Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The difference between Qana and Haifa

Something unusual happened to me yesterday. While listening to an interview on Radio 4 (the BBC), I found myself agreeing with something that the Israeli government spokesman said. Giving a partial apology for the Qana bombing, he said that the Israelis only bombed civilians by accident, whereas the Hezbollah guerillas often deliberately targetted civilians.

For once, I genuinely believe that is true. But I would reject his implication that this represents a real moral difference. The dead of Qana are just as dead as those in Haifa, the bereaved just as bereaved.

In one of the set confessions used in many Christian churches, we admit that we have sinned "through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault". The confession makes clear that although the causes may be different - negligence and weakness on the Israeli side, deliberate fault by Hezbollah - the sin is nonetheless morally equivalent.

Lest I be tempted to take the moral high ground, the confession continues: "in the evil that we have done, and in the good that we have not done."


Blogger Vote Franco (fdm) said...

I disagree with you, for me there is a huge moral difference.

If you bomb someone by accident, then that's just it, it's an accident and no moral culpability can attach to you for it. In a true accident you don't have negligence or weakness, it is something unfortunate that happened.

Did Israel do all they could to avoid civilian casualties? I don't know, but quite possibly they did. If so, then for me there's no sin.

Take a road traffic incident, if the driver decides to kill someone using the car, they have sinned, even if they don't kill them or harm them. On the other hand, a driver driving properly, is forced to take avoiding action and ends up killing someone, well the dead are just as dead and the bereaved just as bereaved; but I would say no sin has been committed.

I posted here: http://votefranco.blogspot.com/
my views on this with respect to the application of the law.

8:46 AM  

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