There is no moral high ground

Amid the acres of newsprint and video footage devoted to the horrific happenings in the Middle East, what is missing is any recognition that there are rights and wrongs on both sides; that there is no moral high ground; that the respective leaderships are bent on sowing hatred and destruction and though there is talk of ”peace” there is no will on either side to make it except on their own uncompromising terms.

And why, indeed, should Yasser Arafat and his supporters bother. The world is on their side and the longer the terror and counter terror continue, the less interested that world will be in the survival of Israel. That is unacceptable. Israel has as much right to survive as any of the other artificial constructs of the colonial era and its people have the same right as any other people to live in peace and security; to lead lives without fear.

No, opposition to Israel’s government and its military is not per se anti-Semitic but it is disingenuous to believe that it does not and will not increasingly manifest itself as anti-Semitism. Why else do the media constantly refer to Israel as ‘the Jewish state’? Why is there less universal horror expressed over Jewish victims of suicide bombers than over Arab victims of military actions? How else does one explain the growing incidences of attacks on synagogues and the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and Jewish institutions in Tunisia, in France, in Italy, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Australia?

It is not easy to be an independently minded Jew in these complicated times. Certainly not when one has spent much of one’s adult life believing in, fighting for concepts like human rights, human values and just plain humanity. I live these days with a sick feeling of growing despair and a terrible sense of dÃ

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Pat Schwartz
Guest Author

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Harbour views at 9th Avenue Waterside

The award-winning eatery, which offers fine wines and food, is on stilts at Durban’s harbour

Zimbabwe hospital workers plot stillbirth burials

The policy is to cremate deceased infants but Bulawayo Hospital’s incinerators are not working

Salman Rushdie on ventilator, likely to lose an eye after...

The British author of "The Satanic Verses" had to be airlifted to hospital for emergency surgery following the attack

Can technology help to promote students’ mental health?

New apps and online therapy show promise, but more research is needed to help understand who will benefit from digital interventions

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…