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March 27, 2011

LA Times Defends 'Tit-for-Tat Mentality'

The Los Angeles Times goes on the defensive about its indefensible characterization of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as "the self-destructive tit-for-tat mentality that often seems designed to keep the conflict alive rather than to end it." Editorial writers argue:

You can argue forever about who is right and who is wrong. Or how far back to go to determine who started the hostilities. Or how much worse it is or isn't to kill civilians on purpose than it is to kill them as collateral damage. Those are questions for philosophers to wrestle with. But to deny that there's a cycle of violence seems pointless.

A couple of thoughts: Isn't it the job of editorial writers to grapple with the relative gravity of the intentional brutal murder of civilians versus the killing of civilians used by terrorists as human shields against anti-terror forces? (Is it really that difficult a question to address in the first place?)

As for the "cycle" of violence question, it would be an interesting question for the deep thinkers at the Times to ponder: what would happen if Israeli forces simply laid down their arms and did not attempt to stop any rocket crews, or prevent tunneling into Israel to carry out attacks, or to hunt down terrorists? Would Palestinian attacks continue? And what would happen if the Palestinians completely halted all attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers, and stopped stockpiling ever more dangerous Iranian weaponry for the next round? Would Israeli attacks continue?

(Hat tip: Stephen S)

Posted by TS at March 27, 2011 08:47 AM


Excellent, calm, well-reasoned points. Why not put the questions to the LAT editorial board?

Posted by: Dan Richman at March 31, 2011 03:25 PM

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