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More on Dershowitz

Matt Yglesias makes an excellent point against Dershowitz’s application of his “continuum.” Again, Dershowitz is right to note that there is some moral ambiguity in what are civilian deaths, but calling anyone who doesn’t leave an area which Israel wants to bomb complicit is absolutely wrong.

As Matt points out, Dershowitz’s claim essentially erases the distinction between civlians and combatants. If you don’t think Israel should be doing what it’s doing and don’t feel you should have to leave, you’ve become complicit. This makes Iraqi civilians complicit as well, which is absurd considering almost no one in that country supported Saddam.

This is the kind of thing Digby was getting at when he compared (via 4&20) Ward Churchill and Dershowitz (which I assume made some heads explode on the Right). However, I have to say that the comparison is somewhat strained. Dershowitz’s position has some logic to it. The people know what’s coming, they can leave (er, well, sort of), etc. Churchill is saying people going about their daily lives nowhere near any fighting are “guilty.” But in the end, they’re both trying to justify unjustifiable civilian deaths.

Categories: Israel/Palestine
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