians, serve one purpose among others. They provide a further part of what is now an overwhelming argument for a certain proposition. It is that the Palestinians have a moral right to their terrorism within historic Palestine against neo-Zionism. The latter, neither Zionism nor of course Jewishness, is the taking from the Palestinians at least their autonomy in the last one-fifth of their historic homeland. Terrorism, as in this case, can as exactly be self-defence, a freedom-struggle, martyrdom, the conclusion of an argument based on true humanity, etc.

Ted Honderich

For an article in The Jerusalem Post about the Israeli Government Press Office and the Guardian's correspondent in Jerusalem, go to GPO summons 'Guardian' reporter over controversial letter.

There are also thoughts on the letter by The Guardian Readers' Editor Chris Elliott and by the Israeli Benny Morris.

Also a thought on incitement in the Wall Street Journal by Michael Weiss of a London organization concerned with Israel.

For Ted Honderich's reflections on incitement to violence, in the book Right and Wrong, and Palestine, 9/11, Iraq, 7/7.... (also titled Humanity, Terrorism, Terrorist War: Palestine, 9/11, Iraq, 7/7...) go to excerpts from the book.

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