Today The New York Times publishes four letters on Nick Kristof’s column about visiting Gaza, and three support the blockade. So Kristof didn’t make the case for blockade strongly enough. But the real interest here is the style of the letters. The blockade supporters are all so sad and shed tears over Gaza and one is even upset over the bombing. But they blame Hamas and say it is all their fault.
One says if the blockade is lifted then there will be no rebuilding and it will all just be material for Hamas to go to war and Israel will have to defend itself.
Sadly, however, easing the blockade is asking for full-scale war. Hamas is in control of Gaza, and it is not interested in building homes, schools or businesses. Whatever materials are acquired go to building tunnels so that Hamas can continue its unending war against Israel.
Easing the siege of Gaza will not lead to peace. It will end with Iran supplying sophisticated armaments to Hamas and a full-scale war when Israel does what it will have to do to protect itself.
That is bad faith in action. It wasn’t enough for this person to say that Hamas would smuggle weapons–she had to pretend there would be no rebuilding at all. That gives her a clear conscience.
So it is all bullshit. These people would never support a harsh blockade on Israel; they probably all reject even a mild form of BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions). They have no concept of morality applying to both sides of a conflict: Israel can do whatever it wants in peace and war, and they will be sad but support Israel. It’s a clever way for people to think of themselves as liberal while being racist in their attitudes; and yet this is too subtle for the American liberal media to understand, while they are all so busy writing stories about the antisemitism that supposedly motivates BDS.
People understood perfectly well what Martin Luther King Jr. meant in his letter from a Birmingham jail to white moderates.
I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality
I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action.
This attitude is the same. And I think it is at the heart of how liberal Israel supporters reason. It is what Nick Kristof will never challenge because he is too nice and he also at heart shares some of the same double standard.