Me too, lil’ weasel!
The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.
“The gun is our only response to [the] Zionist regime. In time we have come to understand that we can obtain our goals only through fighting and armed resistance and no compromise should be made with the enemy.” – Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, speech on February 12, 2012
“The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs… It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany… As it is they succumbed anyway in their millions.”
Louis Fisher, Gandhi’s biographer asked him: “You mean that the Jews should have committed collective suicide?”
Gandhi responded, “Yes, that would have been heroism.” – The Life of Mahatma Gandhi (1950) by Louis Fisher.
“The true cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the hatred taught to many Muslims when they are impressionable children — unable to defend themselves from having their lives poisoned with such beliefs.”
“This is the testimony of someone who witnessed it — and who experienced it — personally.” – Dr. Tawfik Hamid, Muslim Apostate in a speech at Pepperdine University, 2008
Close races in both categories this week, a reflection of how good this week’s entries were.
This week’s winner, Bookworm Room’s fine essay The Morality Of of Israel’s killing Palestinian civilians, recounts a Facebook exchange she had with a ‘Progressive’ about civilian deaths in Gaza versus Israel defending itself or committing national suicide. Being Bookworm, she goes far beyond that into a general discussion of Jihad, but you’ll have to read all of it to marvel at how she ties it all together. Here’s a slice:
I have been engaged in a Facebook exchange with someone who believes that killing civilians is always immoral. This moral stance means that, because Israel is killing civilians more effectively than Hamas, he believes Israel is morally more culpable than Hamas in the current conflict. He therefore cannot support her, and his sympathy for Palestinians outweighs his sympathy for Israelis.
Because his is an argument I hear frequently; because Progressives think their overarching pacifism is virtuous; because this man was invariably polite in expressing his views, appearing more misguided than malevolent; and because there were other people auditing this exchange on Facebook, I took the time to respond at some length his arguments. Although doing so seemed like a somewhat futile effort while the ceasefire held, given that Hamas took up arms again the minute the ceasefire ended, this issue is not going away any time soon.
The man’s core operating principle is that killing civilians is so verboten that he can never approve of a group, party, or nation that commits such acts. I know he felt virtuous when he wrote that, but I tried to get him to see that, in certain circumstances, his pacifism will leave him with more innocent blood on his own hands (morally, speaking) than his own ostensibly high-minded position would.
I asked him to imagine that a large, well-organized, well-funded terrorist group (which we’ll call “Hamas” for short) carries out a series of attacks against a Jewish nation (which, for convenience’s sake, we’ll call “Israel”). The attacks are not as deadly as Hamas would wish, but Hamas plans to continue with the attacks — eventually someone will die — with the culmination being a coordinated attack through Israel which will, if successful, kill upwards of 10,000 Israeli civilians. This man’s moral calculus would mean that the only way for Israel, as a moral nation, to avoid the impermissible immorality of killing innocent civilians in Hamas’s ambit would be for Israel to surrender immediately and, indeed, for it to do so regardless of the seriousness of Hamas’s provocation.
In a perfect world, against an equally moral enemy, this moral purity might work. Of course, in that perfect world, the enemy too would have held itself to this high moral standard — never kill a civilian — and wouldn’t have attacked Israel in the first place. Sadly, though, we do not live in a perfect world.
In an imperfect world, which happens to be the world we inhabit, Israel knows that Hamas’s goal is to slaughter every man, woman, and child in Israel. Israel doesn’t have to go down the primrose path of conspiracy theories and paranoia to reach this conclusion about Hamas’s end game. Instead, Hamas has made the death of Israel’s citizens — all of them — the centerpiece of its charter, it preaches this goal from every political and religious pulpit, it acts upon this goal whenever possible, and it has spent millions of dollars in foreign aid, including money from Israel herself, to plan a terrorist attack intended to kill those 10,000 of Jewish civilians.
Despite this stark reality, the man I’m debating insists that Israel still has only one moral choice: she must refrain from fighting back if that fight means that she might kill even one civilian. Only in that way, he says, can he give Israel his support.
Israel, however, has figured out something that this man, either because he’s blinded by the self-righteousness of his own idealism or because he’s as genocidal as Hamas, refuses to grasp: If Israel takes this allegedly moral high ground and surrenders to Hamas, she will effectively have killed all off all of her own civilians. In other words, no matter what choices Israel makes, the nature of her enemy means that Israel will have the blood of innocents on her hands.
As between those two choices — either kill a few hundred Palestinians civilians or watch 6 million of your own people being brutally slaughtered — a non-suicidal nation will always opt to value its own citizens’ lives first. Moreover, a moral nation, such as Israel, even as it recognizes that civilian deaths are inevitable, fundamentally values life and does everything possible to protect both its own and its enemy’s citizens. Still, Israel recognizes that the nature of war, sadly, is death.
Much more at the link.
In our non-Council category, the winner was Mark Steyn with a piece that resonates with what’s on many minds this week, You Want Nazis? submitted by The Noisy Room.
We are indeed living in interesting times.
Here are this week’s full results.
- *First place with 3 2/3 votes! – Bookworm Room – The Morality Of of Israel’s killing Palestinian civilians
- Second place with 3 1/3 votes – The Noisy Room – ISIS Sweeps The Middle East In A Method Reminiscent of Genghis Khan
- Third place with 1 2/3 votes – The Razor – Bandaging a Finger in New Jersey Shows Rot at Heart of US Healthcare
- Fourth place with 1 1/3 vote – Joshuapundit – Obama: “What’s Happening In Iraq Isn’t My Fault!”
- Fifth place with 1 vote – Rhymes With Right – Dictator-In-Chief Plans To Impose Taxes Without Congressional Approval
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Simply Jews – Is the market price of Hudna going down?
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Independent Sentinel – Obama’s Speak-O on Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Nice Deb – A Weak Horse Will Not Defeat ISIS
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – Ask Marion – Robin Williams… Humble Hero and Comic Virtuoso Dead at 63
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Right Planet – ISIS Was Too Brutal for Osama Bin Laden, Letter Reveals?
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Kurdistan
- *First place with 2 2/3 votes! – Mark Steyn – You Want Nazis? submitted by The Noisy Room
- Second place with 2 1/3 votes – Sultan Knish – The UNRWA Is Hamas submitted by Joshuapundit
- Third place with 2 votes – Tony Lee/Breitbart – Exclusive: Sarah Palin Gives Conservative Response to Elizabeth Warren’s Progressive Commandments submitted by Ask Marion
- Fourth place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Jihad Watch – Turkish poet: “Islam is worse than Nazism” submitted by The Right Planet
- Fourth place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Matthew Barber/Syria Comment – Sinjar Was Only the Beginning submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Fifth place with 1 vote – Doug Ross – Next Phase of Middle East Conflict Will Make Gaza Look Like a Picnic submitted by The Watcher
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 votes – BBC Watch – BBC Breakfast’s Jenny Hill enables PSC antisemitism washing submitted by Simply Jews
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 votes – Charles Krauthammer – Krauthammer on Iraq: ‘Why in God’s name we don’t resupply our allies… is beyond me’ submitted by The Independent Sentinel
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 votes – David Horowitz/NRO – Obama’s Treachery And Republican Silence submitted by Nice Deb
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – Walter Russel Mead – Muslims Must Condemn ISIS Visibly and Loudly submitted by The Razor
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion – Watch Hamas set up and fire rocket next to residential buildings (Update and 2nd Video) submitted by Rhymes with Right</li>
See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this weeks’ Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!