'He Who is Compassionate to the Cruel Will Ultimately Become Cruel to the Compassionate': Contemporary Lessons from an Ancient Midrash
ACPR POLICY PAPER NO. 124 (2001)
12 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2015
Date Written: 2001
The popular folk saying asserts, “He who becomes compassionate to the cruel will ultimately become cruel to the compassionate.” This adage, whose origins are in the Midrash of our Sages (see below), is utilized these days regarding the government’s treatment of Arab terrorism, since the beginning of the present wave of violence, called “intifada”, which has lasted more than twelve years with no end in sight. More specifically, the reference is to the government’s treatment of terrorism since the signing of the Oslo Accords, as on the one hand, it declares its commitment to a continued war on terrorism, while at the very same time, supplies weapons to organizations which have not abandoned the path of terrorism and refrains from targeting individuals with whom they are engaged in “peace” negotiations, though those same individuals are responsible for the continued terrorist activity against Israel.
Keywords: Midrash, Shochetman, Arab, Israel, conflict, terror, intifada, Oslo
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