Thursday, August 23, 2007

Geras sees sense

Norman Geras has written a post strangely similar to the one below:

In yesterday's newspaper A. Pundit casts doubt on the motives of people involved in campaigns over Palestine. In support of his scepticism, he offers the thesis that those who appear to have good reasons for thinking or doing something may really be up to no good; they may harbour a bad intention of some kind. This is indeed true. But the difficulty for him is that they may also not. As I've pointed out on a previous occasion, it could be that Ruth has a bad opinion of a particular dentist just because that dentist messed up her teeth; it doesn't have to be because she's prejudiced against dentists. The strength of the overt reason in such cases is one kind of evidence that matters.

But Pundit is strangely undeterred by the fact that those troubled by what has been happening in Palestine have some very strong reasons for being so. In early 2006 a UN report said that 'since 2000, over 500 persons have been killed in targeted assassinations, including a substantial number of innocent civilians'. The same UN report said that the 'indiscriminate use of military power against civilians and civilian targets has resulted in serious war crimes'. That there may be different views about what is now the most effective course of action is one thing. And that there are different estimates of the numbers of the dead and displaced is also not altogether surprising. But one way or another, we are talking about many thousands of dead over the past forty years, and human rights violations on a massive scale. In this situation a person might reasonably be exercised without the assistance of any 'anti-semitic' agenda.

4 Comments:

Blogger ejh said...

he offers the thesis that those who appear to have good reasons for thinking or doing something may really be up to no good; they may harbour a bad intention of some kind

Which is about a concise a summary of the Decent approach as you could wish for, is it not?

8/23/2007 01:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Cian said...

Ha, brilliant! Maybe you should forward it to him.

8/23/2007 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger Gabriel said...

Dave Aaronovitch helped plug my blog so he is not a bad lad actually...Despite the title I must say that I find the blog most interesting and I shall be bookmarking it for further visits.

I hope some of your readers will visit my blog 'An Unrepentant Communist'..

http://unrepentantcommunist.blogspot.com/

Greetings to you all from County Kerry in Ireland

8/27/2007 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Gawd, Gabriel, give it a bloody rest.

8/27/2007 03:33:00 PM  

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