Powers suggests an equivalence of the recent killing of the PLO leader Khalil Wazir (Abu Jihad) by what now appears to be a specially trained commando unit from Israel, with the terrorist campaigns in West Germany, Italy, Northern Ireland, and the rest of the Middle East. Assuming Israel's hand, this action does not fit into the category of an act of "terrorism" as defined by Powers ("violence for its own sake, expressions of murderous anger without hope of result.")
It is, as George Will observed recently, a continuation of a 40-year-old war. With the exception of Egypt, the Arab states have maintained a state of continuous war with Israel since 1948, broken only by relatively brief periods of armistice and cessation of hostilities. The PLO, its members, leaders, and its own covenant all declare their intent to destroy Israel and push the Jews into the sea.
Despite efforts and calls to negotiate, as well as a demonstrated willingness to give up territory and sign a peace treaty as it did with Egypt, terrorism continues to be employed against Israel because direct military intervention by the Arab states has failed. The PLO's favorite target: civilians, women, children, bus passengers, Olympic athletes. The military commander responsible for the planning and execution of terrorist actions: Wazir. Israel's response was not an act of violence for its own sake, but a military act to remove a guiding force for terror.