Jonah, take another look at what the editorialist is saying:
“Did Mr Sharon and his advisers consider how the spectacle of helicopter gunships rocketing an old man in a wheelchair outside his mosque would appear to the world? Did they intend to turn this merchant of death into a victim – the Palestinian equivalent of Leon Klinghoffer? “
The editorial writer is, of course, not comparing Yassin (a “merchant of death”) with Leon Klinghoffer, and, unless the Telegraph has changed its entire worldview he would be appalled, and astonished, that you thought so. I am. What he is saying, and saying quite clearly, is that the particular circumstances of Yassin’s death will allow him to be portrayed, however unfairly, as a Klinghoffer. He and, it should go without saying, I, obviously think that such a comparison is ridiculous – and offensive. The fact that people have now been given the opportunity to make it and, effectively, to thereby try and turn a monster into a “martyr” is further evidence that Sharon may well have made a major mistake. And that, not Yassin’s death, is the tragedy.
While we’re at it, let’s take a look at another section of the same editorial:
“Yassin’s life had been dedicated to the self-immolation of his people. The vile cult of the suicide bomber, though alien to Islamic tradition, has acquired a spurious legitimacy in the Muslim world, and especially among Palestinians – mainly thanks to clerical demagogues such as Yassin.”
Yes, well put, indeed.