How to think morally about the Israel-Hamas war

By | October 12, 2023

Zack Beauchamp writes:

In southern Israel, Hamas terrorists broke into a room where a family of five was hiding and slaughtered every one of them. In Gaza, a father wrapped in gauze held his child, butchered in an Israeli strike, for the last time.

These scenes pose a very simple moral test: Do you believe that it is wrong for innocent people to suffer in this way? That mass death should be deplored, not defended, regardless of who its victims are? If the answer to either of those questions is no, then you are a morally broken person.

Depressingly, the Israel-Palestine discourse has exposed many of them.

Almost immediately after news of the attack broke, celebrations broke out among a group of Western leftists, hailing Hamas’s incursion as an act of “decolonization.” This was not merely a handful of isolated individuals, but included journalists with large followings, professors, and student organizations at elite universities. At a rally supported by the Democratic Socialists in America in New York, the crowd cheered Hamas’s success.

This cheerleading for murderous terrorists is ghoulish and self-discrediting: “a betrayal of the left’s most fundamental values,” as New York magazine’s Eric Levitz writes.

It is also, in a way, revealing. The moral failures of the fringe left show us how not to think about the ongoing horrors in Israel and Gaza — and, in doing so, point to a better way. [Continue reading…]

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