Bit more on Israel “the victim”
The US philosopher whom I chided (scroll down) for his claim that “I am pretty sure Hamas is the bad guy here, while Israel, as so often in history, is the victim” responded to the chiding. Here’s my reply, just for your interest…
You are quite right that Hamas’ official policy is to target civilians whereas Israel’s is not. I didn’t get your illustration concerning the crowd – I think there’s a word or two gone astray? Anyway, my view is we should be condemning both sides, and that Israel is is very much culpable. I pointed out some very salient facts that put a different complexion on things (e.g. Israel broke the ceasefire, not Hamas, and Hamas is responding to Israel’s crippling economic blockade imposed in response to the election result, etc.). The point you make here doesn’t really undermine my point that Israel is hardly the (even comparatively) innocent victim, let alone the innocent victim “yet again.”
By failing to condemn what Israel has done, the West actually contributes to the problem. It increases the frustration of Palestinians, who get even more extreme. The situation is a – the – root cause of Islamic bitterness. The West’s insistence on always excusing Israeli and blaming Arabs will produce further terrorist attacks around the world.
I favour condemning both sides, BUT while focusing more on a positive solution. This could be a two state solution with Israel back within its pre-67 borders. I’d consider that fair, or at least acceptable. So would the Palestinians. So would Hamas, who are already offering it, in effect, by offering a 30, 40 or 50 year ceasefire if Israel withdraws to those borders (consider that their opening negotiating position). So there is no real obstacle to such a solution – it could be pursued right now. Commentators who (i) condemn only one side (that’s you, not me) , and (ii) fail positively to mention or push for such a solution, are part of the problem here.
If your example about the crowd is supposed to excuse Israel’s behaviour in Gaza, well here’s an analogy. Suppose that after a few IRA attacks leaving 11 Brits dead, the British Government invaded Catholic areas of Northern Ireland with tanks and air strikes, seeking out IRA members and arms caches, but killing over a thousand innocent Catholic by-standers in the process. What would have been the world’s opinion about that? And would this military action have been constructive, do you think?