The fact that he of all people was given a trial, that he of all people was given a lawyer, that he of all people was not tortured, not lynched, not whipped, not mutilated while in captivity, by the very people whom he tried to exterminate, by the very people who lost six million family, friends, loved ones because of him, that is the APEX OF HUMAN CIVILIZATION.

I don’t think that any state throughout the entire human history has ever acted in a more honorable way than the State of Israel did towards Eichmann.


4 thoughts on “Eichmann

    1. It’s indeed interesting to compare the treatment of Eichmann to the current policy of targeted killings. Maybe 1960 was probably the early, romantic period of Zionism, when Ben-Gurion’s “practical Zionism” (with all its obvious faults) was still powerful, whereas now, it’s the “revisionist zionism” of Sharon and Netanyahu that reigns supreme.


  1. It’s a little misleading, I think, to present that era and the present one as being in direct contrast. The state of Israel still prides itself for its western-style judicial system, for the rule of law. It is true that this judicial system is prejudiced against Palestinian interests (in the case of settlement building, say), but at the level of formal justice all cases go through trial. Do you have evidence that the judicial system used to be less prejudiced in the 60’s?

    The policy of targetted killings can only be compared with all dirty things that were happening during the War of Attrition and the wars before that (as in every other war on Earth).

    I think that what *is* true, though, is that the idealism that was part of the zionist movement has given its way to pure cynicism today. Even if the rule of law is formally being imposed, I don’t think that anyone, including in Israel, is taking it seriously anymore.

    Regarding Eichmann’s trial, the most instructive view that one can get out of it is Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, but this has little to do with zionist idealism and more with the banality of evil.


    1. A disclaimer: it is not my intention to make this post a discussion about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

      Now, it’s not my intention to do a direct contrast and I don’t have the robustness to do one anyway. But I do think the comparison between the Eichmann trial and the targeted killings has some value, mainly because the Israeli propaganda tends to attribute to both terrorists and “terrorists” nazi-like intentions (antisemitism, the destruction of jews as a people and so on). The point becomes then that, “let’s say that you’re right and Hamas is NSDAP-in-the-making: if you gave Eichmann -of all people- a decent trial, why assasinate Yassin?”. And the point behind it would be exactly the exacerbation of cynicism that you talk about.

      And of course, you’re right about Arendt.


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