Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Moral Clarity

Debating Israel's Right to Exist - Tim Stanley

The University of Southampton is hosting a conference to discuss Israel's legal right to exist. It is true that Israel was a state created where no such state had existed before. But so were Iraq, Syria, Uganda and Togo - all products of decolonization. Why, pray, does no one debate the legal foundations of the existence of Nigeria, which comprises various tribes and religions with terrible unease?

It is true that Israel's foundation involved the displacement of people. But the case is not unique. When the states of India and Pakistan were created, their subjects trekked across the subcontinent to resettle in one country or another - causing the deaths of thousands. Likewise, the American Indians were displaced by European colonists.

What is it about Israel that makes people debate its "legality" so much more often than they do that of other states? Why is it held to such an impossible standard? When it comes to Israel, there is a unique enthusiasm to call into question its very right to exist. Strange, isn't it? 

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