Friday, January 9, 2009

More on finding middle ground

A post at Orthodox Anarchist:
Today I received an email from a member of Jews Against the Occupation who took issue with the nature and framing of Sunday’s planned protest against Israeli & Palestinian violence and who implored me to abandon our demonstration and join the Palestinian solidarity rally instead.

Though I won’t publicize the entire contents of the email nor the identity of the sender, there were two things he said which jumped out at me, whereas they exemplify precisely the type of thinking that makes this demonstration so necessary.
Mobius entitles his post "Epic Morality Fail." I agree, and I think this points to the way in which much thinking about the conflict falls short. There is absolutely no way in which anything here is symmetric.

Hamas tries intentionally to kill civilians. The IDF is far more successful than any other military force, the world over, at avoiding civilian casualties, yet Israel still kills way more civilians than Hamas.

Everybody tries to draw some equivalence somewhere, to claim a dimension where the two sides can be fairly compared, one morally superior to the other, but there are none. Really - none. And so there is no way to work for peace while being self-righteous and choosing sides.
So let me just get this straight: It’s not okay to compare the killing of civilians by Israel and Hamas, but it’s okay to compare Israel to Nazi Germany? Way to “work hard against anti-semitism.”

Uh, also, has it occurred to you that you’re who we’re protesting?
I don't think I can be there, but if you're in New York, please try to make the protest.

No comments: