Reminder: Israel has a right to defend itself. And no obligation to be a fool about it, either.

This conversation between Sally Kohn and Guy Benson on the possibly meritorious aspects of violence – specifically, this particular exchange:

…reminds me of, all things, a Harry Turtledove story called “The Last Article.” Basically, it’s an alternate history story where the Nazis won World War II and took over India from the British. (Spoiler warning) The Nazis then encounter Gandhi, who promptly starts up a nonviolent resistance to the occupation: the Nazis just as promptly take Gandhi out back and kills him. End of story, have a nice day. Because that’s what happens when Evil faces off Good and Good refuses to defend itself. Evil shoots Good in the head and goes on to have a delicious lunch*.

I should also note that one of the themes of this particular story – and, really, recent Middle Eastern history – is that you can only use tactics incorporating shame and appeals to better nature to people and entities willing to admit to either. Hamas clearly feels no shame or remorse about routinely violating the laws of war, not least because the group knows that there are any number of ethically deprived idiots in the West that are willing to excuse any of Hamas’s excesses. And until the aforementioned idiots either wise up or (more likely) treated the way by civilized society in the same way that we treat avowed Nazis, Hamas will continue to feel neither shame nor remorse. This is an obvious thing.  So is the fact that Israel feels no particular obligation to commit suicide simply because the antiwar Left would quite like it to.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Of particular interest in that story was when the Nazi Governor-General delays Gandhi’s execution briefly to thank Gandhi for advocating that the Jews of Europe embrace nonviolence to the point of massacre (something that actually happened in our own history), on the grounds that it probably helped slightly the Nazis’ goal of exterminating all the Jews that they could find.  …Gandhi was very lucky that he had monster-killers as opponents in his political struggle, and not the monsters themselves.

10 thoughts on “Reminder: Israel has a right to defend itself. And no obligation to be a fool about it, either.”

  1. What gets me is that Hamas commits war crimes, yet it is Israel that’s the monster. You used to be a liberal Moe, can’t you tell us what is going on in their minds?

  2. I wonder if the Gandhi of the story appreciated the irony of being in the position he advocated the Jews take.

  3. Have you considered the damage you might do to a rapist’s self-esteem if you fight him off? Do you really want to undo all the times the poor guy spent telling himself: “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.”? 🙂

  4. Turtledove also has a novel, In the Presence of Mine Enemies, that’s set in the same world but in our era. (America has been nuked, and the Slavs are once again slaves.) The viewpoint character is a Jew who has been “passing for Aryan.” Events in the novel rather closely parallel the fall of the Soviet Union, but there’s also a twist that can be seen as an allegory of how to deal with the Islamists: find passages in the Sacred Book (in this case, Mein Kamf) and re-interpret them in a way that’s favorable to moderation rather than extremism.

  5. Note to the reality based community: time only travels in one direction. The question is “Given that Israel exists and is inhabited by millions of people, does it have the right to defend itself?” I know Hamas’s answer.

Comments are closed.