Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More moral equivalency questions: Israel/slavery in the U.S.

Recently, an Israeli politician made headlines by saying that for each Israeil killed by Palestinians there would be a definite and overwhelming price to pay. Which made me wonder, partly because he himself expressed it in this way, just what the exchange rate between Jewish lives and Palestinian lives is? 1:10? 1:100? It must go retroactively back to World War II since no country in the world would tolerate another one inflicting 100:1 ratios of death on an internal opponent without raising a stink. Israeli lives are looked at as being worth more than Palestinian lives because of the Holocaust. How many Holocaust deaths equal the worth of one Palestinian death? 100:1? 1000:1? Does the Holocaust make Israeli lives so special that if 1300 Palestinians are killed and only 14 Israelis the outrage should go to the Israelis killed instead of the Arabs?

How does this relate to blacks and slavery in the United States? Pretty simple: if Israelis get to kill Palestinians because of the Holocaust then surely blacks in this country have the right to kill white folks without any moral right to retribution on the part of the white community as a whole. Think of how many blacks died on the Middle Passage over from Africa to the United States and the conditions of chattel slavery, worse than most slavery in the Old World, that inflicted cruelty on people for hundreds of years in the United States. Surely this wrong done to former slaves equals in many ways the horrors of the Holocaust. So why the fear when black people start arming themselves? Why the fear when folks who are black start talking about militant challenges to the white, European, United States?

After all, when Israelis use the rhetoric of nationalism with reference to past traumas people in the U.S. support them even when they murder hundreds of civilians. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

People hide behind Israel and a love of Israel while they won't even face or look at the problems existing in the country that they actually live in. When it comes to systemic problems like racism against blacks supporters of Israel's right to self determination suddenly get quiet and switch the questioning.

So....back to the question at hand: if you believe that Israel is justified in killing over 1300 Palestinians for 14 Israeli deaths, surely you support blacks killing a same number of whites in return for racist killings of black people, or is there something here I'm missing?

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