Tuesday, October 20, 2009

No Moral Equivalency Between Israel and the Palestinians

Once again today a defender of Israel assumed Israel's right of defense against Hamas attacks. Of course, but only if you assume initially a moral equality between the two at the present moment.

I reject that assumption because of the events of 1948, when Israel forcibly expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, and 1967, when Israel considerably expanded its borders. Granted, enough guilt is real on both sides since Israel became a state in 1947. But the fact remains that Israel today occupies territory not originally given them and has been an oppressor of the weaker Palestinians for all these decades.

While all  Palestinian violence against Israel is futile and to be deplored, no way can the two be considered as being on initially equal terms at the present, so that any attack by Hamas or other Palestinians is a justification for severe retribution in the name of self-defense.

Yet that is the unquestioned assumption we see over and over in this country. It must be challenged in the name of justice.


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