The Moral Equivalence of Hamas and Israel (and us)
Another day, another series of reports on tens of dead, dying and injured people in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
I’ll leave the sorting out of who’s to blame to anybody wishing to waste their time.
Sure, there are more victims on the Palestinian side than on the Israeli, indicating an overwhelmingly disproportionate response as if the value of human life really depended on nationality (a consideration unfathomably shared by the Palestinian leadership too: prisoners exchange usually involve a handful of Israelis to tens of Palestinians).
On the other hand what purpose can it be in the launching of aimless rockets by Hamas, randomly towards civilians? Apart, that is, from killing if not terrorizing them on purpose, because they are civilians: as if that has ever won anybody’s war.
The height of mutual stupidity is that people in charge on the two sides are determined to brutalize each other. At the same time, retaliation after retaliation, they have kind of abdicated all hopes of recovering their own humanity…to the sudden appearance of virtuous behavior in the other camp.
It’s fairly obvious that whatever the causes of their madness, they are all directly responsible for untold miseries that will befall on their own children.
What should be done to bring peace to Israeli and Palestinians alike? It’s more than obvious, it’s actually boring. Stop wishing the others could go away. Realize the land is for the two of them, and for the rest of humanity as well. Decouple Israel from the messianic undertones, by getting it into the European Union.
But that doesn’t look like in anybody’s interest. The main hope is that the situation has worsened since the quasi-agreement with President Clinton in 2000, because when everybody knows peace is tantalizingly near, everybody rushes to settle the last scores.
But that’s still too easy an analysis.
Who else is brutalizing civilians in the futile attempt of getting a military and thus a political advantage in a never-ending war, worsened exactly because and by that brutalization?
It’s us from NATO.
The civilian victims are in Afghanistan, nowadays, and likely but less evidently in Iraq.
And it’s no novelty. Leaving aside the famously useless killings of tens of thousands in Dresden during World War II, just fifty years ago the French Government tried almost casually to defend the bloody bombing of a Tunisian border village, in the Algerian war.
Despite our illusions, things have not changed since. We are still eliminating fellow human beings without much of a thought. Here’s NATO proudly using American and European taxpayers’ money to kill road building workers. Never, or almost never, big news in our media.
It is high time we leave aside idle discussions about other peoples’ business to mind about our own idiocy.