Gil Troy is an American academic. He received his undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees from Harvard University and is a professor of History at McGill University.
The author of eleven books, nine of which concern American presidential history, and one of which concerns his own and others' "Jewish identity," he contributes regularly to a variety of publications and appears frequently in the media as a commentator and analyst on subjects relating to history and politics. Twitter: @GilTroy. Website: www.giltroy.com.
Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:20 am No Moral Equivalence with Totalitarian Hamas - By Gil Troy
No Moral Equivalence with Totalitarian Hamas
By Gil Troy
November 22, 2012
As I write, Israeli television is covering the Tel Aviv bus bombing. Reuters reported: “Celebratory gunfire rang out across Gaza as the news spread and the territory's Islamist rulers Hamas praised the bombing.” Such joy at targeting civilians offers one small piece of evidence in the moral differentiation necessary in explaining the Middle East, especially for “a peace advocate,” as Emily L. Hauser calls herself in her post.
Hauser calls the death of 3,034 Palestinian noncombatants from “the end of September 2000 through the end of September 2012” a moral blot on Israel. She mocks those who say “that Hamas intentionally targets civilians, and Israel does not.” And, sincerely feeling the victims’ agony, she attributes the deaths to Israeli “Incompetence or indifference, neither can be an excuse anymore.”
I too consider myself a peace advocate. I too mourn the deaths regardless of nationality. I too am a parent who cannot imagine the pain parents must endure when their children are killed—and I desperately wish to see this conflict ended.
But I do not understand how you strike a moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel, between terrorists who target civilians and an army that has occasionally lost soldiers when attempting to minimize casualties (see, for example, the 13 soldiers killed in Jenin, 2002), frequently misses military opportunities to avoid killing innocents, and has repeatedly struggled over civilian deaths. Either obtuseness or malice spawns such moral neutering.
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