Not a Zero-Sum Game

February 3, 2009

It is very common when someone is criticizing some too-violent action of the Israeli army, that he gets in return endless speeches about how monstrous the Hamas is.

The arguments for themselves are correct: Hamas is an organization who sanctifies the death of its own members (and their families), and shoot its opponents in the wrong side of their knees. Comparing to that, the Israeli army, with all its limitations and the precautions it takes to minimize (in some level) the damage to the civil population, looks truly merciful.

If there was an evilness competition between Hamas and the Israeli army, Hamas would definitely win by knockout. But there is no such competition.

It is one of the things that sound obvious when thinking about them explicitly, but it is easy (and common) to forget in a passionate political debate:

If one side is doing wrong, it is, in no way, justifies wrong actions of the other side. There is no shared limited “immorality bank” that makes one side actions better when the other side is doing worse.

 

Comment: It should not be confused with the double-standard problem.

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