Tuesday, March 15, 2011

the killing of settler families, then and now

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz published a story, Why Did Israel Release Bloody Images of the Slain Family in Itamar ?

In response, I posted the following comment, which was published...

Let's go back to a murdered American settler family, scalped and left in the smoldering ruins of their homestead on Indian land. If on-site photography were possible in 1860, would the U.S. government have put the pictures on display?

If it did so, it would have whipped up hatred for the Indians by white Americans back east, convincing them that Manifest Destiny was right and that Indians were nothing but barbarians to be destroyed.

But as we look back with the wisdom of 160 years, would it have made the awful project of eviction of the Indians under which the murders occurred justifiable? No, it wouldn't.

Ethic cleansing is wrong, then and now. The murder of an American family beyond the frontier and the murder of the Israeli family in a settlement in the occupied territories are repugnant regardless of any resulting publicity. But they are irrelevant to the morality of the ethnic cleansing projects under which they took place.

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