Thursday, July 27, 2006

posted by Ofer

Responsibility of the Innocent

The Jewish settlers in Hebron constantly harass and torment their Palestinian neighbors. They teach their children to hate and provoke both the Palestinians and Israel's security forces. Their rude and disrespectful conduct is more than just annoying, given the right circumstances their provocations could easily lead to the outbreak of a new Intifada, or worse. It shames me that such people share my nationality.



Aside from voting for a political party which opposes them, I have done nothing to stop these people. I don't organize petitions, I don't go to rallies, I don't go to Hebron to confront them personally. I have better things to do with my time (and honestly, I'm also a bit scared of them). Although I disapprove of their actions, I am still personally responsible for the crimes they commit. Every Israeli shares in the responsibility for these radicals. Democracy gives me the tools to deal with them and I choose to do nothing. If the actions of these radicals leads us into a new war, I will have only myself to blame.

The moderates in Lebanon, those who are currently paying the price, were in a similar position. They knew exactly what Hizbullah was up to, but they were too busy going about their day-to-day lives to do anything about it. They had other, more urgent, issues on their minds, such as ridding their country of the Syrian presence and getting their economy back on track. This does not excuse them of doing nothing. Being moderates does not clean their hands of the responsibility for the actions of their radical brothers. The Lebanese moderates are just as accountable for Hizbullah's actions as I am for the actions of the Hebron settlers. The Lebanese moderates are innocent civilians in a very limited sense of the word. I'm not saying that the Lebanese deserve what they're currently getting. I'm saying: stop acting like victims, stop blaming everyone else, take responsibility and take back your country.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Avishai said...

I think this is a very interesting angle.
This reminds me of another analogy I heard last night: in standard legal practice, when somebody kidnaps a hostage and in the rescue attempt a third party gets hurt, the kidnapper bears legal responsibility. In analogy, the international law should have Hizbolla responsible for the damage to innocent people in Lebanon.

7:58 PM  
Blogger the perpetual refugee said...

Ofer,

I agree in principle with what you're saying.

However, as your forces are finding out, it's not so easy to take back the country.

If you powerful forces (diplomatic and military) cannot do it, how are we supposed to do it? Let's not forget it took us many many many years to get rid of the Syrians. We have only been free for one year. And the Syrians (and Iranians for that matter) are still reeling from their withdrawal. These things take time. Diplomatically. Not through force.

Unfortunately, I think we're only going to learn this the hard way.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Maddy said...

I found the most disturbing aspect of this photo was the child.

2:18 AM  

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