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Thursday, August 19, 2004

British so-called philosopher : Palestinian terror is morally justified (Al Jazeera)

In a breathtaking display of moral inversion, a British "philosopher" calls America's actions in Iraq immoral terrorism but Palestinians blowing up babies are morally justifiable.

A leading radical philosopher, who has been compared to Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre and praised by Noam Chomsky, says Palestinian "terrorism" is a moral response to Israeli ethnic cleansing.


Ted Honderich, a professor of philosophy at University College London, plans to take the same message to the Edinburgh International Book Fair on Thursday, where tickets to hear his speech have already sold out.

The philosopher plans to begin his talk at the Opus Theatre with a close look at definitions of terrorism, particularly when it applies to Palestine and the expansion of Israel outside its 1967 borders.

He concludes it is "killing and maiming for political and social ends … illegal in terms of national or international law", and suggests Iraq could also fall into this definition.

"America is now engaged, as I say, in the principal piece of moral stupidity of this time … it is as if the causes of terrorism that are neo-Zionism and Palestine do not exist," he added.


However, defining "neo-Zionism" as the movement to expand Israel outside its pre-1967 borders, he condemns some Israeli policy today as an "ongoing rapacity of ethnic cleansing, the violation of the remaining homeland of the remaining Palestinians".

"It dishonours the great Jewish moral and political tradition of resolute compassion for the badly-off, a tradition now exemplifed by Noam Chomsky."

"This rape of a people and a homeland is in its wrongfulness a kind of moral datum … and issues in a moral right on the part of the Palestinians to their terrorism," he concludes.