“Do not rejoice at the downfall of your enemy” (Mishlei 24:7 + Avot 4:20)
The above words resound in my ears as I cogitate on the recent demise of Osama Bin Laden. Yesterday, it was reported that his son; Omar Bin Laden, born from one of his five wives, criticised the Americans for assassinating his father rather than bringing him to trial. Furthermore, the Bin Laden family were upset that they were not consulted regarding his burial at sea. It must be emphasised that Omar stresses that he does not ascribe to the ideology of his father.
However, he does have a point.
Was it right of the Americans to do what they did? Or should they have done things differently, more in line with international law?
In reflection, I entirely agree with what the Americcans did in this instance. They had to assassinate Bin Laden, to prevent him from becoming the centre piece of a trial against Al Qaeda which would only be manipulated as a propaganda tool by their movement. According to Jewish law if somebody is a pursuer, one is permitted to kill him before he murders you.
If only the allies had bumped off Hitler when they had the chance many of our people would have been saved.
The Americans would have been very unwise to bury Bin Laden on land because his followers would make his burial place a shrine, he would be made a martyr and it would become a focal point to further criminality.
However, the triumphalism of some of the Americans, dancing and partying the night away in Times Square and at Ground Zero was not in good taste.
He’s dead. Now we move on.