More and more, there are attempts to pardon terrorists by claiming they couldn’t help themselves because they had a fit or life of craziness.
To recognize the reasons why this is tried could help stop this nonsense or at least help spot the faulty logic behind it.
The first suspect of whitewashing hatred against Jews must be politics. All racism, including antisemitism, must go together with lying and, that is standard practice in politics around the world. So, when there is an attempt to explain away Jew-hatred, suspect that the one trying knows better but is just lying for political gain.
The second reason for blaming hatred of Jews on mental illness is that these people ‘reason’ in such a different way that we tend to call that crazy. But it is not. Surely, all bigotry distorts reality to justify itself. That doesn’t mean the bigot is not in touch with reality in general. Being obsessed with the supposed evil perpetrated by every Jew in the world 24/7 sounds insane, but these people are as insane as any fanatic: not. Only the subject of their obsession is stranger than reading everything written about the royal family or collecting everything about Harry Potter.
The third reason is that hatred against Jews rooted in religious fanaticism and fundamentalism sounds patently absurd. It is. But the people who adhere to this are not clinically insane. Many people define insane as totally illogical and unconnected to objective reality. In truth, the stories labeled insane are often completely logical and easy to understand if we’d spend enough time listening to the one suffering. Insanity is often a normal reaction to an insane history. So, we generally don’t take the time, patience, and empathy to understand what makes someone suffer. That doesn’t mean that all you can’t follow is crazy. We need extra caution when dealing with people from other cultures than ours. Someone is not insane when you have to work harder to understand them.
But, if (would-be) murderers and mass murderers are sane, how are they unlike us? The word for this is evil. Evil needs lying, but not insanity or stupidity. The latter two may help but are certainly not conditional. Evil is a option just like good. Punishment should be free from revenge. It only needs to be society’s message: let’s stop evil. No one wants a wicked life, but that too shouldn’t be confused with compassion for those seen as ill.