Suicide is never heroic

On Monday morning, a man dressed in a U.S. Air Force uniform stood in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., said he would “no longer be complicit in genocide,” lit himself on fire, and died.

The suicide was filmed for the world to see, and the deceased man, Aaron Bushnell, was promptly hailed as a hero and as a martyr by the far Left and pro-Palestinian factions who claimed the suicide was a selfless act that would help turn the tide of public support for Israel in the Gaza war in favor of the Palestinians.

“I don’t agree with what he did but he saw the evils of Israel and actually had the courage to do something instead of just tweet about it like the majority of us,” wrote former UFC fighter Jake Shields.

“May the memory of 25 year old Aaron Bushnell be a blessing,” wrote Mai El-Sadany, a lawyer and the executive director of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy. “May his sacrifice be a call to action for those with the ability to do something and a haunting reminder for those who refuse to change course.”

But what did Bushnell actually accomplish besides ending his life in a gruesome and horrific manner? Very little, except make himself the center of attention for a day or two following his grisly end.

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Whatever one thinks about the war in Gaza, there is never a situation where suicide can be justified. It is an act of purely selfish cowardice, and to lionize it is to be an advocate of selfish cowardice.

Bushnell’s fiery suicide will not change the way people view the Gaza war. It will not create a groundswell of opposition against Israel as it continues its military response to the Oct. 7 attacks. His desperate cry for attention will be in vain because that is all it was: the tragic final act of a desperate and disturbed man.

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