John On Sunset Coast - I understand that you are saying that the 1994 and 1929 cases need to be compared on the basis of numbers, support within the community and so on. Yet those kind of tit-for-tat comparisons could go on endlessly without much being achieved by anyone, just as tit-for-tat killings go on in real life and don't seem to make things any better for anyone.
But that still does not detract from what I was saying. So, do you, for example, think the killing of the Muslims at the Hebron mosque was an atrocity / an outrage or similar; or simply 'an act'?
As you guessed, the question is of course rhetorical since it'd be nonsense to describe it as anything other than something equivalent to an outrage or an atrocity. The description of it as 'an action' is telling, as the label carries no judgement. Brushing my teeth, eating my dinner, dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the 'killing' (to use a more neutral term than 'murder') of Jews by Arabs in 1929 are all 'actions' but obviously this neutral term does nothing to address the moral values and implications of these actions, which is the basic question here.
Describing what happened in 1994 as 'an action' tells me that the speaker / writer does not see the killing of these human beings by a fellow human being as something reprehensible enough to merit a more value-laden label. He is not totally neutral in his judgements (or both 1929 and 1994 would be 'actions') but he is less outraged by, or more sympathetic to, the killing of some human beings by other particular human beings.
I'd still be interested to know anyway if you think what happened in 1994 was an outrage or an atrocity.
GUEST - in Israel it's hard to see where self-defence ends and terrorism starts on both sides. I know at least some Palestinians denounce Hamas as unrepresentative and a hate group. But on the other side there are Israeli Jews who are fed up with the callousness of their army and the hate-filled Jewish settlers and who stand (for example) by road blocks to try and ensure basic human rights are upheld by the IDF (the settlers are a law unto themselves). All due credit to them.
Hamas of course have no business firing rockets randomly into civilian areas - it is an outrage. The IDF and Jewish settlers are no angels either. The settlers are well-armed and not at all afraid to murder, rob, extort, and violate when it suits them. The IDF, if recent revelations are anything to go by, are not far behind either. These deeds are carried out not against Hamas but against innocent Palestinian civilians trying to go about their 'normal' lives (as if life could be considered normal in either Gaza or the West Bank).
So, do Palestinians have the right to resist the illegal military occupation of their country, the ongoing harrasment, intimidation and even murder of their innocent civilians by the IDF and Jewish settlers? If Israel has that right, by implication so too, does any Palestinian who wishes to exercise it.
Israeli fighter planes fire a few missiles to kill a few Hamas militants and they kill a dozen or so civilians, women and children included. "So what", they shrug their shoulders. "we can't guarantee 100% accuracy with any weapon" (maybe it'd be better not to use the weapons so). Hamas fire rockets randomly into Jewish towns, they kill civilians - women and children too. On the law of averages they are bound to kill a few members of the IDF or else Jewish settlers, if they fire enough rockets. Since all Israeli Jewish adults are required to do military service, there's a good chance of killing a member of the IDF if you kill enough adult civilians. Then you won't have to meet them at gunpoint later elsewhere.
That's not necessarily MY viewpoint, but I guess that's how both camps could easily rationalise it. And so the killing and suffering will go on.
Wouldn't it be better for everyone to try and back up a step or two?