It would be foolish to assume that the Israelis are incapable of perpetrating atrocities on Palestinian civilians. We know the sinfulness of man, and so let us assume it to be so for a moment. How can we take this as part of the evidence that the Israelis are, in terms of public demeanor, the righteous party in that conflict over there?
The answer is relatively simple. Even if we assume that the Israelis are killing innocent civilians, it remains self-evident that they are the party that must pretend that this is not true. The Palestinian homicide bombers have as their open, avowed intention the objective of blowing up civilians. When Israel openly kills the leader of Hamas, a well-known murderer, they draw on themselves the censure of the world. What would happen if they announced that they were going to blow up a Palestinian restaurant full of teenagers? And then did it? Of course, the world community roof would fall in. But this sort of thing is routinely done by the Palestinians.
The Palestinians therefore have, culturally speaking, a “justified” status. At the fundamental level, they can do no wrong. The Israelis do not have that status, no matter what they do, or refrain from doing. I don’t have a dog in this Middle Eastern fight, and so this should not be taken as a rallying cry for Zionists everywhere. Both Palestinians and Israelis both need to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and there will not be peace until they both do.
But, even though I am not carrying any brief for Israel, I can see that in the rules of this particular game, the Palestinians have permission to murder anyone they want, while the Israelis do not. The principle of cultural justification can be seen in many corners of this modern and mixed up world. Environmental extremists could blow up a building belonging to a logging company, and they would get plenty of sympathetic treatment from all over. But what would happen if Boise Cascade blew up the headquarters of Greenpeace?