Monday, March 21, 2011

Brent Sasley's Attempt at Moral Equivalence

I have always found Huffington Post blogger Brent Sasley to be a pretty balanced guy. He's written articles about how the occupation of the West Bank should end, but not unilaterally, among other things. And his latest article is balanced too, except that this time I think he tries too hard for balance.

He begins by speaking out against the Itamar Massacre, but then I think what he has to say next is very interesting:
"But the event also represents a descent into madness and inhumanity in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that, at least for me, underscores inevitable and deep pessimism about the peace process. The conflict is shot through with immorality by this point."
Okay, so a Palestinian brutally murders almost an entire Israeli family, and Mr. Sasley says that this shows the conflict to be "shot through with immorality." No doubt he thinks he is being balanced, but really what he is saying here is that there is no moral difference between those who butcher families and those who build homes for Jews or throw rocks. It is very, very common for outside observers of these two sides to demonstrate how even handed they are by "condemning violence on both sides." But in the past few days, there is nothing to compare.

Mr. Sasley continues in his article by attempting to contrast Israel's building of settlements and "price tagging" by the settlers as somehow equivalent to the Palestinian attempts to blame the victims and/or "the occupation" for the murder of the Fogel family. Obviously, the actions of the settlers are bad, but as I feel I often need to remind people, no one is ever killed in these "price tag" operations. There is no comparison in this situation, or ever. And I don't think Mr. Sasley is being entirely fair when he tries to convince us that there is "enough to blame on both sides." Here is how he concludes:
"Our humanity shines through when we restrain what might be our natural reactions (dependent on our position on the ideological-political spectrum) and instead acknowledge the pain and torment on an individual level. If we can't do that, what possible hope is there for any broader resolution of the conflict?"
Let us see if he will write something similar should there be another scrap which results in Palestinian civilian casualties.

1 comment:

  1. Well done on identifying the murderers. Don't you think you should inform the Israeli and Palestinian police?


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