Whatever else was or was not true about Benazir Bhutto, she was a human being who refused to be intimidated by terrorists – and for that, the Pakistani opposition leader and former prime minister, who was assassinated yesterday, merits admiration. In a piece she wrote in October for The Wall Street Journal after an attempt on her life, she crystallized the dilemma that all nonviolent people face when confronted by terrorism: how to pursue a normal course—and how to encourage others to do the same—when such a course increases the risks of encountering the horrors of terrorism.
How chilling it is to read, “The people of Pakistan–whatever political party they may belong to–want and expect to see and hear their party leaders, and be directly part of the political process. They expect mass rallies and caravans, and to hear directly from their leaders through bullhorns and loud speakers. Under normal conditions it is challenging. Under the terrorist threat, it is extraordinarily difficult. My task is to make sure that it is not impossible.”
Jewish Telegraphic agency reports that recently Ms. Bhutto had reached out to Israel’s government in hopes of eventually normalizing relations between Pakistan and Israel. Although it would appear her dealings with the Israelis were not public, given that normalized relations between the two countries would have thrown a bucket of cold water onto the bonfire of Israel-hatred the terrorists and their corrupt supporters stoke to maintain their power, I wonder if her recent efforts at outreach may have been a factor in this tragedy.
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