Argument: Assassinations create martyrs, increase popularity of terrorist groups

Issue Report: Assassination of a Dictator


Steven R. David. “Fatal Choices: Israel’s Policy of Targeted Killing”. John Hopkins University. September 2002. – “Inasmuch as becoming a victim of an Israeli targeted killing has become a badge of honor among Palestinians, when the Israelis slay an alleged terrorist they unwittingly enhance the popularity of the organization to which he or she belonged. Many of the targets of Israel’s attacks have come from Hamas and Islamic Jihad. These organizations then exploit their casualties in a manner designed to curry support among the Palestinian people. With public opinion polls showing skyrocketing approval of these groups, their efforts appear to be succeeding. In an effort to compete with Hamas and Jihad’s success, Arafat’s organizations dramatically stepped up their own terrorist attacks in 2002. A competition developed as to which group could launch the most costly attacks against Israel. The policy of targeted killing, by affording prestige to those planning and committing these attacks, has encouraged that which it most seeks to deter.”