Thursday, January 8, 2009
where I stand
Here's the problem: it's a hard, intractable world, where all actors pursue their interest. Liberal democracy encroaches on that intractability some by trying to rest on, live by, enlightenment derived precepts embodied in, for example, American first principles that find constitutional expression. That intractability is exacerbated by the spectrum of ideologies and systems bodied forth in states and powerful non state actors that stand against liberal democracy. That opposition is a powerful reason, among other powerful reasons, why a one state solution, right now, in the real world, is an impossibility from an Israeli perspective as a matter of principle, prudence, pragmatism, existential self interest, and realpolitik. And that opposition is manifest in the moral clarity distinguishing Israel from Hamas and informing the tragic but necessary rightness of Israel's move against Hamas. The world does not often offer up examples that are black and white. Israel, riven with problems, imperfect as all others--but not more so, justifiably prone to lots of criticism, its existence imperiled, striving to fulfill the imperatives of liberal democracy--the only one in the Middle East--is white against the blackness of Hamas and the terrorism it is an example of. Everybody can argue ad nauseuam about everything, and should I suppose, those arguments ranging from the relevant substantive to mindless bickering to the declaiming of talking points. But states must choose and act. Here the choice and the action cannot be gainsaid.