Saturday, March 28, 2009


I do dimly recall this story about this Palestinian man, Duwiyat, going on a rampage with a bulldozer in Jerusalem. And now Israel is going to knock down his family's house. Not his house, mind you, but his father's house, in which he lived, along with the rest of the members of his extended family, none of whom went nuts in a bulldozer in Jerusalem. Presumably a bulldozer will be involved in the demolition, which could count as poetic justice, assuming we imagine that collective punishment just might count as justice.

This is explicitly being done in the name of deterrence, as is apparently commonplace: Palestinian does something bad, Israel destroys home of Palestinian. I find this incomprehensible. I don't see how anyone could possibly consider this a permissible form of response. And besides that, it's just so stupid. The article notes "in 2005 a military committee ruled that the tactic did not serve as a deterrent for future attacks"--and how in the world could it? In what world is this practice going to stop Palestinians from going on rampages?

The idea that this is seriously intended to be a form of deterrent makes no sense, and I don't think it even makes sense to those who say it. "Deterrence" here is a convenient word, used to make a place in supposedly decent society for indecent aggression.

And if it were just a few houses, well, who (aside perhaps from the militants with the rocket launchers) would pay attention to something so trivial going on in the middle east. But when it used as a cover (albeit one of many--variety is the spice of life) for the death of hundreds of civilians, that's something to take notice of.

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