Paved With Good Intentions

So upon logging on to facebook, I saw this little tidbit in my news feed.

missilesI think this raises an important point; lots of hawkish Israeli supporters like to point out that Hamas intends to harm civilians. Indeed they do, and that is indefensible. Still, it’s worth noting that no matter Israel’s stated intentions, they’ve killed over 1,000 Gazans (315 of whom were children) and injured over 4,700 since the start of the offensive in late December. At some point, hawkish Israeli supporters will have to reconcile the fact that the consequences of Israel’s actions animate a great deal of the hostility it receives. You’re simply not going to be able to live peacably with your neighbors when you’re bombing their children, no matter how good your intentions are or how convinced you are of your moral rectitude.

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3 Responses to “Paved With Good Intentions”

  1. truevcu Says:

    I think we’re all aware by now that rationality left Israeli politics long, long ago. The Hawks don’t realize that their attempts to create security through overwhelming force (or Shock and Awe, if you will) only feed Palestinian animosity. I think a lot of the Israeli populace realized this after Lebanon 2007, but there’s definitely a lag with their politicians. Hopefully this may be corrected in the upcoming parliamentary elections, but with Netanyahu the PM frontrunner it seems to be another in a long line of 1 step forward, 2 steps back for diplomatic efforts.

  2. Kitty Says:

    I’d disagree that “rationality” left Israeli politics long, long ago. Without discussing semantics, I think that the Israeli’s actually have a strong sense of what is rational and logical. It’s not that they don’t realize how these attacks feed Palestinian hatred. It’s that they’re doing what they believe is right, no matter what it looks like to the rest of the world, no matter how much the Palestinians try to make it look bad by using human shields and saying that they’re innocent civilians.

  3. Jon Says:

    Kitty — the argument you posed could be adapted almost verbatim for the Palestinian side of things, with the added difference that their piddling missiles generally don’t do much damage, whereas Israel’s bombing has killed over 1,000 people — whether or not Hamas uses civilians as “human shields.” (While there may some truth to this, I find this statement ridiculous…it’s not as though Israel wasn’t aware that bombing and shelling densely populated civilian areas would lead to civilian casualties. Simply writing off all “collateral damage” as the fault of Hamas is disingenuous and counterproductive). What’s more, the assertion that Israel’s intentions (or right to “self-defense”) should be somehow exculpatory is patently ridiculous in light of what is essentially a blockade that has crippled any sort of Gazan economy, the continued illegal settlement of Gaza, and the fact that Israel’s occupation of Gaza defies UN Resolution 242.

    But all of this is basically secondary. The point is that if Israel legitimately seeks a long-term and stable peace, then at some point you have to account for “what it looks like to the rest of the world.” I would argue that pursuing a strategy discordant with long term peace is if not irrational, definitely bad policy.


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