Wednesday, October 1, 2008
One might think that murder - arguably the worst crime - would remain taboo. But that would be to presume that human beings are inherently sane, or ethical.
In fact, humans are both sane and insane, ethical and unethical, savage and urbane, a mixture of best and worst motives. There is often no coherence or balance to what we believe, feel, or do; and in my lower moments, I wonder what essential difference there might be between the human and any other animal. Perhaps it is the capacity of some people for self-discipline in conformity to nothing more than abstract ideals of virtue; I don't know of any animal which demonstrates any capacity like that. But a little time on the planet shows that even that trait is in fairly short supply.
But back to murder. A visit these days to any North American university campus will reveal the fashion craze of wearing a black and white PLO scarf, as though it were nothing more than a leather bracelet or earring. Evidently, it doesn't matter that wearing the PLO scarf is only a step away from wearing a swastika armband. Forget Huey Lewis's old "it's hip to be square"; I guess it's now hip to champion murder, and to speak the truth, genocide, since that is what the PLO's founding premises add up to.
The PLO is, and always has been, dedicated to wiping out the state of Israel through murder. Its record of bloodshed includes murdering school children at the Ma'alot School, murdering Israeli Olympic athletes, murdering airplane passengers at Ben-Gurion Airport...the list goes on and on. Its late leader, Arafat, was a corrupt, bloodthirsty, psychopathic virtual dictator, who in no sense could ever be conceivably linked with ANY characteristic of liberal democracy: not rational discussion, not democratic procedures, not free press, not free speech, not checks and balances, not rule of law, nothing.
Yet the same students who constantly chant that Bush is a "war criminal" for "murdering Iraqi civilians", who denounce "Chinese atrocities in Tibet", who feel perfectly free to denounce what they view as "terrorism" anywhere they see it, carve out a big exception when Jews are the victims of the violence. In that case, the murder's great! So great that we all ought to wear PLO scarves to show our solidarity - like wearing a New York Giants jersey the week before the Super Bowl.
As though murder, genocide, and terrorism weren't bad enough on their own, there is also the underlying question of Israel's right to exist. And on that question, I think it can be safely said that if Israel does not have a right to exist, then no country in the world has a right to exist.
But that's probably a topic for another post.