Progressive politics, ideas & culture


War is not the answer

This Magazine Staff

I find myself completely appalled by today’s front-page column by George Jonas in the National Post. Normally I try not to let Post columnists provoke me into posting about them, since it just draws attention to their views. But in this case…
Jonas is an apologist for the Israeli military, and practically the first words out of his mouth are that Israel “didn’t mean to harm” the eight Canadian citizens it killed in an air strike on Lebanon yesterday. He goes on to put Israel on the moral high ground: while Hezbollah and other terrorists target civilians in their operations, Israel targets its terrorist enemies in the name of protecting civilians, and any civilians deaths that result are “sad, but unavoidable.”
That comment alone is so infuriating I should just stop right here. Nothing is gained by painting one side in a war as “good guys” and the other as “bad,” as Jonas does. It gets us no closer to peace, understanding or a diplomatic solution to this conflict, and completely ignores the multiple motivations either side might have for an attack.
When eight Israeli civilians are killed, this is rightly portrayed as a tragedy by columnists such as Jonas and papers like the Post. When eight Arab civilians are killed, how can anyone feel good about letting their killers off the hook, just like that? And if we go along with the dubious suggestion that Israel is targetting only terrorists, why is having terrible aim any better than launching a missile over a border? Killing is killing. War is not going to make it stop, nor is it “unavoidable.” If that’s the world Jonas lives in, I want no part of it.

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