There are those who believe passionately that all human beings are inherently good and rational creatures, essentially the same once you get beyond surface disagreements. Such people cannot accept the reality of a culture that extols death over life, that inculcates a vitriolic hatred of Jews, that induces children to idolize terrorists. Since they would never murder a family in its sleep without being driven to it by some overpowering horror, they imagine that nobody would. This is the mindset that sees a massacre of Jews and concludes that Jews must in some way have provoked it. It’s the mindset behind the narrative that continually blames Israel for the enmity of its neighbors and makes it Israel’s responsibility to end their violence.
The truth is simpler, and bleaker. Human goodness is not hard-wired. It takes sustained effort and healthy values to produce good people; in the absence of those values, cruelty and intolerance are far more likely to flourish.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Jeff Jacoby on the slaughter of the innocents in Itamar
Here's a good article on the horrible slaughter of most of an Israeli family, the Fogel family, by Palestinian Arabs. Best quotation (emphasis added):
I'll have a bit more to say about the slaughter of the Fogels in a later post. I'm trying to confirm or disconfirm reports of an arrest in the case. For the moment I'll just say--Israel definitely needs the death penalty.