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Monday, March 14, 2011

Stephen Walt's disgusting moral equivalence on Itamar

The sickness of the Left:
To say that I am appalled by the brutal murder of an Israeli family in the West Bank settlement of Itamar (near Nablus) is an understatement.
OK, he is appalled. Why?
Israel's occupation of the West Bank is universally recognized as a violation of international law and depends on force, intimidation, and violence, but there is no justification for anyone to take the lives of an entire family in this way. No good can possibly come from such a senseless act -- not for Palestinians, not for Israelis, and not for anyone else -- and it should be universally condemned.
To Walt, the self-styled realist, the massacre of the Fogels is simply a counterproductive method of protest. He cannot bring himself to say that the murders are immoral, or sickening, or reflective of constant Palestinian Arab incitement to hate and murder. He cannot be bothered to mention the names of the victims. He cannot even make a passing mention of a baby girl whose throat was slashed in her crib.

And Walt cannot stop himself from implying that the settlers deserved it for somehow being "illegal" before he even pretends to condemn their murder, which, he implied, might have been justified if they were killed in a less brutal manner. Like maybe a suicide bombing that was a little less personal.

Now that Walt got his perfunctory "condemnation" out of the way, he can get to what he really wants to condemn, and what he cynically uses the Itamar massacre to hang his own sick hate on:

But while we are at it, we should not spare the other parties who have helped create and perpetuate the circumstances where such crimes are likely to occur.

Let us therefore condemn every Israeli government since 1967, for actively promoting the illegal effort to colonize these lands.

Let us condemn those Palestinian leaders who have glorified violence in the past or who continue to do so today.

Let us condemn the settlers themselves, some of whom routinely use violence to intimidate the Palestinians who live in the lands they covet.

Let us condemn Israel's policy of targeted assassinations and the war crimes it has committed in Gaza and Lebanon.

Let us condemn the hypocrisy of governments throughout the Arab world, who mouth solidarity with the Palestinians yet do little to improve their lives or advance the goal of an independent Palestinian state.

Let us condemn the craven passivity of U.S. politicians, whose deference to the Israel lobby has enabled the occupation for more than four decades, squandered the opportunity afforded by the Oslo Accords, and undermined efforts to create a viable Palestinian state.

Let us condemn the misguided fervor of Christian Zionists, who turn a blind eye to injustice against the Palestinians in the belief that it will hasten the "end times" tomorrow.

Let us condemn the cynicism of the Netanyahu government, which used this latest tragedy to announce the construction of 500 more housing units in the Occupied Territories.
Walt is pretending to be even-handed in his condemnations, but in the end you can see that his real priority is to condemn the victims themselves for "perpetuate the circumstances where such crimes are likely to occur."

And the real sickness of Walt can be seen in the original title of his disgusting piece. While it is now called "On the murders at Itamar," from the title bar we can see that he originally titled it "Who is to blame for the killings at Itamar?"

And here is the root of Walt's reprehensible worldview. Because he truly believes that the Israelis and the Jews who voluntarily choose to live in their own historic homeland are to blame for their own deaths, and that Arab terrorism is a natural reaction to Israeli actions. Which is exactly what Islamic Jihad says.

Because not once does he condemn the actual terror groups themselves for their own actions. Not once.

Walt's piece proves beyond any doubt that the left does not have any empathy for the Fogels, and not the least desire to consider them human beings. Their murders are, to Walt and his "blame Israel" compatriots, nothing more than a prop to hang another excuse to bash Israel.

(h/t YM)