The Moral Clarity of Gaza
If you were paying attention to NPR and CNN — hardly ever the best possible use of one’s time — you probably noticed that virtually every story concerning Gaza began with a lead that went something like this:
“Israel continued firing rockets into Gaza today, killing X number of Palestinians. The Israeli action was a response to Palestinian rocket fire against towns and settlements in southern Israel.”
Why did almost every report begin with Israeli “aggression,” even though it was Palestinian terror that provoked the response? It’s simple. These unabashedly pro-Palestinian news organizations are fully aware of a basic psychological phenomemon, that long-term memory retains whatever information is heard first far more prominently than whatever information is heard later. By placing Israeli “aggression” foremost in their stories, they ensure that, over time, listeners will develop the distinct impressions that it is the Israelis who are responsible for the conflict.
This, together with the inevitable moral equivalence of counting casualties without clarifying that the Hamas terrorists who use Palestinian civilians as human shields are ultimately most responsible for Palestinian deaths, and the mantra “cycle of violence” chanted like Orwellian sheep — all of it snowballs into the same inevitable mind-set that brings international pressure to bear against Israel to stand down and allow the terrorists who have no objective other than its destruction to regroup and to grow further emboldened.
Fortunately, the United States remains Israeli’s ally and defender. One hopes that this will not change after January 20.
When moral clarity becomes moral confusion, however, the Jew takes heart. There is truly no rational, logical, or natural explanation for how so many intelligent people, so many world leaders, so many journalists, so many university professors and students can suffer such extraordinary moral myopia. When we live in times of such inexplicable illogic, we cannot help but recognize that the One who bestows reason has chosen to withhold reason, and that the ever-increasing darkness of our exile belies the dawn of redemption that crouches just over the horizon.
We read in the Torah this week that Yaakov (Jacob) and his sons settled in Egypt. They knew that their children faced a long and bitter exile. But they also knew that their children would emerge stronger and better able to survive.
In these bitter days, we can lament the folly of those who urge peace with those who reject peace, or we can recognize the divine plan revealing itself more clearly day by day, and rejoice in the coming of true peace at the end of days.
If you’re still unconvinced, or if you merely want a further view on the clarity of Gaza that almost no one sees, Charles Krauthammer’s latest column is worth a look.
Update: AP reports that thousands across the Mideast protest Gaza attacks. This is news?