Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Israel is at war. We need to talk.

This is just a quick response to a rather silly blog post from the right wing entitled "Israel is at war. We need to shut up."

The premise of that post is completely wrong, utterly backward. We are a democracy and debate is what makes democracy work. One of our closest allies is at war; the idea that we should somehow suspend free speech as a result of that fact is silly.

What is it about freedom of speech and debate that frightens Republicans and conservatives so much? There are a lot of issues on the table that need to be discussed, and banning discussion now--whether formally or informally--is among the very worst thing we could do. I'll throw out some questions in a minute, but I'm not providing any answers right now. Why? Because we as a nation need to to talk about this, now more than ever. So here are some questions, in no particular order.
1. Have we done enough to aid Israel, or too much?
2. Should we be more involved in peace talks, or less involved?
3. Is there such a thing as a "disproportionate response" to an attack, or is Israel well within its rights to crush its attackers?
4. Did the Bush administration contribute to the creation of the current crisis? Do we bear a moral responsibility as a result?
5. What if anything should the incoming Obama administration do differently than the Bush administration?
6. In view of ongoing Israeli settlement in the West Bank, is the Two-State solution still viable?
7. If the Two-State solution is not still viable, what basis, if any, remains for peace talks?
8. Do the actions of Israel towards the Palestinian people, taken as a whole, amount to ethnic cleansing?
9. Have the Palestinian people, through their support of ongoing terror attacks against the Israeli people, forfeited their right to statehood?
10. Are the Palestinian people viable as a nation, or have they shown a complete inability for responsible self-rule?
11. Does the U.S. provide too much military weaponry to Israel? Does the U.S. provide too little?
12. If the Palestinians in the West Bank are to be completely displaced by Israeli settlers, where should the Palestinians go?
13. Is the Gaza Strip viable as an quasi-independent entity or should it be annexed by Egypt or Israel? If so, then which?
That's just a quick baker's dozen of questions friends, there's a lot more to consider. Israel is at war. We need to talk.

1 comment:

Cargosquid said...

Thanks for stopping by the blog. Apparently, though, you missed the entire point of my post. My point is that Israel does not need our approval just as the USA does not seek any other country's approval to defend itself.

I think that you are completely right in that debate is a fine and healthy habit and we need more of it.

All of your questions are excellent and I have asked them myself. However, please go back and re-read my post. I wrote that in reply to an article that had Olmert "assuring" the US that he was acting "correctly".

He needs our approval like we need France's. I wish that the questions that you ask would be addressed by other blogs, conservative or liberal. My own belief is that this is HAMAS' fault. But I welcome any dialog.