Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lessons NOT to be learnt from Northern Ireland

Every other week, a journalist or a government official pens a column about how Israel can learn lessons from Northern Ireland. Well the recently unveiled compensation plan isn't one of them.

The plan is to help reconciliation by giving £12,000 compensation to every family who have lost someone to the troubles, whether they were terrorists or innocent bystanders. It tells you a lot about Britain's amoral attitude to terrorism.

There is a world of difference between reconciliation and reward. Finding the courage to forgive murderers is one thing, but that doesn't mean you have to reward them. Today's Times editorial sums up the argument well....
"..The perpetrators of violence and their innocent targets do not inhabit the same place on the moral spectrum. In the pursuit of peace, the British Government, rightly, made morally uncomfortable compromises once it felt the IRA was ready to make the switch from bombs to the ballot box. But that has not left us blind to the moral gulf between villains and victims. Mercy should not be constrained. Compensation should..."
Money can't buy reconciliation.